Lavender scores her 1,000th career point as Ohio State moves to 10-1 in Big Ten play
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State coach Jim Foster said he couldn’t get into specifics about what he said to his team at halftime.
“This is a family show,” he said with a sly grin.
Whatever he said, it worked.
Jantel Lavender had 19 points and 13 rebounds and No. 14 Ohio State pulled away from a halftime deficit Thursday night to beat Purdue 59-47.
Lavender, who leads the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding, stretched her career double-figure scoring streak to 53 games the same night she topped 1,000 in career points.
Despite being only a sophomore, she can gauge her coach — and his moods when the team is down.
“A lot of times when he’s upset, we already know what we did wrong,” Lavender said. “A lot of times I say what I know he’s going to say to me before we go into the locker room. We realized we were only down one point. When we turned it around and got things flowing and started doing things right, (we knew) it would go in our favor.”
Foster didn’t rank it among his all-time blowups.
“Don’t misunderstand my halftime (speech),” he said. “It was like a 5 on a 1 to 10.”
Star Allen chipped in with 14 points and Samantha Prahalis had 11 for Ohio State (19-3, 10-1), which won its fifth in a row to preserve a two-game lead in the conference. Prahalis and Maria Moeller had big 3-pointers in the second half as the Buckeyes pulled away.
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton led Purdue (15-8, 8-4) with 20 points.
“Ohio State’s a good team,” said guard FahKara Malone, who was seeing her first action since missing the past month with a dislocated ring finger on her right hand. “We played a good first half but the first 4 minutes we just threw the game away, basically.”
Down a point at the half, the Buckeyes took the lead for good with a 12-2 run.
After Purdue had just seven turnovers in the first half, Ohio State forced six on the Boilermakers’ first eight possessions. They would finish with 22.
And it wasn’t just the turnovers, it was what followed them.
“We forced them into 24 turnovers and we had 22,” Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. “But our turnovers were so bad that they went down and scored. There’s a big difference. If you throw it out of bounds, I don’t have problems with that because then we can set our defense. But our turnovers were bad, and that’s where they got 25 points.”
Lavender and Allen each scored four points and Prahalis scored four and assisted on a basket apiece for the other two during the surge to start the second half.
But that 35-26 lead wilted as Wisdom-Hylton continued to score off putbacks or spin moves. Her follow with just over 10 minutes left cut the lead to 39-38 before the Buckeyes responded on Lavender’s jumper from the foul line and a left-handed reverse layup by Allen.
The Buckeyes had misfired on 3-pointers all night — missing all but one of their first 14 shots. But two big 3s down the stretch helped them hold off the Boilermakers.
With Ohio State hanging on to a 45-42 lead, the Purdue defense collapsed on Lavender, but she flipped a pass to Prahalis in the corner. Prahalis, who was 0 for 8 behind the arc to that point, hit the 3 to push the lead to 48-42.
Prahalis, a freshman who leads the Big Ten in assists, was asked if the solution to poor perimeter shooting is just to keep on shooting.
“Yeah. I think. Yeah,” she said hesitantly.
She said when the shot finally went in, she felt a load lifted from her shoulders.
“(I was) relieved,” she said. “My shot has been off for a while but I’ve just got to keep shooting and to keep practicing it. Hopefully, one game I’ll be back.”
Ashlee Trebilcock later drove the baseline and fired a pass to Maria Moeller, who hit a shot from almost the same spot as Prahalis had moments before, upping the difference to 51-42.
Purdue never got closer than six points again.
Foster said there is a different set of rules for Lavender, a 6-foot-4 former Ms. Basketball from Cleveland.
“The bar’s been raised with Jantel,” he said. “If you want to be a great player, there’s different challenges that come at you. … You just challenge good players and they respond. They want to be coached. And they want to get better. That’s one of the things Jantel brings to the gym on a daily basis.”
With the win Ohio State remains in sole possession of firstplace in the Big Ten at 10-1 and improve to 19-3 overall.
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Purdue 35-25 and 17-8 ingames played in Columbus.
The Buckeyes have won the last three meetings with the Boilermakersoverall.
With her fourth field goal at the 1:50 mark of the first half,sophomore Jantel Lavender scored the 1,000th point of her career,becoming the second-fastest player in the history of Ohio Statewomen’s basketball (53 games) to reach the milestone.Katie Smith was the fastest to do it at 52 games. Lavender is the27th Ohio State player to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Lavender also recorded a game-high 13 rebounds for her 15thdouble-double of the season and the 28th of her career. Ohio Stateis 23-5 in those games.
Lavender has scored in double figures in all 53 career games, thefourth-longest active streak in Division I.
Samantha Prahalis dished out four more assists and now has 129 onthe season. She is on pace to break Kim Wilburn’s OhioState freshman record of 168 dishes set during the 2002-03season.
Shavelle Little recorded a game-high five steals. She has a totalof 20 steals in her last four games (5.0 per game) against theBoilermakers.
Star Allen finished with 14 points and went over 700 points for hercareer. She is averaging just under 12 points in her last ninegames.
Ohio State is giving up just 49.5 ppg in its last sevengames.
Ohio State’s defense held Purdue’s DanielleCampbell (8.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Jodi Howell (7.7 ppg) to a combinedfour points and three rebounds.
The Buckeyes are 3-3 this season when trailing at the half. Purdueled 24-23 at the break until Ohio State outscored the Boilers 36-23in the second half.
Ohio State has won five in a row 13 of its last 14 gamesoverall.
Ohio State has won 73 of its last 83 Big Ten regular-season gamesand 39 of its last 41 at home.
Ohio State is 13-2 at home this season and 78-5 since the start ofthe 2004-05 season. They are 105-9 all-time at home in the Fosterera.
Head coach Jim Foster is 88-21 in Big Ten regular-season games atOhio State.
Ohio State is 17-1 this season when they equal or make more fromthe free throw line.
The Buckeyes are 15-1 this season when they outrebound theopposition. Its only loss was at now-No. 4 Auburn.
Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On the game
“We played good defense in the first half. The second half we transitioned better on the other end of the floor. We shot 52 percent in the second half which made them play defense. We got 25 points on turnovers and they got seven.”
On Ohio State
“The team played solid defense. We took responsibility for our individual match-ups. In the second half, we started playing better. We moved the ball better. Star (Allen) played well in the second half and was very active. Sammy (Prahalis) started to penetrate and find people.”
On Jantel Lavender
“She had a good first half. The bar has been raised for Jantel. I think she played terrific defensively in the second half. When you challenge good players, they respond. She played hard and she wants to get better and that’s her attitude when she comes in the gym everyday.”
Jantel Lavender, sophomore center
On scoring 1,000 points
“I think it’s a great accomplishment, but I just try to go out and play everyday and do what I can to help my team. During the game, I really wasn’t thinking I need those 1,000 points.’ I tried to stay focused on the game.”
On Coach Foster’s halftime talks
“A lot of times I already know what he is going to say, so I tell him what I did wrong and what I need to do better in the second half before he has to.”
On the similarities between tonight’s second half and the first half at Purdue
“Our energy was similar to what it was like at Purdue in the first half. We played harder and were more aggressive.”
Star Allen, senior forward
On Jantel Lavender’s 1,000 points
“I think it’s great. She worked hard to get those 1,000 points. She is a great player.”
Samantha Prahalis, freshman point guard
On having a three point shot fall
“I was relieved. My shot has been off for awhile. I just have got to keep shooting and practicing; hopefully one game I’ll finally get it back.”
On keeping the lead in the second half
“We were able to keep the lead because we did a good job reversing the ball and staying aggressive. We were really hesitant in the first, but played more consistent in the second half.”
Sharon Versyp, Purdue Head Coach
On the second half
“We have to have energy, not flatness. We were flat coming out. There is no reason for that. That is why you have to make adjustments.”
On the three-point baskets by Samantha Prahalis and Ashlee Trebilcock
“They knocked them down when they needed them. We had opportunities after that, but we were unable to capitalize. When they had the chances, they made them.”
On Natasha Bogdanova
“Natasha did a great job. She had seven points and really took care of the basketball. We need to have three post players and be able to rotate them.”