The Ohio State women’s basketball team cruised to a 64-46 win over Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals in Indianapolis on Friday.
Brandie Hoskins led No. 5 Ohio State (26-2) with 14 points. The top-seeded Buckeyes won their 17th straight, while the Lady Lions' finished their first losing season in 33 years.
Ohio State, which has never won a conference tournament, will play either Michigan State or Iowa in the semifinals on Sunday. Penn State, a two-time tournament winner, finished 13-16, its worst record since 1973.
The Buckeyes led from the early stages of the game and never looked back. Ohio State’s leading scorer Jessica Davenport, the two-time Big Ten player of the year, was able to rest for much of the game. She was on the floor only nine minutes in the first half and 10 minutes in the second period and finished with a season-low six points and five rebounds.
Debbie Merrill scored 11 points for OSU and Marscilla Packer added 10.
Penn State was led by Kamela Gissendanner with 15 points and Amanda Brown with 10. Davenport had two baskets and Packer had two 3-pointers in a 16-5 start for the Buckeyes. But with Davenport on the bench most of the period, Hoskins took over, scoring 10 of her 14 points before the break.
Penn State pulled to 22-17 on a basket by Brown, but the Lady Lions, who had 15 turnovers in the first half and 21 for the game, didn't score the rest of the period. A basket and a 3-pointer by reserve Stephanie Blanton, a 3-pointer by Merrill and another basket by reserve Alice Jamen completed a 10-0 Ohio State run for a 32-17 lead at halftime.
Hoskins, who averaged 12 points per game entering play, reached that with her first basket of the second half, starting another 10-0 burst that pushed the Buckeyes' lead to 44-21. Ohio State's biggest lead was 59-33 with just over four minutes to go, and the Lady Lions never came closer than 16 the rest of the way.