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PITTSBURGH — The second-seeded Buckeyes (31-4) will go for their second-straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearance when they face the seventh-seeded Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (20-12) at 7:11 p.m. ET Tuesday at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. The game will be aired live on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com. You can also listen to Marty Bannister and Kristin Watt on WOSU 820AM in Columbus and state-wide on the Ohio State Radio Network.

On Sunday, Ohio State defeated 15th-seed St. Francis, Pa., 93-59, while Mississippi State came from behind to defeat 10th-seed Middle Tennessee State, 66-64.

Ohio State is facing the Lady Bulldogs for the second straight year in the NCAA second round. The Buckeyes won, 64-58, last season in Columbus to advance to the Sweet 16. It was the first meeting between the two schools.

Ohio State 93, St. Francis, Pa., Game Recap
Jantel Lavender dominated inside for Ohio State with 23 points and 16 rebounds and the second-seeded Buckeyes opened up a 27-point lead before halftime during a 93-59 rout in a first-round NCAA Dayton Regional game on Sunday. The Buckeyes reeled off runs of 11-0, 19-2 and 13-3 before halftime, taking control from the start and never allowing the Red Flash (17-15) to build any confidence or momentum. Brittany Johnson ended with 18 points, going 4 of 8 from 3-point range, while Prahalis had 14 points, 13 assists and six rebounds.Johnson hit a pair of 3-pointers and Sarah Schulze made another as the Buckeyes seized a 11-0 lead with only 2:11 gone. The Buckeyes led 32-9 at the midpoint of the first half, and they made it 51-24 late in the half before taking a 55-28 halftime lead. Shavelle Little, a two-time Big Ten defensive player of the year, made all six of her shots while scoring a career-high 14 points and getting five steals. Ohio State won for the ninth time in 10 games by shooting 49.3 percent (37 of 75) to the Red Flash’s 28.6 percent (20 of 70) and outrebounded them 55-38. St. Francis was 7 of 30 from 3-point range.

Last Year Against Mississippi State
Jantel Lavender had 20 points and Ohio State shut out Mississippi State over the final 6:43 and scored its final 10 points on free throws to win 64-58 in an NCAA second-round game March 23, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. Star Allen added 12 points and 10 rebounds, saving her best for last. She rebounded a missed free throw with 15 seconds left and then added two clinching free throws for Ohio State. Tysheka Grimes scored 20 of her 22 points in the opening half for Mississippi State. Alexis Rack added 19 points for the Lady Bulldogs, who led 58-54 after Rack’s three-point play with 6:43 left. The teams traded baskets and the lead for much of the second half before the Lady Bulldogs appeared to gain an edge. Down 54-53 after Lavender followed her own miss, Armelie Lumanu drove the right baseline for a layup with 7:12 left. After Allen missed a spinning jumper at the other end, the Lady Bulldogs gave the ball to Rack. She sprinted past a high pick and hit a layup in traffic while being fouled. The free throw put Mississippi State ahead 58-54 with 6:43 left. But prompted by a large proportion of the 4,842 in attendance at Nationwide Arena, the Buckeyes came back. Maria Moeller hit two foul shots and Sarah Schulze added one. Prahalis then drove the length of the court and was fouled by Grimes with 3:35 left. She hit the second to tie it again at 58. After a MSU turnover, Ohio State got it in to Lavender but she was fouled in a dust-up inside. Lavender hit both shots for a 60-58 lead. The teams then traded misses and missed opportunities. Rack drove the right baseline and was bumped by Lavender with 28.4 seconds left, but was called for traveling. Prahalis was fouled with 23.9 seconds left and made them both. A turnover then ruined the Lady Bulldogs’ shot at cutting into the lead when Mary Kathryn Govero was called for carrying the ball with 15.3 seconds left. Schulze was fouled and missed both shots, but Allen grabbed the rebound on the second and later hit two foul shots.

Ohio State First Round Game Notes

  • The victory was Ohio State’s 31st of the season, setting a program record.
  • The game was the first ever meeting between Ohio State and St. Francis.
  • The 93 points were the most the Buckeyes have scored in the NCAA tournament game under the direction of Jim Foster.
  • Head coach Jim Foster improved to 32-23 all-time in the NCAA tournament.
  • Ohio State improved to 25-0 when scoring 70 or more points this season.
  • The Buckeyes opened the game with an 11-0 run and added another 10-0 run in the half. They held the Red Flash scoreless for a span of 4:20 (from 13:49 to 9:29) while pulling away to a 32-9 lead.
  • Ohio State led 55-28 at the half, tying its mark for most first-half points this season (also had 55 vs. Bowling Green, Nov. 15).
  • Four Buckeyes had double-digit points: Jantel Lavender (23), Brittany Johnson (18), Shavelle Little (14) and Samantha Prahalis (14). It was a team effort in scoring with nine players recording a point.
  • Junior center Jantel Lavender recorded her 20th double-double of the season and 57th of her career with 23 points (10-of-18 FG) and 16 rebounds. The Buckeyes are 47-10 all-time when Lavender has a double-double.
  • Lavender’s 16 rebounds were the second-most by a Buckeye in an NCAA tournament game. She was two shy of the record set by Jessica Davenport in 2006.
  • Also with a double-double was sophomore guard Samantha Prahalis with 14 points and 13 assists, setting the Ohio State record for assists in an NCAA tournament game.
  • With her 13 assists, Prahalis tied the Big Ten record for assists in a season with 283 (ties Tina Nicholson, Penn State 1995-96).
  • Senior guard Shavelle Little had a career high 14 points. She broke her previous mark of 11 with 12 points in the first half alone making all 5 FG and 2 FT. Little also had a team-high 5 steals.
  • Junior guard Brittany Johnson led the Buckeyes from beyond the arc, hitting 4-of-8 treys. Overall, Ohio State was 6-of-17 in 3-pointers.
  • Seniors Andrea Walker, Maria Moeller, Cherise Daniel and Little became the winningest class in Ohio State history with 110 victories.

Other Notables

  • Ohio State is 9-1 in its last nine postseason games, having won the last two Big Ten tournaments and going 2-1 in NCAA tournament play last season.
  • The Buckeyes lead the NCAA in 3-point shooting at 39.5 percent. They also rank in the top 15 in scoring (7th, 78.3), assists (12th, 17.2), assist-turnover ratio (8th, +1.15) and fewest fouls (3rd, 13.0). The Buckeyes are shooting 45.8 percent overall, good for 13th and tops in the Big Ten. They have shot 50 percent or better 10 times, including three games of 60 percent or better.
  • Jantel Lavender has scored in double figures in all 101 career games, the longest active streak in Division I. She also scored in double-figures throughout every game in high school as well.
  • Samantha Prahalis leads the Big Ten and is second nationally with nearly 8.1 assists per game behind NCAA leader Courtney Vandersloot of Gonzaga (9.3). Prahalis has 10 games with 10 or more and has dished out at least eight 20 times.
  • Samantha Prahalis has accounted for nearly 50 percent of Ohio State’s offense this season on either field goals or assists. She has 196 field goals and 283 assists, which make up 479 of Ohio State’s 973 field goals this season (49.2 percent).
  • Samantha Prahalis is just the second Division I player since 1999-2000 to average at least 16.0 points and 8.0 assists per game. La’Terrica Dobin (16.0, 8.1) from Northwestern State was the only other player to do it in 2003-04.
  • Brittany Johnson is shooting 47.7 percent from long range this season, the best in the Big Ten and third-best in the NCAA. She is on pace to set the OSU single-season record for best 3FG percentage in a season with her .477 clip. The current record is .462 set by Marscilla Packer in 2005-06.