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Monday, Nov. 19, 2007 – 7 p.m. ET

No. 16/16 Ohio State (3-0) vs Southern (0-1) 
Value City Arena (19,049) – Columbus, Ohio

Radio/Internet – WOSU 820-AM/www.wosu.org
P-by-P: Marty Bannister; Analyst: Kristin Watt

COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 16 Ohio State will go for its fourth-consecutive win Monday night when they welcome Southern University for a 7 p.m. tip at Value City Arena. The Buckeyes picked up their first road win of the year Saturday at Boston University as Marscilla Packer and Jantel Lavender combined for 45 points while OSU made 16-of-17 from the line.

A BUCKEYE WIN WOULD:
Improve the Buckeyes to 25-2 in the month of November in the Foster era.
Improve the Buckeyes to 79-6 at home in the Jim Foster era and 52-2 in the last three-plus seasons.
Give Ohio State its 91st win in the last 103 games.
 
ABOUT SOUTHERN
The Jaguars lost their opener to Northwestern State 78-70 back on Nov. 13 in which senior forward Indi Johnson recorded 19 points and 17 rebounds in the defeat. Southern, a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and located in Baton Rouge, La., returns two starters from last year’s 5-22 squad. They are coached by Sandy Pugh who is in her eighth season in Baton Rouge. This is the first meeting between the two schools.

LAST TIME OUT
Senior guard Marscilla Packer and freshman center Jantel Lavender combined for 45 points and junior Star Allen added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds as No. 16 Ohio State held off a feisty Boston University squad, 83-68. The Buckeyes, who led by as much as nine early in the second half, saw their lead dwindle to one, 61-60, on a lay-up by Boston’s Jesyka Burks-Wiley with 8:31 left. But just when it appeared the Terriers would take the lead, Ohio State clamped down on defense and didn’t allow another BU field goal until the final minute of the game after Ohio State had already seized control. The Buckeyes went on a 13-2 run over the next 4:29 to take a 74-62 lead as BU missed its next nine shots. Free throw shooting kept the Buckeyes out in front as Ohio State made its first 15 attempts and finished 16-of-17 for the game, including a perfect 9-of-9 from Lavender. OSU hit 60 percent of their shots from the field in the second half and 55 percent for the game. The Buckeyes opened up a 37-33 halftime lead behind 14 points from Packer, who was 4-of-5 from long range in the opening period, and eight points from Lavender. Ohio State led by as much as 11 on two occasions in the period, but three 3-pointers from Cheri Raffo kept the Terriers close.

AS GOOD AS ADVERTISED
The Buckeyes could not have asked for a better start to the season for freshman center Jantel Lavender, the 2007 Ohio Player of the Year. In her debut she posted a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds against Marist Nov. 11. She was 5-of-11 from the field and also notched two steals to lead the Buckeyes to a 63-57 victory. Then in the win over Tennessee State Nov. 14, Lavender was dominant, scoring 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting to go along with five boards and three blocks in only 22 minutes of action before recording 21 points, seven boards and going 9-of-9 from the FT line in the win at BU. She ranks among the Big Ten leaders with 19.0 points and 8.7 rebounds as of Nov. 17.

LEADER OF THE PACK
Senior guard Marscilla Packer is embracing her new role as the team’s veteran leader and is leading the Buckeyes with 20.3 points over the first three games. She averages a team-high 30.0 minutes per game and is shooting 55 percent from the field, 50 percent from three and has made all 14 of her free throw attempts. In the latest win over Boston, she scored a game-high 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including four three-pointers.

BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN
Though early, the Buckeyes have already established themselves among the leaders in several Big Ten statistical categories. Jantel Lavender ranks second in the league in scoring (19.0 ppg) and is sixth in rebounding (8.7). Marscilla Packer is second in the league in scoring with a 20.3 ppg clip, tied for first in FT percentage (14-for-14, 1.000) and is second in 3FG made with nine. As a team, Ohio State leads the conference in points per game (78.0), scoring margin (+22.7), FG percentage (.509) and second in 3FG percentage (.415). 

PACKER KEEPING PACE WITH LONG-DISTANCE RECORDS
Senior guard Marscilla Packer is among the best 3-point shooters in school history and is sixth on the all-time list with 165 makes. The career record is 270 set by Caity Matter (2001, 03-05). Packer hit 57 3-pointers last season, 79 as a sophomore­ (good for fourth on the all-time single-season list) and 20 as a freshman in 2004-05.

For the complete release and stats, click the PDF link above