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Prahalis, Lavender spearhead Buckeyes in rout of Western Illinois

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State looks primed to begin its Big Ten schedule.

Samantha Prahalis scored 22 points, Jantel Lavender added 20 despite sitting the last 11 minutes, and No. 6 Ohio State ended its nonconference schedule with a 99-38 win over Western Illinois on Tuesday.

Illinois native Brittany Johnson made 4 of 5 3-point attempts and added 14 points for the Buckeyes (13-1), who resume Big Ten play Monday at Illinois seeking their sixth straight league title.

"Everybody understands how tough the Big Ten can be," Lavender said. "We prepared well in the preseason. I think we're ready."

Erica Lewis had 11 points for Western Illinois (4-8), which plays its final non-Summit League game Monday at Oklahoma State.

"Anytime you play a team the caliber of Ohio State and still accomplish some team goals that you have set for each game that says a lot about the dedication your own team has," Leathernecks coach Leslie Crane said. "One of [the goals] was definitely to score more points than one of our conference teams did when they came in here earlier. That was a big one."

Ohio State led 46-15 at the half with Prahalis (12) and Lavender (10) combining to outscore the Leathernecks, who committed 17 of their 25 turnovers before the break.

"We said we were going to come out ferocious on defense," Lavender said. "We played extremely hard from the beginning."

Ohio State went on a 24-4 run in the first six minutes of the second half for a 70-19 lead with Lavender scoring 10 and Prahalis eight. They departed with the Buckeyes ahead 75-21.

OSU, fourth nationally at 84.1 points per game, reached a season-high 94 on a 3-pointer by Maria Moeller with 2:50 to play. But the Buckeyes didn't try to break 100, holding the ball for the final 10.8 seconds.

"We worked on forcing the tempo and making them play a little faster," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said. "We have a team that likes to get after it."