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No. 7 Ohio State wins 6th straight Big Ten title

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jantel Lavender had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 7 Ohio State held Purdue scoreless for more than 12 minutes in a 75-45 victory Thursday night, locking up a share of a record sixth straight Big Ten title.

Tayler Hill added 14 points and Samantha Prahalis had nine points and 11 assists for the Buckeyes (24-3, 12-2), who ran their home record to 18-0 — the best in program history.

KK Houser had nine points for Purdue (13-12, 8-6), which beat the Buckeyes 63-61 at home on Jan. 25, ending their 12-game winning streak. The Boilermakers went 12:20 without scoring over one span and didn't have a field goal for almost 14 minutes in the middle of the game.

Ohio State broke out to leads of 9-2 and 26-6 and then scored the final 13 points of the half.

Purdue had won two in a row and four of five but shot just 23 percent from the field and had 19 turnovers.

The Buckeyes shot 52 percent from the field after hitting 11 of their first 13 to build up the big lead.

No team — men's or women's — had ever before won six Big Ten titles in a row. The only men's team to win five was Ohio State 1960-64.

The Buckeyes can clinch an outright title when they play at Minnesota on Sunday. It was also the earliest that a team has ever captured a Big Ten women's title.

In the earlier loss at Purdue, the Buckeyes roared to a 16-0 lead over the first 6:40 and still lost. This time they got off to almost as fast a start and then maintained it.

After Purdue's top scorer, Brittany Rayburn, who sat out much of the first half with three fouls, hit a 15-foot jumper to tie it at 2, Ohio State ran off the next nine points. Lavender and Sarah Schulze each hit shots inside and Brittany Johnson made a 3 from the right corner.

Ahead 11-6, the Buckeyes then ran off the next 15 points while holding the Boilermakers without a point for almost 6 minutes. Johnson had five points, Lavender four and Schulze and Hill each hit a 3.

Through the first 8 minutes, the Buckeyes were 11 of 13 from the field and hit all four 3-pointers.

The accuracy from behind the arc was similar to what they showed in a come-from-behind 86-73 win at Penn State on Sunday. In that game, the Buckeyes trailed by 15 points but made a Big Ten-record 17 3-pointers (out of just 26 attempts) to power their comeback.

On Thursday night, two baskets by Houser got the Boilermakers as close as 28-16 at the 8:43 mark, but they didn't score again — missing their final 11 shots to go with four turnovers.

The 13-0 blitz to the break found five Ohio State players scoring, led by backup center Andrea Walker's four points.

In the opening half the Buckeyes shot 57 percent from the field (17 of 30) — despite missing 9 of their last 10. They made half of their 3-pointers.

Ohio State improved to 126-9 at home overall in coach Jim Foster's eight seasons and 99-5 since the start of the 2004-05 season.