Share

Friday, March 7, 2008 – 6 p.m. ET
Conseco Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Ind.

No. 1 Ohio State (22-7, 13-5 Big Ten) vs.
No. 8 Wisconsin (16-12, 9-9 Big Ten)
OR
No. 9 Illinois (16-13, 8-10 Big Ten)

Radio/Internet – WOSU 820-AM/www.wosu.org
P-by-P: Marty Bannister; Analyst: Kristin Watt

Television – Big Ten Network; ESPN2

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 22 Buckeyes (22-7, 13-5 Big Ten) head to the Big Ten tournament as the No. 1 seed for a record fourth-consecutive season. Ohio State will face the winner of the No. 8-9 game between Wisconsin and Illinois. The Badgers and Illini play the third game of Thursday’s opening session. Ohio State’s quarterfinal match up against the winner will tip at 6 p.m. ET Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The Big Ten Network will carry the first nine games of the tournament live. ESPN2 will air the championship game at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Ohio State Big ten Tourney Tidbits
Since 1995, when the Big Ten postseason tournament was reinstated, the Buckeyes are 20-12 and have never lost their first game of the tournament.
Ohio State earned its first of four-consecutive No. 1 seeds in the tournament in 2005. It marks the first time in Big Ten history a team has captured four-straight No. 1 seeds. Previously, the Buckeyes’ No. 3 seed in 2004 was the highest for an OSU squad.
Ohio State’s 2006 Big Ten Tournament title was the first in program history. The Buckeyes were the No. 1 seed that year, finishing with a 63-60 win over Purdue in the final.

Lavender, Little Pick up Big Ten Honors
Ohio State freshman Jantel Lavender was named the 2008 Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year and sophomore Shavelle Little was named the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year, the conference office announced Monday. Lavender was named freshman of the year by both the coaches and media and player of the year by the coaches only. Only the coaches select defensive player of the year.

In addition, senior Marscilla Packer was named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media while junior Ashlee Trebilcock was an honorable mention by the coaches and media as well. .

Lavender becomes the first Big Ten freshman on the men’s or women’s side to receive conference player of the year honors. This is the fourth-consecutive year a Buckeye has at least shared the honor after Jessica Davenport won top honors from 2005-07.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Lavender is the second-leading freshman scorer and third-leading freshman rebounder in the nation, averaging 17.7 ppg and 9.8 rebounds during the regular season. She shot 51 percent from the field and ranks in the Top 3 in the Big Ten in each of the three categories, including first in rebounding. Lavender recorded a double-double in her first collegiate game and holds Ohio State freshman records for field goals (216) and rebounds (285) in a season.

Lavender became the first OSU freshman to be named to the Naismith mid-season watch list last month and has scored in double figures in all 29 games this season with 12 double-doubles third most by any freshman in Division I. She scored a career-high 36 points tied for fourth on Ohio State’s all-time single-game list and grabbed 16 rebounds in the win at Penn State Feb. 28. In that game she hit her first 12 free throws and finished 12-of-14 overall. Lavender also became the first OSU freshman since Katie Smith in 1993 to be named Big Ten Player of the Week Nov. 20.

Lavender was named the Big Ten co-player of the week for the fourth time Monday another Big Ten freshman record. Her week was highlighted by two double-doubles, including the career-high 36-point, 16-rebound performance in State College.

Little, who also was named to the all-defensive team, ranked first in the Big Ten with 2.9 steals per game. She caused havoc for opposing point guards all season and set the tone for Ohio State defensively as the Buckeyes gave up just 59 points per game. She recorded three or more steals 13 times and had seven games with five or more, including a season-high seven at Purdue Feb. 18.

Packer led the conference in free throw percentage (.887) and 3-point field goals made (75-2.6 per game). She was second in assist-turnover ratio (+1.75), third in 3-point field goal percentage (.417) and sixth in scoring (15.0) with six 20-point efforts and a career-high 32-points Jan. 20 against Wisconsin. She became the 26th player in school history to score 1,000 points and is only the third Buckeye in history to record at least 1,000 points and 200 3-point field goals in a career. Packer leads the Buckeyes with 60 assists (4.0 apg) over the last 15 games.

Trebilcock started all 29 games, averaging 11.0 points in Big Ten games. She was second on the team with 42 3-point field goals and scored a career-high 25 points twice once at Iowa Jan. 6 and the other at Minnesota Jan. 24. She connected on a season-high five 3-pointers in a December win over Ole Miss, scoring 18 points. Trebilcock averaged 2.5 assists and shot 72 percent from the free throw line. 

Senior Alice Jamen received the Big Ten’s sportsmanship award for Ohio State.

Buckeyes Clinch Fourth-Straight Title, 11th Overall
Ohio State secured its fourth-consecutive and league-best 11th overall Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes are the first 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

Seniors Set Win Mark
With a victory Sunday, not only did Ohio State clinch its fourth-consecutive Big Ten championship, the senior class of Marscilla Packer, Tamarah Riley and Alice Jamen recorded their 109th victory and became the winningest class in Ohio State program history. Last year’s senior class of Jessica Davenport, Brandie Hoskins and Stephanie Blanton held the previous record with 108 wins from 2004-07.

OSU Top Seed for a Record Fourth Time
With its victory over Northwestern Sunday, March 2, Ohio State clinched the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament for the fourth season in a row — a Big Ten record.

Lavender Sets OSU Freshman Records
Jantel Lavender continues to etch her name in the Ohio State record books during her freshman season. She has already set OSU freshman records for field goals (216) and rebounds (285) in a season, breaking the old mark of 189 field goals (Katie Smith, 1993) and 260 rebounds (Martha Baker, 260). Then with the help of a career-high 36 points Feb. 28 at Penn State, she has upped her season scoring average to 17.7 points, inching closer to the record of 18.2 set by Smith in 1993. And with 512 points, she also is closing in on Smith’s record of 578 points in 1993.

Lavender Earns Record Fourth POW Award
Jantel Lavender took home her fourth Big Ten Player of the Week award after helping the Buckeyes claim a share of the Big Ten title. Lavender averaged 19.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists over three games last week, posting double-doubles against Penn State and Northwestern to close out the season. The freshman’s best performance came on the road against the Lady Lions on Thursday when she netted a career-high 36 points, grabbed 16 boards and dished out six assists in a three-point Buckeye win. Lavender has accumulated 12 double-doubles this season, which ranks among the best totals in the nation for a freshman. She has also scored in double digits in each of Ohio State’s 29 games this year. Lavender is the first freshman in Big Ten history to earn four Player of the Week honors.

Riley Nearing Career Games Mark
Senior Tamarah Riley has a chance to play in more games than any other Buckeye in program history. She played in her 128th career game against Northwestern Sunday and is now two shy of tying Kim Wilburn (2003-06) and Jessica Davenport (2004-07) for the most all-time with 130. Riley has played in every Ohio State game over the past four seasons: 35 in 2004-05, 32 in 2006 and 07 and all 29 this year. Marscilla Packer is next among the current group with 124 games.

Big Ten Domination
Ohio State has won 63 of its last 72 (.875) Big Ten regular-season games. The Buckeyes won the last six games of the 2003-04 season, went 14-2 in 2004-05, 15-1 in each of the last two seasons and went 13-5 during the expanded 18-game conference schedule this season.

Not In Our House
The Buckeyes have won 76-consecutive games at home against unranked opponents. The last unranked team to win in Columbus was Penn State, Feb. 3, 2002.
 
Diaper Dandy
Freshman Jantel Lavender ranks second among all Division I freshman in scoring (17.7 ppg) and third in rebounding (9.8). She is the only freshman to rank in the Top 5 in both categories. Lavender has 12 double-doubles on the year, the third most among D-I freshman, and has scored in double-figures in all 29 contests. Below is a breakdown of some of the top freshman scorers and rebounders in the country this season.
(NCAA stats as of March 2)
Freshman Scoring:
1.  Maya Moore, UConn (18.4 ppg)
2.  Jantel Lavender, Ohio State (17.7 ppg)
3. Tamara Abalde, Lamar (16.2 ppg)
4.  Stefanie Murphy, Boston College (15.7 ppg)
5.  Megan Mahoney, Fordham (15.5 ppg)

Freshman Rebounding:
1. Tia Lewis, Central Florida (11.6 rpg)
2. Ta’Shia Phillips, Xavier (11.3 rpg)
3. Jantel Lavender, Ohio State (9.8 rpg)
4. Freda Allen, Southern (9.7 rpg)
5. Emma Cannon, Central Florida (8.6 rpg)

Packer Keeps Pace with 3-point Records
Senior guard Marscilla Packer is among the best 3-point shooters in school history and is second on the all-time list with 231 makes — recently passing up Katie Smith (218) for second place. The career record is 270 set by Caity Matter (2001, 03-05). Packer has hit 75 so far this season, 57 last year, 79 as a sophomore (good for fourth on the all-time single-season list) and 20 as a freshman in 2004-05. She has 13 games this year with three or more 3FG’s and Ohio State is 12-1 in those games. The only loss was Jan. 31 at Illinois when Packer hit four 3’s. Packer has 75 3FG’s this season, good for sixth on the all-time list. The single-season record is held by Matter who made 106 in 2003.

Ohio State in the Big Ten
Ohio State leads the Big Ten in scoring (72.2), scoring margin (+12.7), FG percentage (.472), assists per game (16.24) and assist/turnover ratio (+1.06). The Buckeyes are second in 3FG percentage (.386), rebounding (38.4) and rebounding margin (+5.1). Defensively, they have allowed only two teams (Maryland and Purdue) to shoot better than 50 percent this season.

Individually, freshman Jantel Lavender ranked first in rebounding (9.8), and third in both scoring (17.7) and FG percentage (.514). Marscilla Packer led the conference in FT percentage (.887) and 3FG’s made (75-2.6 per game), was second in assist-turnover ratio (+1.75), third in 3FG percentage (.417) and sixth in scoring (15.0). Shavelle Little led the Big Ten in steals with 2.9 per game — averaging more than three per game most of the season before a knee injury limited her action in the final two games.

Foster Records Ninth-Consecutive 20-Win Season
The win over Iowa Feb. 21 gave Ohio State its sixth-consecutive 20-win season. It is the 22nd of coach Foster’s career, his ninth-consecutive overall and his sixth at Ohio State, tying Nancy Darsch who had six in 12 years as OSU head coach from 1985-97. Foster has done it each year at OSU since his first season in 2002-03, including a 30-win season in 2004-05. Foster is now tied with Sue Gunter and Rene Portland for eighth all-time with 22 20-win seasons.

Riley Enjoys Career Night
Senior Tamarah Riley has made the most of an unexpected opportunity this season and turned in quite possibly the best all-around game of her career Feb. 25 at Indiana. The Detroit, Mich., native scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds — 10 in the first half — in an overtime loss. Riley single-handedly kept Ohio State in the game, most notably in the first half when she led all players with seven points and 10 rebounds. It was her third double-double of the season before fouling out late in regulation. Riley is shooting a Big Ten-best 63.7 percent from the field in conference games. 

Lavender Follows Suit
Jantel Lavender followed up Riley’s career night three days later with her best all-around performance of the season at Penn State. Lavender scored a career-high 36 points — tied for fourth on the school’s all-time single-game list and tying Jessica Davenport’s career high — and grabbed 16 rebounds of her own as Ohio State gutted out an 87-84 win in Happy Valley. Lavender was unstoppable, working her jumper, hook shot and spin moves on her way to 12-of-19 shooting. She made her first 12 free throw attempts before finishing the game 12-of-14. She also displayed her passing ability with a career-high six assists and played all 40 minutes.

Lavender Named Finalist For Naismith Trophy
Jantel Lavender, one of the top freshmen in the nation this season, is one of 31 finalists for the 2008 Naismith Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s top women’s basketball player. She is the first Ohio State freshman to be named a finalist for the award. She is one of only two freshman to make the list, joining UConn’s Maya Moore.

Last Time Out: OSU 74, NU 50 
Marscilla Packer scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half and No. 18 Ohio State beat Northwestern 74-50 to become the first team in 18 years to win at least a share of four straight Big Ten titles. Ohio State grabbed at least a piece of the first five Big Ten titles from 1983-87. Iowa took home trophies four years in a row from 1987-90. Jantel Lavender had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Tamarah Riley had 11 points for the Buckeyes, who have won 63 of their last 72 regular-season conference games. They have also won 76 home games in a row against unranked opponents. Amy Jaeschke led Northwestern with 14 points. Nadia Bibbs added 12 for the Wildcats, who have lost 18 of 19. The Buckeyes, who have won five of six, will be the top seed in the Big Ten tournament this week at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Ohio State seniors Packer, Riley and Alice Jamen were honored prior to the game. The win gave them 109 victories in their career, one more than last year’s seniors. NU hung tough with the Buckeyes for much of the first half. OSU finally gained the lead for good when Lesslee Mason-Cox hit a bucket inside and Brittany Johnson made a 15-foot jumper for a 17-14 lead at the 8-minute mark. The Buckeyes held the Wildcats scoreless for more than 5 minutes, stretching a 21-20 lead to 33-20. Five players scored in the 12-0 run, which included a 3-pointer by Maria Moeller, a three-point play by Riley and Packer’s first basket after she missed her first five attempts. The Buckeyes led 35-22 and were in command by the break, with Packer hitting a 12-foot baseline shot while falling down in the closing seconds. Packer then opened the scoring in the second half. Ohio State led by as many as 26 points.

Noting the Win Over Northwestern
Ohio State secured its fourth-consecutive Big Ten regular-season championship Sunday, becoming the first team since Iowa (1987-90) to win four in a row. Ohio State won a Big Ten-record five in a row from 1983-87. Ohio State also holds the Big Ten record with 11 overall.
The senior class of Marscilla Packer, Tamarah Riley and Alice Jamen recorded their 109th victory to become the winningest class in Ohio State program history. Last year’s senior class held the previous record with 108 wins from 2004-07.
Ohio State will be the No. 1 seed in the 2008 Big Ten Tournament and will play at 6 p.m. ET Friday, March 7 at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
Ohio State has now won 63 of its last 72 Big Ten regular-season games.
Ohio State has won the last 15 meetings with Northwestern.
Tamarah Riley played in her 128th career game Sunday, two shy of tying Kim Wilburn (2003-06) and Jessica Davenport (2004-07) for the most all-time at 130.
The Buckeyes have won 76-consecutive games at home against unranked opponents. The last unranked team to win in Columbus was Penn State, Feb. 3, 2002.
The Buckeyes finished the year 16-1 at home, marking the fifth time in the last six years Ohio State has lost one or fewer games at home. Ohio State is 92-7 at home in Jim Foster’s six seasons.
Packer finished with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-18 from the floor, including four assists and four steals.
Riley finished the game with 11 points, her fifth time in the last six games scoring in double figures.
Freshman Jantel Lavender recorded her 12th double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Lavender scored in double-figures in all 29 regular-season games.
Sophomore Lesslee Mason-Cox tied her personal best with six points in 13 minutes off the bench.
The Buckeyes are now 15-0 when holding teams under 60 points, 19-2 when leading at the half, 18-0 when making more free throws and 16-3 when outrebounding their opponents.

Foster Picks UP Win No. 650
Head coach Jim Foster, the ninth-winningest active coach in Division I, earned his 650th career win with an 89-53 victory over Penn State Jan. 28. 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, is in his 30th year as a collegiate coach 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. He is tied for eighth all-time with 22 20-win seasons.

OSU Tough at Home Under Foster
Over the past three-plus seasons, Ohio State has amassed a remarkable 65-3 record at home and a 58-2 record at Value City Arena (7-1 at St. John 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: 92-7
2002-03 14-0
2003-04 13-4
2004-05 17-0
2005-06 16-1
2006-07 16-1
2007-08 16-1

Packer Dishing it Out
Despite and up and down Big Ten season, senior Marscilla Packer is still regarded as one of the top scorers in the conference. But perhaps the one aspect of her game that often gets overlooked is her ability to spread the ball around and find her open teammates. Over the last 15 games, Packer is leading the Buckeyes with 60 assists (4.0 per game) and tied a career-high with seven in the win over Penn State Jan. 28. She recorded six dimes in the road win at Northwestern and five each in the win against Indiana and in road defeats at Minnesota, Purdue and Indiana.

78 and Counting
The Buckeyes currently sit at No. 22 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll (March 3) — the only ranked Big Ten team. It marks the 78th-consecutive week the Buckeyes have been ranked in the AP Top 25. The Buckeyes cracked the Top 25 back on Feb. 23, 2004 and have been ranked every week since.

For the complete release click the PDF above