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2008 Big Ten co-Champions Buckeyes and Hawkeyes will meet for the only time this regular season. Watch the game live on BigTenNetwork.com for free via streaming video at 8 p.m. ET.

Setting The Stage
No. 18/13 Ohio State (19-4, 10-2 Big Ten) looks to rebound from its first conference road loss when they travel to Iowa City, Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes (14-9, 7-5 Big Ten) at 7/8 p.m. ET at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

This is the only meeting of the season between these two teams that split the 2008 Big Ten regular-season title. The Hawkeyes have won six of their last eight games and are coming off a 64-58 loss at Minnesota Sunday. Ohio State had its five-game winning streak snapped Sunday at Michigan State.

Buckeyes Gunning for Seventh-Consecutive 20-Win Season
One more victory will give the Buckeyes their seventh-consecutive 20-win season. It also will mark the 23rd of Coach Jim Foster’s career, his 10th-consecutive overall and 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.

Taking the Show on the Road
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, despite its recent setback at Michigan State Feb. 8. After going 6-6 overall and 4-5 in Big Ten road games in 2007-08, the Buckeyes are 6-2 away from home this season and 5-1 in conference play. Their only non-conference loss away from home was at now-No. 5 Auburn in overtime Nov. 23 — a game the Buckeyes led by three in the final minute of regulation before a 3-pointer by Auburn in the final seconds sent the game into overtime.

Lavender Tops 1,000 Points in Her Sophomore Season
With her fourth field goal against Purdue Feb. 5, sophomore Jantel Lavender scored the 1,000th point of her career, becoming the second-fastest player in the history of Ohio State women’s basketball (53 games) to reach the milestone. Katie Smith (1993-96) was the fastest to do it at 52 games. Lavender is the 27th Ohio State player overall to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

Ohio State players quickest to 1,000 points:

Katie Smith 1993-94 seasons (52 games)
Jantel Lavender 2008-09 seasons (53 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 has 1,029 career points and 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 21.0 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 5.7 assists per game and tops all Big Ten freshmen in scoring (9.6 ppg), steals (42) and ranks third in FT percentage (.757 — minimum 2 makes per game) and fifth in rebounding (3.2).

Scouting Iowa
The Hawkeyes are 14-9 and sit in sixth place in the Big Ten with a 7-5 league record. They struggled out of the gates at the start of Big Ten play, going 1-3. However, they have since won six of their last eight and are three games back in the standings. Iowa is coming off a 64-58 loss on the road at Minnesota Sunday where senior Megan Skouby led the Hawks with a team-high 21 points and 11 rebounds. The Hawkeyes feature three senior starters, all of whom rank in the Top 15 in scoring in Skouby (13.2 ppg), Kristi Smith (12.7 ppg) and Wendy Ausdemore (11.4 ppg). As a team they lead the Big Ten in free throw (.789) and field goal (.431) percentages, are second with 6.1 three-pointers per game and third with 66.8 points per game.

The Series
The Buckeyes own a slight edge in the all-time series, 25-24, but have won the last 10 meetings overall. Iowa’s last win over the Buckeyes came back on Feb. 18, 2001 in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have a 15-8 edge in games played on their home court.

Last Time Against Iowa
Ashlee Trebilcock and Jantel Lavender each scored 18 points to lead No. 20 Ohio State past Iowa 69-56 Feb. 21, 2008. Iowa cut a double-digit deficit to 44-35 on a Kristi Smith 3-pointer with 15:54 left before the Buckeyes ran off 12 of the next 14 points to pull away. Iowa never got closer than nine points again. The keys against Iowa were Lavender’s play inside and the perimeter shooting of Trebilcock and Packer. The Buckeyes shot 48 percent from the field to just 36 percent for the Hawkeyes. Ohio State’s 39-25 lead at the break was built on the Buckeyes’ speed and the Hawkeyes’ inability to control the ball. Ohio State turned the Hawkeyes’ turnovers into 16 points — usually on quick turnaround baskets in transition. The Buckeyes went on a 10-0 run to take the lead for good, holding the Hawkeyes scoreless for more than 3 1/2 minutes. They led by 16 points before Iowa ran off seven points in a row to cut it to a manageable 34-25 with time running out. But then reserve center Andrea Walker had a three-point play with 15.3 seconds left — banking in a left-handed scoop shot as she fell to the floor — before Maria Moeller turned yet another turnover into a fast-break layup.

OSU Tough at Home Under Foster
Since the start of the 2004-05 season, Ohio State has amassed a remarkable 78-5 record at home and a 68-4 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 13-2
Total 105-9

Fastbreak Points
Ohio State is currently ranked No. 16 in the latest RPI rankings according to RealtimeRPI.com and has the 19th toughest schedule in the country. Two of Ohio State’s four losses are to teams currently ranked in the AP Top 10 (No. 5 Auburn and No. 8 North Carolina) — both by single-digit margins, including one in overtime.

Ohio State leads the Big Ten in fewest points allowed (54.3), scoring margin (+12.7) and rank either second or third in scoring (67.0), free throw percentage (.758), field goal percentage (.430), rebounding (39.8) and rebounding margin (+5.9).

Sophomore center Jantel Lavender leads the Big Ten in scoring (21.0 ppg) and rebounding (10.8 rpg) and is the only player in Division I to rank in the Top 11 in both categories. She also leads the Big Ten with 14 games of 20 or more points this season and is third in the league in FG percentage (.530).

Lavender’s 28 career double-doubles in 54 career games trails only Indiana senior Whitney Thomas (29) for the career lead among active Big Ten players. Lavender has a Big Ten-best 15 this season. The Buckeyes are 23-5 when she gets a double-double.

Lavender has scored in double-figures in all 54 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 – 72
2. Megan Frazee, Liberty – 56
3. Morgan Warburton, Utah – 55
4. Jantel Lavender, Ohio State – 54

Freshman point guard Samantha Prahalis leads the Big Ten and ranks 18th nationally with 5.7 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.

Prahalis’ 9.6 ppg is best among all freshmen in the Big Ten and is 25th overall among all conference players. She also is among the league leaders in steals (1.8) and assist/turnover ratio (+1.33).

Prahalis has 130 assists on the season and is 39 shy of breaking Kim Wilburn’s freshman record of 168 set back in 2002-03.

Senior guard Ashlee Trebilcock is second in the Big Ten in 3FG percentage (.438) while classmate Star Allen ranks second in field goal percentage (.530). Allen also is second in the league in offensive rebounds with 3.1 per game. Junior Shavelle Little, the 2008 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, also is second in the conference with 3.1 steals in Big Ten games.

Ohio State has won 73 of its last 84 (.869) Big Ten regular-season games and 39 of its last 41 (.951) 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 88-22 (.800) 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 18th-ranked Buckeyes have been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for 92-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.

Last Time Out
MSU’s Alyssa DeHaan scored 16 points and Lykendra Johnson had 14 points and 11 rebounds to help Michigan State beat No. 14 Ohio State 52-46, moving with a half-game of the Big Ten lead. The 6-foot-9 DeHaan was 6-for-8 from the field and had the only two 3-point baskets for the Spartans. Johnson was 6-for-9 from the floor. Jantel Lavender had 19 points and eight rebounds for the Buckeyes, who shot just 31 percent from the field in the second half and never led in the game. The Buckeyes tied the game three times in the second half, but did not capitalize off 20 Michigan State turnovers. They were 1-of-14 from three. It was a totally different game from the teams’ first matchup on Jan. 4, when the Buckeyes grabbed a 35-10 lead and won 67-49 in Columbus. Michigan State took a 32-27 lead when DeHaan hit her team’s first 3-point basket with 17:25 left. But Ohio State began to turn up the defensive pressure on a team that had 12 turnovers in the first half. After going more than 4 minutes without a point, Michigan State built a 49-44 lead with 3:20 left. Despite giving the Buckeyes plenty of chances with their turnovers, the Spartans played just enough defense to pull off the upset. The Spartans were without starting point guard Brittney Thomas, who was sidelined for the season with a torn ACL. Backed by a crowd of more than 10,400, Michigan State came out strong and led 29-25 in the first half. The Spartans pounded the ball inside to DeHaan and Johnson, who combined for 18 points against shorter defenders. Johnson had 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds before the break. DeHaan had eight points in the first 20 minutes and didn’t miss a shot. Ashlee Trebilcock had eight points while Brittany Johnson chipped in with six off the bench.

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 332-of-438 (.758) while opponents are 215-of-307 (.700). Eleven times this season Ohio State has made more free throws than opponents have attempted.

The Buckeyes are 16-1 this season when they make more free throws than their opponents and were 18-0 last season when accomplishing that feat. They are 2-3 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.

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 Named Big Ten POW for a Third Time
Jantel Lavender earned Big Ten player of the week honors for a third time this season in recognition of her performance in the wins over Delaware State (Dec. 16) and Michigan (Dec. 21). Lavender averaged 28.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and shot 78.1 percent from the field as the 17th-ranked Buckeyes improved to 10-2 and 1-0 in the Big Ten. In the 68-35 win over Delaware State Dec. 16, Lavender scored a season-high 29 points on 12-of-13 shooting (.923) tying her for the second-highest field goal percentage in school history (minimum 10 attempts). She also had four blocks and 11 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season and hit all five attempts from the free throw line. Then in the conference opener against Michigan Sunday, Lavender netted 28 points on 13-of-19 from the floor and had eight rebounds as Ohio State defeated Michigan for the 11th-straight time, 70-50.

Fast Starts
The Buckeyes are 15-0 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.

Buckeyes Conclude Challenging Non-Conference Slate
Ohio State did not face a team in the non-conference portion of the season that recorded fewer than 18 wins last season, giving the Buckeyes one of the toughest schedule in the country this 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

Nearly Perfect
In the win over Delaware State Dec. 16, Jantel Lavender was 12-of-13 from the field for a 92.3 percent clip. It tied for the second-highest FG percentage by a Buckeye since Tracey Hall shot an identical 92.3 percent (12-of-13) Nov. 29, 1984 in a win over Cincinnati. Jessica Davenport holds the Ohio State record for FG percentage (minimum 10 attempts) in a game when she shot 10-for-10 in a 73-67 win over West Virginia in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.

Lavender Named Big Ten Player of the Week Nov. 18
Lavender earned the first Big Ten player of the week honor of the season Nov. 18 after leading the Buckeyes to wins over Butler and Army. The sophomore recorded the 14th and 15th double-doubles of her career while dropping 20 or more points in each game. In OSU’s season-opener against the Bulldogs Nov. 14, Lavender recorded 20 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, also adding four blocked shots and three steals as the Buckeyes earned the 75-56 win. Versus the Black Knights Nov. 16, the Cleveland, Ohio, native shot 11-for-13 (.846) from the floor, scoring 24 of her game-high 28 points in the first half. She also grabbed 10 boards and had four blocks. On the weekend, the 6-4 center shot .621 from the floor and .667 from the free throw line to combine for 48 total points.

Lavender Named Big Ten Player of the Week … Again!
Jantel Lavender was the Big Ten player of the week once again Nov. 25, sharing the honor with Purdue’s FahKara Malone. It was Lavender’s sixth career POW award in her young career, which is tied for sixth all-time in the Big Ten. She is also tied for second at Ohio State with Nikita Lowry (6). Jessica Davenport holds the Ohio State record with 14.

Lavender recorded a pair of double-doubles and two 20-point games as Ohio State defeated Syracuse and dropped a close overtime decision to No. 20 Auburn on the road. The sophomore has recorded a double-double with at least 20 points in each of her four games this season. Against Syracuse Lavender scored 22 points on .818 shooting, also grabbing 10 rebounds, dishing out two assists, swatting three blocks and recording one steal. At Auburn on Sunday, the 6-4 center netted another 20 points while grabbing 12 boards and tallying a career-high seven assists.

Lavender Named to Wooden Award Watch List
Jantel Lavender, the reigning Big Ten co-Player of the Year as a freshman in 2008, was one of 30 players named to the Women’s Wooden Award All-America Team and Player of the Year watch list Nov. 6.

Lavender also was named to the list last year at midseason because freshman, transfers and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. She was the first Ohio State freshman to be named to the midseason list.

In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Women’s Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round during the NCAA Tournament.

Buckeyes Boast Trio of McDonald’s All-Americans
Ohio State has three McDonald’s High School All-Americans on its 2008-09 roster. Jantel Lavender and Alison Jackson played in the 2007 contest in St. Louis while freshman Samantha Prahalis played in the 2008 game in Milwaukee.

Foster, NCAA and the Buckeyes
Jim Foster is no stranger to NCAA action, having advanced to the tournament 22 times in his last 24 years of coaching at St. Joseph’s (Pa.), Vanderbilt and Ohio State. In Foster’s first six seasons at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have earned No. 1 (2006), No. 2 (2005), No. 4 (2003, 2007) and No. 6 (2004, 2008) seeds in the NCAA tournament and have upped their overall appearance total to 17. Ohio State has earned at least a second-round finish in four of five seasons under Foster, including a trip to the Round of 16 in 2005.

Buckeyes Going for Fifth-Straight and 12th Overall Big Ten Title
Ohio State secured its fourth-consecutive and league-best 11th overall Big Ten title last season (co-champs with Iowa). The Buckeyes became the first Big Ten team to win four titles in a row since Iowa won four straight 18 years ago (1987-90). The Buckeyes shared two of those conference crowns with the Hawkeyes in 1987 (17-1) and 1989 (16-2). Ohio State holds the record by winning five-consecutive championships from 1983-87.

Most Consecutive Big Ten Reg. Season Titles:

Team No. Years
Ohio State 5 1983-87
Ohio State 4 2005-08
Iowa 4 1987-90

Former Buckeye Katie Smith Wins Third Gold Medal, WNBA Finals MVP
Two-time Ohio State All-American Katie Smith had a summer to remember.

Smith was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 WNBA Finals after averaging more than 20 points per game in a three-game sweep of San Antonio, marking Katie’s second WNBA title in three seasons. In Game 1 Katie scored a playoff career-high 25 points and followed that up with 22 points in game two. In Game 3 Smith scored 15 of her 18 points in the second half as the Shock built an 18-point lead and cruised to its third WNBA title in six seasons.

This past August, Smith captured Olympic gold for a third time at the 2008 Games in Beijing as Team USA went 8-0, defeating their opponents by an average of 37 points to earn their fourth-consecutive gold medal.

Smith still holds eight Ohio State career records, is a seven-time WNBA All-Star and is the all-time leading scorer in the history of U.S. women’s professional basketball with more than 6,600 points.

Smith Named 2008 USA Basketball Female Athlete Of The Year
Katie Smith also has been selected the 2008 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year, USA Basketball announced Dec. 29, 2008. As such, Smith will be nominated by USA Basketball for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Committee SportsWoman of the Year.

Foster Picks UP Win No. 650
Head coach Jim Foster, the 10th-winningest active coach in Division I, earned his 650th career win with an 89-53 victory over Penn State last season. In doing so, he became just the 13th Division I women’s basketball coach to win at least 650 games. Foster, who coached Vanderbilt to the 1993 Final Four, finished his 30th year as a collegiate coach last season with stops at St. Joseph’s (1979-91) and Vanderbilt (1992-2002) along the way. Two seasons ago, he became the 15th fastest D-I women’s coach to reach 600 wins.

Two of a kind
Jantel Lavender felt right at home as a freshman last season, due in large part to having her twin sister, Jazmine, sitting right down at the end of the team bench as a team manager. Though 46 minutes older than Jantel, Jazmine is 7 inches shorter than her twin.

You can read a read a feature story on the Lavenders at www.bigten.org.

Lavender Tabbed Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year; Buckeyes and Boilers Picked to Win Big Ten
Sophomore center Jantel Lavender was selected as the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year by the conference coaches and a panel of media members at this year’s Big Ten media days. Lavender’s Buckeyes were selected to finish first in conference by the media, while the coaches voted Purdue at the top of the preseason rankings.

Lavender became the first player in Big Ten men’s or women’s basketball history to be named conference Player of the Year as a freshman last season when she was given the nod by the conference coaches. She became the first freshman in history to lead the Big Ten in rebounding, averaging 9.7 boards per conference contest. Lavender also finished the 18-game slate with 17.8 points per contest.

Led by the sophomore center, Ohio State was selected by a panel of conference media members to earn its fifth consecutive Big Ten title. The Buckeyes were Big Ten Co-Champions in 2007-08, finishing 13-5 in conference and 22-9 overall, earning their sixth consecutive berth into the NCAA Championship. Ohio State looks to become the first team since the 1983-87 Buckeyes to win at least a share of five consecutive Big Ten titles.

The conference coaches selected Purdue to take this year’s conference title as the Boilermakers return four starters from last season, plus seniors Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton and Jodi Howell, who started for Purdue in 2006-07 but missed 2007-08 due to injury. Wisdom-Hylton was an honorable mention All-American and the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and is a member of this year’s Preseason All-Big Ten team. Michigan State was tabbed as the No. 3 finisher in both the coaches and media polls after finishing last season with a Big Ten-best 23 wins.

PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM
(Coaches & Media)
Jenna Smith, Jr., F, ILL
Allyssa DeHaan, Jr., C, MSU
Emily Fox, Sr., G, MINN
Jantel Lavender, So., C, OSU
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, Sr., F, PUR

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
(Coaches & Media)
Jantel Lavender, So., C, OSU

Tickets On Sale Now for NCAA First and Second Rounds in Columbus
The Ohio State University is proud to be hosting the First and Second Rounds of the 2009 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on March 21 and 23 at Nationwide Arena. All-session passes are on sale now. Adult all-session tickets are available for $32.50. Student All-Session tickets are $21.50. Single session tickets go on sale March 18, 2009.

Two easy ways to order tickets:
In person at the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office (located in SE corner of the Jerome Schottenstein Center near corner of Lane Ave. and Olentangy River Rd.) or call 1-800-GO-BUCKS.

Big Ten Conference Extends Special $45 Ticket Offer for 2009 Women’s Basketball Tournament
The Big Ten Conference has extended its special $45 all-session ticket promotion for the 2009 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament. The $20 discount, which was originally scheduled to end on Monday, January 19, will now run through Saturday, Jan. 31. All-session tickets will then be available at the regular price of $65. The women’s tournament returns to Indianapolis and Conseco Fieldhouse March 5-8, 2009. The ticket promotion is available through all 11 Big Ten university ticket offices, the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at (317) 239-5151. The 2009 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament bracket, along with information on tickets, travel, lodging, tournament history and more, can be found at www.bigten.org and www.indianasportscorp.com. Fans wishing to purchase all-session tickets within their university’s fan block are encouraged to contact their school’s ticket office. Ohio State’s number is 1-800-GO-BUCKS.

Up Next
The Buckeyes are back at home Sunday against Northwestern. Game time is 11 a.m. on the Big Ten Network.