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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sophomore Jantel Lavender is one of 30 finalists named to the 2009 Naismith Trophy Mid-Season watch list, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced Wednesday. It marks the second-straight season Lavender has been named a finalist for one of the most coveted awards in college basketball.

Lavender leads the Big Ten in scoring (20.6), rebounding (10.5) and is second in field goal percentage (.535) despite constant double and sometimes triple teams. She is the only player in Division I to rank in the Top 13 in both scoring and rebounding and has led the Buckeyes in scoring in 22 of 27 games. She has scored in double-figures in all 58 career games, the fourth-longest current streak in Division I, and has been named Big Ten player of the week four times this season.

Earlier this month, she became the second-fastest player in the history of Ohio State women’s basketball to score 1,000 points. Entering Thursday’s game with Wisconsin, she has 1,104 career points and needs 91 more to break Katie Smith’s record of 1,194 points in her first two seasons as a Buckeye.

Lavender has a Big Ten-best 18 double-doubles this season and 31 in her career tying for the most among active Big Ten players in only her sophomore season

The Cleveland native also was named one of 20 finalists for the 2009 Women’s Wooden Award.

The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national basketball award given annually to the men’s college basketball player of the year. This 2009 winner will be announced at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in St. Louis.

For the sixth consecutive season, presenting sponsor AT&T will once again set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining this year’s winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25 percent of the final results more than any other national college basketball award. This year, beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers and sports fans on other wireless networks will be able to text their
votes for the player of their choice.