#5 Ohio State (17-1, 5-0 Big Ten) vs. Illinois (11-4, 3-2 Big Ten)
Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, 7 p.m. ET
Value City Arena • Columbus, Ohio
Radio/Internet: WOSU 820-AM/ www.wosu.org (Marty Bannister, Kristin Watt)
Live Stats: www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Series Record: OSU leads, 40-17
Series in 2008-09: OSU, 3-0
Last Meeting: 12/28/09, OSU, 76-47
In Columbus: OSU leads, 20-3
Current Win Streak: OSU, 4
Prahalis Named Big Ten Player of the Week
Samantha Prahalis was named the Big Ten’s player of the week Jan. 11 in recognition of her performance Saturday in the 65-62 win at No. 19 Michigan State. She scored a career-high 32 points as she helped the Buckeyes overcome an 11-point deficit in front of a hostile road crowd of 12,412 at the Breslin Center and a nationally-televised audience on CBS. Prahalis also contributed six rebounds, five assists and two steals as Ohio State won its ninth consecutive game, improving to 17-1 overall and 5-0 in Big Ten play. The sophomore’s point total came on a career-high 10 field goals, which included a career-best four three-pointers, while making good on 8-of-13 from the free throw line. She and teammate Jantel Lavender combined to score 52 of Ohio State’s 65 points and scored the Buckeyes’ final 22 points over the last 17:06 of the game.
Last Time out: Prahalis, Lavender Lead Buckeyes Past Spartans, 65-62
Samantha Prahalis scored a career-high 32 points while Jantel Lavender had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Buckeyes in a 65-62 win in East Lansing Saturday. Both Ohio State stars made clutch plays late to keep the Buckeyes alone in first place in the early conference race. Michigan State missed two shots in the final seconds in a desperate attempt to tie the game. The Spartans had led by as many as 11 points in the first half. Michigan State took a 33-22 first-half lead, energized by a home crowd of 12,412 — third largest in school history. But Ohio State crawled back behind Prahalis and Lavender. Prahalis made 10-of-20 shots from the floor, hitting 3’s from the outside if she was open but also driving if she saw a gap in the Michigan State defense.Michigan State led 35-31 at the half. Sarah Schulze and Prahalis hit 3-pointers to open the second half and give Ohio State a 37-35 lead. The Buckeyes led by as many as five points midway through the second half but Michigan State was able to regain the lead. Prahalis tied the game at 61 on with two free throws with 1:42 left. Two more Prahalis foul shots gave the Buckeyes a 63-61 lead with 1:14 left. Michigan State’s Johnson cut the lead to 63-62 with a free throw. But Lavender answered with two foul shots with 35 seconds left to put the Buckeyes ahead 65-62. DeHaan missed a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left. Brittney Thomas got the rebound and was able to get off a partially blocked shot as time ran down, but she wasn’t in 3-point territory.
Noting the Michigan State Game
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Michigan State 46-22 and 18-10 in games played in East Lansing. They will meet again Feb. 21, 2010 in Columbus … Michigan State (#19/21) was the third ranked team Ohio State has played this season. The Buckeyes are 2-1 against ranked opponents … Ohio State held the Spartans without a field goal for the final 5:57 of the game … The Buckeyes outrebounded the Spartans, 24-18, in the second half and held MSU to 0-of-8 from three-point land in the final 20 minutes … Prahalis also posted career highs with 10 field goals, 20 attempts and four three-point field goals … Jantel Lavender recorded her ninth double-double of the season and the 46th of her career with 20 points and 13 rebounds … Lavender and Prahalis combined to score 52 of Ohio State’s 65 points and scored Ohio State’s final 22 points over the last 17:06 of the game … Lavender also went a perfect 10-of-10 from the FT line.
Illinois owns an 11-4 overall record with a 3-2 mark in the Big Ten after a 64-62 win over Minnesota Sunday in Champaign. Senior Jenna Smith, who has over 1,800 career points, is off to a strong start, leading the Big Ten with 11.4 rebounds and is just behind Lavender in scoring with 20.1 points per game. She also is second in the conference in field goal (.522) and free throw percentage (.833). Fellow classmate Lacey Simpson is fourth in the league with 4.2 assists and leads with 3.5 steals per game. Freshman Karisma Penn is the third-leading freshman scorer in the Big Ten with 11.1 ppg. Jolette Law (Iowa, 1990) is in her third season as head coach in Champaign with an overall record of 40-40.
Last Time vs. Illinois – 12/28/09
Jantel Lavender scored 21 of her 31 points in the first half and a suffocating, high-pressure Buckeyes defense sank the Illini 76-47. Lavender was 14-for-22 from the field for Ohio State and also had eight rebounds before she headed to the bench for good with just under 10 minutes to play. Jenna Smith scored 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Lavender keyed two big first-half runs for the Buckeyes that quickly erased any doubt about the game’s outcome. Illinois had taken an early 9-4 lead. But the Buckeyes answered with a 22-0 run that gave them a 26-9 lead 14 minutes into the game. Ohio State followed the first run a few minutes later with an 11-0 spurt. The Buckeyes led 42-18 at the half and 64-34 with 9:30 to play in the game. Illinois turned the ball over 26 times on the night. Illinois hit 34 percent of its shots on the night, and just 26.9 percent in the first half. Both, according to Law, were due to the defensive pressure by Shavelle Little. The senior guard played 19 minutes off the bench, turning in a career-high eight steals.
Don’t Call it a Comeback
The fact Ohio State has outscored its opponents by an average of 22.4 points may lead one to forget that the Buckeyes have actually trailed at the half four times this season, only to come back and win three of them. Ohio State has trailed at the half at Duke (27-31), vs. Wisconsin (20-28), at Ole Miss (35-36) and at Michigan State (31-35). The only time that Ohio State failed to come back was Dec. 3 in Durham to the Blue Devils. The Buckeyes are 14-0 this season when leading at the half.
OSU Tough at Home Under Foster
Since the start of the 2004-05 season, Ohio State has amassed a remarkable 94-5 record at home and a 81-4 record at Value City Arena (12-1 at St. John Arena, 1-0 at Nationwide Arena). The Buckeyes have posted two perfect home records under head coach Jim Foster, going 14-0 in his first year in 2002-03 and 17-0 in 2004-05.
Buckeyes at home in the Foster era:
2002-03 – 14-0
2003-04 – 13-4
2004-05 – 17-0
2005-06 – 16-1
2006-07 – 16-1
2007-08 – 16-1
2008-09 – 16-2
2009-10 – 13-0
Total – 121-9
For the complete release, player bios and stats, click the PDF above