COLUMBUS, Ohio - It didn't take long for Samantha Prahalis to make her presence felt in her first game back with Ohio State.
Prahalis had to serve a three-game suspension for NCAA secondary violations but the 2009-10 All-Big Ten point guard resumed her starting spot and needed only 26 seconds for her first assist on a feed to Jantel Lavender.
The Buckeyes (4-0) were off and running to an 80-47 victory against East Tennessee State. Prahalis had 18 points, eight assists but nine turnovers in 31 minutes.
Prahalis had her first basket 21/2 minutes in, but her flair showed moments later when the Commack graduate dished the ball to the left corner. As Brittany Johnson unleashed a three-pointer, Prahalis backpedaled toward the center circle with three right fingers in the air before the ball swished the net.
"I was ready to get back. I was a little bit anxious," Prahalis said. "I felt like I was a freshman, I was a little bit nervous because they had three games under their belt.''
Despite Prahalis' energy, the Buckeyes trailed 20-19 with 7 minutes left in the first half before scoring the final 17 points of the half. Lavender led all scorers with 20 points and added 11 rebounds. She credited the return of Prahalis for pacing the offense.
"She is a good open-floor-player," Lavender said. "Without her, it was a lot slower pace." - AP