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ATLANTA The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), in cooperation with State Farm, announced the finalists today for the 2008 State Farm Coaches’ All-America Basketball Team for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I.  The 40 finalists, who were chosen from the 52 regional finalists by the State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team committee, are now in the running for selection to the 10-member State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team.

Among the finalists is Ohio State’s sensational freshman Jantel Lavender, who turned in the greatest freshman campaign by a Buckeye since Katie Smith in 1993. She was the 2008 Big Ten co-Player of the Year (coaches), becoming the first Big Ten freshman men or women’s to win player of the year honors. She also was named the Big Ten player of the week for a record four times, the most by a freshman in conference history.

Lavender holds Ohio State freshman records for field goals (232) and rebounds (306) in a season while her 306 rebounds is tied for second all-time with Jessica Davenport who pulled down 306 during her senior season in 2006-07. Lavender averaged the second-most points per game by a freshman in Ohio State history with 17.6 ppg and set an Ohio State freshman record with 36 points — including 16 rebounds — in the win at Penn State Feb. 28. She was 12-of-14 from the FT line, hitting her first 12 attempts.

Lavender was the second-leading freshman scorer and third-leading freshman rebounder in the country and ranked among the Top 5 in the Big Ten in scoring, rebounding and FG percentage. She recorded 13 double-doubles and scored in double-figures in all 31 games.

The State Farm Coaches’ All-America Basketball Team for NCAA Division I will be announced at the State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team Press Conference at the Tampa Hyatt Regency on April 5, at 9:45 a.m. (ET) in Tampa, Fla.