Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009 4 p.m. ET
Value City Arena Columbus, Ohio
#15/14 Ohio State (17-3, 8-1 Big Ten) vs. Indiana (15-4, 8-2 Big Ten)
Radio/Internet – WOSU 820-AM/ www.wosu.org (Marty Bannister, Toni Roesch)
Television/Internet – Big Ten Network (Mike Crispino, Theresa Grentz)
Series Record: OSU leads, 42-20
Last meeting: 2/25/08, IU, 69-61 OT in Bloomington
In Columbus: OSU leads, 22-5
Current streak: IU-1
Last meeting in Columbus: 1/10/08, OSU, 71-59
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Super Sunday features a key Big Ten conference showdown at 4 p.m. when No. 15/14 Ohio State (17-3, 8-1 Big Ten) welcomes Indiana (15-4, 8-2 Big Ten) in a game that will decide first place in the conference standings. The Buckeyes and Hoosiers are the top two scoring teams in the Big Ten at 68.9 and 68.7 ppg, respectively. The game is being televised live on the Big Ten Network. These two teams will meet again Sunday, Feb. 22 in Bloomington in a nationally televised game on ESPN2.
Closing in on 1,000
Sophomore center Jantel Lavender has 974 points in 51 career games and has a chance to tie Katie Smith as the fastest Ohio State women’s basketball player to reach the 1,000-point plateau. She needs 26 points Sunday against the Hoosiers. Smith scored her 1,000th point in her 52nd career game.
Ohio State players quickest to 1,000 points:
Katie Smith: 1993-94 seasons (52 games)
Jantel Lavender: 2008-09 seasons (974 points through 51 games)
Frani Washington: 1978-79 seasons (56 games)
Jessica Davenport: 2004-05 seasons (63 games)
Lavender Earns Fourth Big Ten POW Honor
Jantel Lavender took home her fourth Player of the Week award of the season Jan. 27 after guiding Ohio State to a pair of wins to move up to first in the Big Ten. The sophomore opened the week with a season-high 30-point performance Jan. 22 to lead the Buckeyes as they toppled Illinois, 68-51. Lavender tied her career-high with 15 field goals, shooting 62.5 percent from the floor, also grabbing 12 rebounds to record her 14th double-double of the year. On the road against Purdue Jan. 25, the Cleveland, Ohio, native scored 15 of her 21 points in a closely contested second half to give Ohio State the 71-60 victory. She shot 62.5 percent (10-of-16) from the field and had seven rebounds and two blocks in the win. On the week, Lavender averaged 25.5 points and 9.5 rebounds, improving her Big Ten-leading averages to 21.6 ppg and 11.1 rpg. The weekly honor is the eighth of her career, which ties her for fourth all-time in the conference and sets a new Big Ten record for awards won by a player in her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Lavender Also Going for Best First Two-Season Total
The Cleveland native could also set an Ohio State record for the best first two-season scoring total in program history. Katie Smith scored 1,194 points in her first two seasons, Frani Washington scored 1,104 while Jessica Davenport had 1,066. If Lavender continues at her 21.4 ppg pace, she will break Smith’s mark by season’s end.
Freshman of the Year?
Rookie point guard Samantha Prahalis is making a strong case for Big Ten freshman of the year honors. The Commack, N.Y., native leads the Big Ten with 5.95 assists per game and tops all Big Ten freshmen in scoring (9.9 ppg), free throw percentage (.814), steals (35) and ranks fifth in rebounding (3.3).
Unlike last season when Ohio State featured one of its younger teams in recent years, the Buckeyes are finding life on the road much more enjoyable this season. After going 6-6 overall and 4-5 in Big Ten road games in 2007-08, the Buckeyes are 6-1 away from home this season and 5-0 in conference play. Their only loss away from home was at Auburn in overtime Nov. 23 — a game where the Buckeyes led late in regulation before a 3-pointer by Auburn in the final seconds sent the game into overtime.
The Hoosiers, ranked 24th in the RPI, are enjoying an outstanding season under third-year head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. They are 15-4 and 8-2 in the Big Ten and are competing for their first Big Ten regular season title since 1983. Indiana is led by senior Whitney Thomas, who is the Big Ten’s active leader with 29 career double-doubles. She is averaging 12.6 ppg and 9.2 rpg good for second in the Big Ten behind Jantel Lavender and is first in the conference with 3.3 offensive rebounds per game. Leading the way offensively is Amber Jackson with 14.4 ppg to go along with 6.9 boards. As a team the Hoosiers are second in the Big Ten in scoring (68.7 ppg), rebounding (40.1), steals (9.1), offensive rebounds (14.3) and turnover margin (+3.79).
The Buckeyes own a commanding 42-20 lead in the all-time series. The two teams split the season series last year with each team winning on its home court. The Buckeyes won 71-59 in Columbus and lost 69-61 in overtime in Bloomington, Indiana’s first win over Ohio State since 2003. The Buckeyes lead the series 22-5 in games played in Columbus and have won the last five at VCA. Indiana has not won in Columbus since Jan. 31, 2002.
Last Time Against Indiana
Ohio State saw its three-game win streak come to a halt, falling to the Hoosiers in overtime, 69-61, at Assembly Hall. With Ohio State trailing, 54-52, with under a minute to go in regulation, Jantel Lavender sent the game into overtime with a hook shot off the glass with 29 seconds left as the Buckeyes clamped down on the defensive end of the floor as time expired. The overtime was a see-saw affair in the opening minutes as the lead changed hands six times in the first three minutes. Marscilla Packer, who scored all seven in the overtime and finished with 14 points, drained a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Buckeyes up 59-58. Then, after IU’s Amber Jackson put the Hoosiers back up with a layup inside, Packer hit a runner off the glass on OSU’s next possession to put the Buckeyes back in front, 61-60 with 2:20 left. The Buckeyes would not score again as Indiana scored the last nine points. After leading by one at the half, Ohio State opened the second half on a 17-6 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Packer, Shavelle Little and Ashlee Trebilcock to go up, 43-31, with 13:39 left. Ohio State built its lead thanks in large part to senior Tamarah Riley who finished with a career-high 16 rebounds 10 in the first half and 15 points. Ohio State still led by 10 with under 8 minutes remaining before Indiana, behind a game-high 19 points from Jamie Braun, began to chip away at Ohio State’s lead. Indiana went on a 12-0 run to take the lead 54-52, before Lavender sent the game into overtime. Lavender’s basket was the only Ohio State field goal in the last 7:41 of regulation. The Buckeyes outrebounded the Hoosiers, 43-38, but committed 20 turnovers and gave up 21 points off those miscues. Indiana also made a living at the free throw line, hitting 21-of-24 attempts while Ohio State made only 6-of-8.
Foster Going for 10th-Consecutive 20-Win Season
With three more wins, Ohio State will record its seventh-consecutive 20-win season. It would also mark the 23rd of coach Jim Foster’s career, his 10th-consecutive overall and his seventh in Columbus, the most of any coach at Ohio State. Last year he tied Nancy Darsch, who had six 20-win seasons in 12 years as head coach from 1985-97. Foster has done it each year at Ohio State since his first season in 2002-03, including a 30-win season in 2004-05.
Ohio State is currently ranked No. 13 in the latest RPI rankings released by the NCAA. Two of Ohio State’s three losses are to teams currently ranked in the Top 10 (No. 5 Auburn and No. 10 North Carolina).
Ohio State leads the Big Ten in scoring (68.9), scoring margin (+13.9) and FG percentage (.435) and ranks either second or third in fewest points allowed (55.0), FT percentage (.766), FG percentage defense (.353), rebounding (40.0), rebounding margin (+6.2), assists (15.4) and assist/turnover ratio (0.90).
Sophomore center Jantel Lavender leads the Big Ten in scoring (21.4 ppg) and rebounding (11.0 rpg) and is the only player in Division I to rank in the Top 10 in both categories. She also leads the Big Ten with 14 20-point games this season and is second in the league in FG percentage (.531) behind Indiana’s Amber Jackson (.567).
Lavender’s 27 career double-doubles in 51 career games trails only Indiana senior Whitney Thomas (29) for the career lead among active Big Ten players. Lavender has a Big Ten-best 14 this season.The Buckeyes are 22-5 when she records a double-double.
Lavender has scored in double-figures in all 51 career games. That streak currently ranks sixth in Division I among active players according to STATS, Inc.
Freshman point guard Samantha Prahalis leads the Big Ten and ranks 13th nationally with 5.95 assists per game. She had a season-high 13 assists in the 9-point loss to then-No. 2 North Carolina Dec. 3. She has 10 games with six or more assists and is the only freshman in Division I to rank in the Top 15 in either scoring, rebounding or assists.
Prahalis’ 9.9 ppg is best among all freshmen in the Big Ten and is 23rd overall among all conference players. She also is among the league leaders in steals (1.75) and assist/turnover ratio (+1.47).
Prahalis has 119 assists on the season and is 50 shy of breaking Kim Wilburn’s freshman record of 168 assists set back in 2002-03.
Sophomore Brittany Johnson finished with 13 points off the bench with three 3-pointers in the win at Michigan. She’s recorded 48 points and has connected on 11 3-pointers in her last five games.
Senior guard Ashlee Trebilcock leads the Big Ten in 3FG percentage (.500, 26-52) while classmate Star Allen is fourth in the Big Ten in FG percentage (.519). Allen also is fourth in offensive rebounds per game (3.05).
Junior Shavelle Little, the 2008 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, leads the conference with 3.38 steals in Big Ten games.
Ohio State is 68-of-78 (.871) from the free throw line in its last four games. They were 20-of-22 against Minnesota, 10-of-11 vs. Illinois and 21-of-24 in the win at Purdue Jan. 25 and 17-of-21 at Michigan Thursday.
Ohio State has won 71 of its last 81 (.875) Big Ten regular-season games and 37 of its last 39 (.948) at home. The Buckeyes won the last six games of the 2003-04 season, went 14-2 in 2004-05, 15-1 in 2006 and 2007 and went 13-5 during the expanded 18-game conference schedule last season.
Head coach Jim Foster is 86-21 (.803) in Big Ten regular-season games at Ohio State.
Ohio State had its 86-consecutive game win streak against unranked teams at home snapped with its 59-56 loss to Minnesota Jan. 15. The last unranked team to win in Columbus was Penn State, Feb. 3, 2002.
Ohio State owns the seventh-best winning percentage (.838) and has the ninth-most wins (109) in all of women’s basketball during the last four full years.
The 15th-ranked Buckeyes have been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for 90-consecutive weeks.
Ohio State owns the most Big Ten titles with 11. This season they are attempting to become the first team to win five in a row since the Ohio State teams from 1983-87.
Ohio State has had four Big Ten Player of the Year selections the last four seasons; Jessica Davenport in 2005-07 and Jantel Lavender in 2008.
Making a Living at the Stripe
Ohio State has spent a lot of time this season at the free throw line and have made more at the line than opponents have attempted. Ohio State is 298-of-389 (.766) while opponents are 192-of-267 (.719). Ten times this season Ohio State has made more FT’s than opponents have attempted.
Make More, Win More
The Buckeyes are 14-1 this season when they make more free throws than their opponents and were 18-0 last season when accomplishing that feat. They are 2-2 this season when they make fewer from the line. The only time Ohio State has made more and lost was Jan. 15 against Minnesota when Ohio State was 20-of-22 at the line to Minnesota’s 4-of-6. However, Ohio State was outrebounded in that game, 34-21.
OSU Tough at Home Under Foster
Since the start of the 2004-05 season, Ohio State has amassed a remarkable 76-5 record at home and a 66-4 record at Value City Arena (9-1 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:
Last Time Out – Buckeyes Hold Off Michigan 52-44
Jantel Lavender scored 17 points and Brittany Johnson added 13 as No. 15 Ohio State held off Michigan 52-44 Thursday night. Star Allen added 11 for the Buckeyes, who overcame 20 turnovers to hold onto their conference lead. Courtney Boylan and Melinda Queen scored 10 points each for Michigan, which lost its sixth straight. The Wolverines only shot 27 percent in the first half, but took a 23-22 lead at halftime by forcing 12 turnovers by the Buckeyes. Michigan also went 8-for-11 from the free-throw line, while Ohio State made the only shot they took. The teams traded the lead for the first 10 minutes of the second half, with Ohio State’s turnovers preventing them from pulling away. The Buckeyes defense tightened up midway through the final period, though. They held Michigan without a point for nearly five minutes and built a 46-39 lead. Boylan scored the next five points, but Johnson answered with a 3-pointer to make it 49-44 and the Buckeyes sealed the game from the free-throw line.
Other Notables in the Win Over Michigan
Ohio State has won the last 12 meetings with Michigan and leads the all-time series 45-6 and 21-4 in games played in Ann Arbor.
Ohio State head coaches Jim Foster (women’s basketball), Thad Matta (men’s basketball) and Jim Tressel (football) are a combined 26-2 against Michigan teams during their tenure at Ohio State. Foster is now 10-0, Matta 9-1 and Tressel 7-1. All three teams swept their respective season series from Michigan in 2008-09.
Ohio State held Michigan to 2-of-20 shooting from the 3-point line.
The Buckeyes are 14-0 this season when leading at the half and 1-0 when tied (Dayton). The Buckeyes biggest halftime deficit was 10 points at Nebraska before rallying for a 69-65 win Dec. 6. The Buckeyes also won at Michigan Jan. 29 after trailing at the half. Ohio State trailed by only four points at the half in losses to current Top 10 teams UNC and Auburn.
For the complete release, player bios and stats click the PDF above