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Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 7 p.m. ET
Value City Arena Columbus, Ohio

#14/12 Ohio State (18-3, 9-1 Big Ten) vs. Purdue (15-7, 8-3 Big Ten)

Promotions:
Daddy/Daughter Night – Sweetheart roses for the first 200 daughters
Scarlet Fever All fans are encouraged to wear scarlet to the game
American Red Cross Blood Drive (1 p.m. 7 p.m.) FREE Ohio State t-shirt for those who donate blood American Red Cross sponsor code: buckeyes
Quarter Dog Night hot dogs only $.25 (while supplies last)
Get to Know Her postgame autograph session with Maria Moeller

Radio/Internet – WOSU 820-AM/www.wosu.org (Marty Bannister, Kristin Watt)

Television/Internet – BigTenNetwork.com/Buckeye Vision

Series Information
Series Record: OSU leads, 34-25
Last meeting: 1/25/09, OSU, 71-60 in West Lafayette
In Columbus: OSU leads, 16-8
Current streak: OSU-2
Last meeting in Columbus: 2/18/08, OSU, 72-56

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thursday’s game features a rematch of the two Big Ten preseason favorites when Purdue (15-7, 8-3 Big Ten) comes to Value City Arena for a 7 p.m. tip with No. 14/12 Ohio State (18-3, 9-1 Big Ten). These two teams met Jan. 25 in West Lafayette with the Buckeyes prevailing, 71-60. Ohio State is attempting to sweep the season series from Purdue for the first time since 2005. The Boilermakers are currently in a three-way tie for second place with Indiana and Michigan State, two games behind the Buckeyes.

Closing in on 1,000
Sophomore center Jantel Lavender is nine points away from becoming the 27th player in Ohio State women’s basketball history to score 1,000 points. She enters Thursday’s game with 991 points and can become the second-fastest player to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Katie Smith was the fastest player to do it in her first 52 games.
Ohio State players quickest to 1,000 points:
Katie Smith  1993-94 seasons (52 games)
Jantel Lavender 2008-09 seasons (991 points through 52 games)
Frani Washington 1978-79 seasons (56 games)
Jessica Davenport 2004-05 seasons ( 63 games)

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 21.1 ppg pace, she will break Smith’s mark by season’s end.

Climbing the Charts
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 12 in this week’s coaches poll, their highest ranking since the 2006-07 season. The Buckeyes’ highest ranking in 2007-08 was 15 in both the AP and coaches poll in week 12.

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 (9.8 ppg), steals (36) and ranks fifth in rebounding (3.3).

Road Success
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.

Scouting Purdue
The Boilermakers are 8-3 in the Big Ten, 15-7 overall and have won three of their last four to remain in the conference hunt. They are coming off two straight wins at Wisconsin, 52-51, in the final seconds before winning at home against Northwestern Sunday. Their only losses in conference play have been to Michigan State at home in overtime, 68-62, on the road at Indiana, 71-57, and Jan. 25 against the Buckeyes. Purdue’s resume also includes a 66-55 win over then-No. 8 Texas on Jan. 5 in West Lafayette.

Senior Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, the 2007 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, is back this season after sitting out last year because of ACL surgery. She leads the team in both scoring and rebounding with 12.8 ppg and 8.9 rebounds. Lakisha Freeman is second in scoring with 11.4 ppg, followed by freshman Brittany Rayburn (9.4 ppg) and Danielle Campbell (8.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg).
 
Sharon Versyp is in her third season as head coach at Purdue with a 65-28 record in West Lafayette and 182-93 in nine seasons overall. Last season she led Purdue to the Big Ten tournament title and to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The Series
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Purdue, 34-25. The two teams split the season series last year with each team winning on its home court. Last year at Purdue, the Buckeyes lost in the final seconds, 68-67, before winning in Columbus 12 days later, 72-56. Ohio State has a 16-8 edge in games played in Columbus.

Last Time vs. Purdue
Ohio State’s defense dominated the first half, then the Buckeyes held on to beat Purdue 71-60 Jan. 25 and move into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten. Purdue made just one field goal in the first nine minutes. The Buckeyes led 35-16 at halftime as Purdue barely missed producing its lowest-scoring half in school history. Jantel Lavender, who led the Buckeyes with 21 points, said Shavelle Little’s defensive pressure against Purdue’s guards got the Buckeyes going. “I think that kind of got their guards out of synch,” Lavender said. Ohio State held Purdue to 5-for-18 shooting in the first half and forced 14 turnovers. Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton played just eight minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. She scored all 16 of her points in the second half. Samantha Prahalis had 13 points and six assists and Ashlee Trebilcock added 12 points for the Buckeyes. Danielle Campbell scored 14 points for the Boilers. Purdue trimmed Ohio State’s lead to 55-46 before Trebilcock hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to make it 58-46 with 4:13 to play.

Foster Going for 10th-Consecutive 20-Win Season
With two 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.

Fastbreak Points
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 (68.4), fewest points allowed (54.8), scoring margin (+13.6) and FG percentage (.435) and ranks either second or third in free throw percentage (.763), FG percentage defense (.351), rebounding (40.0), rebounding margin (+6.0), assists (15.3) and assist/turnover ratio (0.87).

Sophomore center Jantel Lavender leads the Big Ten in scoring (21.1 ppg) and rebounding (10.9 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 (.530) behind Indiana’s Amber Jackson (.550).

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 52 career games. That streak currently ranks fourth in Division I among active players according to STATS, Inc.
   Current consecutive games of 10+ points:
   1.  Robyn Fairbanks, Utah Valley St 71
   2.  Megan Frazee, Liberty 56
   3.  Morgan Warburton, Utah 54
   4.  Jantel Lavender, Ohio State 52
   5.  Sade Logan, Robert Morris 47
   6.  Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State 45
   7.  Jenna Smith, Illinois 30
   8.  Chazny Morris, UMKC 29

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 13 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’ 9.8 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 125 assists on the season and is 44 shy of breaking Kim Wilburn’s freshman record of 168 assists set back in 2002-03.

Senior guard Ashlee Trebilcock leads the Big Ten in 3FG percentage (.491, 27-55) while classmate Star Allen is third in the Big Ten in FG percentage (.525). Allen also leads the league in offensive rebounds with 3.2 per game.

Junior Shavelle Little, the 2008 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, leads the conference with 3.1 steals in Big Ten games.

Ohio State is 85-of-102 (.833) from the free throw line in its last five games.

Ohio State has won 72 of its last 82 (.878) Big Ten regular-season games and 38 of its last 40 (.950) 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 87-21 (.805) 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 14th-ranked Buckeyes have been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for 91-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.

OSU Tough at Home Under Foster
Since the start of the 2004-05 season, Ohio State has amassed a remarkable 77-5 record at home and a 67-4 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:
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: 12-2
Total:   104-9

Making a Living at the Stripe
Ohio State has spent a lot of time this season at the free throw line and has made more at the line than opponents have attempted. Ohio State is 315-of-413 (.763) while opponents are 198-of-280 (.707). Eleven times this season Ohio State has made more free throws than opponents have attempted.

The Buckeyes are 15-1 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 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.

Last Time Out
Star Allen scored 21 points and Jantel Lavender added 17, and each had two baskets in a 15-3 surge to end the half, to lead No. 15 Ohio State past Indiana 59-51 on Sunday. The Buckeyes had 24 turnovers, hit just 2 of 9 3-pointers and went through long sluggish periods on offense. But the game looked like a masterpiece to a Buckeyes team which remained in first place in the Big Ten and kept alive its chase for a fifth consecutive conference crown. Indiana led throughout the first half and was on top by nine points before the Buckeyes took the lead for good. Lavender had five points and Allen four in the 15-3 run. Lavender scored the final five points in the surge on a three-point play and a perimeter jumper. Allen had started the run with two baskets. Ohio State, up 32-29 at the half, then slowly added to its lead. Allen also had 13 rebounds and Lavender nine. Samantha Prahalis had eight points and six assists. The Hoosiers effectively denied the ball to Lavender for the first 15 minutes. Hanging on to a 38-35 lead, the Buckeyes picked up some breathing room when Allen scored two baskets inside. The first came off an assist from Prahalis that resulted in Allen’s 12-foot jumper. Ashlee Trebilcock then hit Allen, who was underneath the basket, with a pass, and Allen flipped the ball in from an awkward angle to make it 42-35. The Hoosiers never got closer than six points again. Indiana scored just three points over one 9-minute span of the second half. Indiana shot just 24 percent from the field in the second half and finished at 31 percent. The rematch is Feb. 22 in Bloomington, Ind.

Noting the Win over Indiana
With the win Ohio State remains in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten at 9-1 and improve to 18-3 overall … the Buckeyes held Indiana to its lowest scoring output of the season, 51 points … the Buckeyes’ interior defense held Indiana’s leading scorer, Amber Jackson (14.4 ppg), to just two points on 1-of-8 shooting … Its second-leading scorer, Whitney Thomas (12.6 ppg), was held scoreless in the second half … Ohio State is giving up just 50.0 ppg in its last six games … Ohio State is 15-0 this season when leading at the half … Ohio State trailed by nine points with 4:10 left in the first half, but went on a 15-3 run to end the half to take a 32-29 lead … Ohio State leads the all-time series with Indiana 43-20 and 23-5 in games played in Columbus … The Buckeyes have won the last six meetings at Value City Arena overall. Indiana has not won in Columbus since Jan. 31, 2002 … Ohio State has won 12 of its last 13 games overall … Ohio State has won 72 of its last 82 Big Ten regular-season games and 38 of its last 40 at home … Ohio State is 12-2 at home this season and 77-5 since the start of the 2004-05 season … OSU is 104-9 all-time at home in the Foster era … Foster is 87-21 in Big Ten regular-season games at Ohio State … Star Allen recorded her fourth double-double of the season with a season-high 21 points and 13 rebounds. It was the 10th of her career … Allen recorded a career-high with nine free throws … Lavender now 991 career points and can become the second-fastest player at Ohio State to score 1,000 points with nine points Thursday against Purdue. Katie Smith was the fastest to do it at 52 games … Ohio State is 16-1 this season when they equal or make more from the free throw line … Ohio State is 85-of-102 (.833) from the free throw line in its last five games. They were 17-of-24 Sunday … The Buckeyes are 14-1 this season when they outrebound the opposition. Its only loss was at now-No. 4 Auburn … Prahalis now has 125 assists on the season and is on pace to break Kim Wilburn’s Ohio State freshman record of 168 dishes set during the 2002-03 season.

For the complete release, player bios and stats click the PDF above