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COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 20 Ohio State (6-1) found itself in a dog fight with in-state foe Dayton midway through the second half and overcame a 10-point deficit to win the 2008 Klosterman Buckeye Classic with a 76-61 win over the Flyers (4-3).

The Buckeyes trailed 49-39 with 12:44 left in the game before going on a 17-3 run over a 6-minute span to take a 56-52 lead which was capped off by a Sarah Schulze 3-pointer. Ohio State did not trail the rest of the game.

“I’d rather not get down a double-figure deficit,” head coach Jim Foster said. “We have to get into a defensive mentality. Sarah Schulze and Shavelle Little helped in that. I think we had a good team effort defensively in the second half.”

Sophomore Jantel Lavender recorded her seventh-straight double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds (nine of which came after halftime) and claimed Buckeye Classic MVP honors in the process. Samantha Prahalis also was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 15.0 points and 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals in the two victories.

The Flyers threw everything they had at Lavender with one double-team combination after another. Laveneder, however, never got rattled.

“It was a different type of double team, but I think I adjusted well,” Lavender said. “They focused on boxing me in. They were physical and went to the glass hard.”

Sophomore Sarah Schulze was the spark off the bench for the second-straight game, scoring a career-high 11 points on the heels of three 3-point field goals. Shavelle Little did her usual thing on the defensive end, recording five steals while scoring six points and grabbing six more rebounds.

“The game was fun because I got a couple steals and because I didn’t think they were steals I could get,” Little said after the game. “It was great to see everyone get emotional as well. Sarah and the crowd were really into it.

“I was trying to be composed. I wanted to play solid defense which would make a big difference. I wanted to stop No. 20 which I think helped slow them down offensively.”

Dayton’s Kristin Daugherty and Justine Raterman led the Flyers with 18 and 16 points, respectively.

The Buckeyes are back in action at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Value City Arena when they welcome the second-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels for the 2008 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Ohio State Postgame Notes

 Ohio State has won seven of the last eight Buckeye Classics.
 Ohio State trailed 49-39 with 12:44 left in the game before going on a 17-3 run over a 6-minute span to take a 56-52 lead which was capped off by a Sarah Schulze 3-pointer. Ohio State did not trail the rest of the game.
 Jantel Lavender was named MVP of the tournament after scoring 40 points, grabbing 24 rebounds, dishing out six assists and blocking four shots in the two victories. She also was 16-of-18 from the FT line.
 Lavender finished with a game-high 27 points and 11 rebounds to go with three blocks and two assists.
 Lavender grabbed nine of her boards in the second half.
 Lavender recorded her seventh double-double in as many games this season and the 20th of her career.
 Lavender has scored in double figures in all 38 career games.
 Freshman point guard Samantha Prahalis also was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 15.0 points and 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals in the two victories.
 Ohio State has won 82-consecutive games at home against unranked teams. The last unranked opponent to win in Columbus was Penn State, Feb. 3, 2002.
 Ohio State has won its six games by an average of 19.7 points.
 Ohio State is 6-0 at home this year and 71-3 since the start of the 2004-05 season. The Buckeyes are 98-7 all-time at home in the Foster era.
 Saturday was the 19th meeting in the all-time series with Dayton. The Buckeyes have won the last six meetings and lead the series 15-4.
 The Buckeyes shot 20-of-23 (.870) from the FT line against Dayton and 21-of-25 Saturday against Boston. Ohio State is 6-0 this year when the outshoot their opponents from the line.
 Ohio State shot a combined 41-of-48 from the FT line in the tournament for and 85 percent clip.
 The Buckeyes have made 43 more FT’s this season than their opponents have attempted. Ohio State is 124-162 (.765) on the season while its opponents are 60-of-81 (.741).
 Sophomore forward Sarah Schulze had another solid effort off the bench topping her career high of 10 set yesterday with 11 points and a personal-best three 3FG’s.
 Junior guard Shavelle Little came off the bench to snag five steals, six rebounds to go along with six points in 21 minutes.

Buckeye Classic All-Tournament Team:
Britni Houghton, Central Michigan
Christine Kinneary, Boston University
Justine Raterman, Dayton
Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State
Jantel Lavender, Ohio State

MVP: Jantel Lavender, Ohio State

Game One: Dayton 78, Central Michigan 76
Game Two: Ohio State 72, Boston 47
Consolation Game: Central Michigan 84, Boston 72
Championship Game: Ohio State 76, Dayton 61

Postgame Quotes

Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On the game
“I needed to find competitive people to put in the game. Sammy Prahalis and Sarah Schulze stepped up with some big shots. They made some big 3-point shots. Sarah was into it when she was making her shots. Our team also grabbed some clutch rebounds.”

On coming back
“I’d rather not get down a double-figure deficit. We have to get into a defensive mentality. Sarah Schulze and Shavelle Little helped in that. I think we had a good team effort defensively in the second half.”

On University of Dayton
“They are an in-state team. They’re going to come after you. I think they have a nice young team. We executed well against them.”

Jantel Lavender, sophomore center
On being double-teamed
“It was a different type of double team, but I think I adjusted well. They focused on boxing me in. They were physical and went to the glass hard.”

On what the team learned
“We learned to come out with intensity in the first half that we play with in the second half. We knew they were aggressive and we needed to match their intensity.”

Shavelle Little, junior guard
On the game
“The game was fun because I got a couple steals and because I didn’t think they were steals I could get. It was great to see everyone get emotional as well. Sarah and the crowd were really into it.”

On playing defense
“I was trying to be composed. I wanted to play solid defense which would make a big difference. I wanted to stop No. 20 which I think helped slow them down offensively.”

Samantha Prahalis, freshman guard
On Sarah Schulze
“I think she played a great game and she really energized our team with her emotion. She gave the team a lot of energy. We should all play with as much energy as she showed today.”

Jim Jabir, Dayton Head Coach
On the game
“I thought we showed tremendous heart out there. We controlled the boards and had success doubling down on (Jantel) Lavender. Ohio State really turned it on in the second half and our inexperience showed. The crowd got into the game and rattled us a little bit. I am very proud of this team, though. We showed we can play against good teams and can improve off of this.”

Justine Raterman, Dayton forward
On the game
“We came out with a lit of heart and did not back down. Our defense was able to force some turnovers by being aggressive. Ohio State came down in the stretch, though. They are a great game.”

On Jantel Lavender
“She is a great player. I played against her in high school once and anytime you can play against someone of her caliber it is fun. It presents a challenge and you are able to learn some things and improve your own game. You always want to go up against the best.”