Monday, Dec. 15, 2008 7 p.m. ET
Nationwide Arena – Columbus, Ohio
No. 18/17 Ohio State (7-2, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Cleveland State (4-4, 0-0 Horizon)
Radio/Internet – WOSU 820-AM/www.wosu.org (Marty Bannister, Toni Roesch)
Television – None
Series Record: Ohio State leads, 4-0
Last Meeting: 11/18/00, OSU 87-76 at CSU
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 18/17 Buckeyes (7-2) will play on back-to-back nights Monday and Tuesday and play their first-ever game at Nationwide Arena Monday night against the Cleveland State Vikings (4-4). Ohio State will then turnaround to face Delaware State (1-5 as of Dec. 12) at Value City Arena Tuesday evening. Both games are set for 7 p.m.
Nationwide Arena is located downtown Columbus at the corner of Front Street and Nationwide Blvd.
Ohio State is currently ranked No. 6 in the latest installment of RealtimeRPI.com and have the second-toughest schedule in the country.
Sophomore center Jantel Lavender leads the Big Ten in scoring (22.1 ppg), rebounding (12.0 rpg) and offensive rebounds (4.1) as of Dec. 12. She ranks eighth nationally in scoring and fifth in rebounding. She also leads the Big Ten with eight 20-point games this season.
Lavender has scored in double-figures in all 40 career games and has recorded a double-double every game this season. She has 22 for her career and the Buckeyes are 17-5 in those games.
Lavender’s 22 career double-doubles in just 40 career games trails only Indiana senior Whitney Thomas (25) and Illinois junior Jenna Smith (23) for the career lead among active Big Ten players.
Freshman point guard Samantha Prahalis leads the Big Ten and ranks 12th nationally with 6.2 assists per game. She had a season-high 13 assists in the 9-point loss to No. 2 North Carolina.
Prahalis’ 12.1 ppg leads all freshman in the Big Ten and is 12th overall among all conference players.
Prahalis has scored in double-figures in all but three games. In those three games, however, she has a total of 28 assists (7 vs. Army; 13 vs. UNC, 8 at Nebraska).
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 Buckeyes have been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for 84-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 won 82-consecutive games at home against unranked opponents. The last unranked team to win in Columbus was Penn State, Feb. 3, 2002.
Ohio State is 71-4 at home since the start of the 2004-05 season. The Buckeyes are 98-8 all-time at home under head coach Jim Foster.
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.
Last Time Out
Jantel Lavender scored 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half and converted a key 3-point play late in the game as No. 18 Ohio State came back from 12 points down for a 69-65 win at Nebraska last Saturday in a wild game that featured 12 lead changes and eight ties. With the score tied at 63 with 39 seconds left, Lavender converted an old-fashioned 3-point play when she sank a jump hook in the lane while getting fouled. She then drained the free throw to put Ohio State up 66-63 with 21 seconds left. But Nebraska wasn’t done. On the Huskers’ next possession, Cory Montgomery was fouled hard by Star Allen on a wide-open layup underneath and hit both free throws cutting the lead to one. Brittany Johnson then hit the second of two free throws to put the Buckeyes back up by two. Nebraska had one last chance, but Tay Hester was called for a charge with 2 seconds left as Nebraska attempted to send the game into overtime. Lavender recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds while Ashlee Trebilcock and Johnson contributed with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Freshman Samantha Prahalis had eight assists and five steals before fouling out with a minute left. Allen finished with eight. Ohio State trailed 40-28 with 18:38 left in the game and used a 13-0 run to take a 41-40 lead at the 13:03 mark. Johnson’s first bucket of the game came on a 3-pointer from the right corner at 16:46 before Allen found Prahalis on a backdoor cut for a layup, making the score 40-35. Two Allen free throws cut the lead to three and two buckets in transition by Johnson and Prahalis finally gave the Buckeyes their first lead. Nebraska would eventually go back out in front by six points with 5:46 left when Nicole Neals found a hole in Ohio State’s zone and drained her second 3-pointer of the game from the left corner. But the Buckeyes kept their cool in front of a rauckus crowd and used a 12-4 run to retake the lead once again, setting up the nail-biting finish.
Scouting the Vikings
Cleveland State, a member of the Horizon League with an enrollment of 16,245, is 4-4 on the season entering its game with Ohio State Monday night. Ohio State leads the all-time series, 4-0. The two teams last met Nov. 18, 2000, an 87-76 Buckeye win at Value City Arena. Junior guard Kailey Klein leads the Vikings in scoring and rebounding with 17.5 and 6.8 per game. She had 27 points and hit 10-of-13 from the line in the most recent overtime loss against Kent State. Senior forward Dominique Butler is right behind at 12.9 ppg and 6.6 boards. Kate Peterson Abiad is in her sixth season at Cleveland State with an overall record of 51-110.
Making a Living at the Stripe
Ohio State has spent a lot of time this season at the free throw line. Through nine games the Buckeyes have made more at the line than opponents have attempted. Ohio State is 144-of-192 (.750) while opponents are only 94-of-132 (.712). Five times this season Ohio State has made more FT’s than opponents have attempted.
Make More, Win More
The Buckeyes are 6-0 this season when they make more FT’s than their opponents and were 18-0 last season when accomplishing that feat. The are 1-2 this season when they make fewer from the line.
Good as Advertised
Freshman point guard Samantha Prahalis has been everything the Buckeyes have hoped for and more. Since the first game of the season, she has performed like a veteran, running Ohio State’s offense, finding the open teammate and coming up with one big shot and nifty pass after another. She leads all Big Ten freshman and is among the conference leaders with 12.1 ppg and also leads all conference players with 6.2 assists per game — good for 12th best in the nation. She has had four or more assists in all but one game, including a season-high 13 in the nine-point loss to No. 2 North Carolina Dec. 3. The Commack, N.Y., has failed to score in double-figures only three times this season, but has a total of 28 assists in those contests. She has hit 46 percent of her shots this season, including a team-best 15 from 3-point range.
Buckeyes Continue Challenging Non-Conference Slate
Ohio State does not face a team in the non-conference portion of the season that recorded fewer than 18 wins last season. Below is a breakdown of the Buckeyes’ non-conference foes and their 2007-08 record:
School Record Conference Record
Butler 20-10, 10-8, Horizon League
Army 18-12, 9-5, Patriot League
Syracuse* – 22-9, 10-6, Big East
Auburn* – 20-12, 7-7, SEC
Hartford* – 28-6, 14-2, America East
Boston U – 20-12, 11-5, America East
Dayton – 25-9, 9-4, Atlantic 10
North Carolina* – 33-3, 14-0, ACC
Nebraska* – 21-12 9-7, Big 12
Cleveland State* 19-14, 10-8 Horizon
* 2008 NCAA tournament team
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