Athletes of the Week
Natalie Spooner, a freshman forward on the women’s hockey team, set a Buckeye record with four goals to lead the squad to a 6-5 victory at Minnesota State Dec. 12 in Mankato, Minn. In game two, Spooner added a goal and two assists in the 6-5 Ohio State shootout win Dec. 13 to extended her goal streak to five games with 10 goals in that span. The Scarborough, Ontario, native leads the Scarlet and Gray in goals with 17 and is second in points with 22. With just 14 games under her belt, Spooner ranks 10th in the Buckeye record book for goals in a season.

Spooner was selected to the Under-22 Team and will play in the 2009 MLP Cup, Jan. 2-6 in Ravensburg, Germany.

Corey Morrison, a junior on the wrestling team, secured the No. 6 Buckeyes’ third dual win of the season against No. 17 Edinboro Dec. 14 when he beat No. 8 Joey Fendone, 5-3. With Ohio State owning a slim 16-12 lead heading into the final bout at heavyweight, Morrison, ranked 14th in the nation, scored a pair of takedowns and an escape en route to handing Fendone his first loss of the season. Fendone entered his match against Morrison with a 14-0 record. His five points against Fendone is the most points scored on the Fighting Scot this season. A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Morrison improves to 12-4 on the season.

Athletics Good Stuff

Thirty-nine current and former Ohio State student-athletes received degrees Dec. 14 at The Ohio State University’s Autumn Commencement in the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Among the recipients were WNBA star and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith, Major League Lacrosse rookie and 2008 GWLL Player of the Year Kevin Buchanan, 2007 Big Ten Player of the Year Xavier Balc (men’s soccer) and three-time First Team All-American Yesenia Luces (field hockey).

No. 17/18 Men’s Basketball (6-0; 0-0 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Thad Matta
Ohio State improved its nation’s best win streak to 11 games after defeating Butler, 54-51, Dec. 13 in Value City Arena.
Seven different players have scored in double figures at least once this season. Sophomore Evan Turner leads the team with five games in double figures, while junior David Lighty has tallied 10 or more points in three games. With four blocks, sophomore Dallas Lauderdale has 28 on the season, which leads the Big Ten Conference.
Up Next: vs. Jacksonville, 9 p.m. Dec. 17 in Value City Arena (Television: ESPNU)
vs. Iona, noon Dec. 20 in Value City Arena (Television: Big Ten Network)
vs. UNC Asheville, 7 p.m. Dec. 22 in Value City Arena (Television: Big Ten Network)
vs. West Virginia, 4 p.m. Dec. 27 in Value City Arena (Television: CBS)

No. 18/17 Women’s Basketball (7-2; 0-0 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Jim Foster
Ohio State returns to action this week after taking a break for finals exams with back-to-back contests, starting with a 7 p.m. game vs. Cleveland State Dec. 15 in Nationwide Arena. The Buckeyes return to their home court, Value City Arena, Dec. 16 when they meet Delaware State at 7 p.m.
Up Next: vs. Cleveland State, 7 p.m. Dec. 15 at Nationwide Arena
vs. Delaware State, 7 p.m. Dec. 16 in Value City Arena
vs. Michigan, 2 p.m. Dec. 21 in Value City Arena (Big Ten Network)

Head Coach: Vladimir Nazlymov
Members of the defending national champion fencing team competed last weekend at the Division I North American Cup in Colorado Springs, Colo. Senior Andras Horanyi had the Buckeyes’ best finish, coming in fifth in men’s foil while classmates Mike Momtselidze finished sixth in men’s sabre and Jason Pryor placed eighth in men’s epee.
Women’s epee was the lone weapon group that competed on the women’s side, with Julia Tikhonova placing 37th, Elyse Gurnowski finishing 61st and Mary Pozydaev coming in 72nd.

Football (10-2; 7-1 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Jim Tressel
Senior Malcolm Jenkins was the recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award, which was handed out at The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards. The Jim Thorpe Award honors the nation’s best defensive back.
Thanks to Buckeye fans who voted at, Jim Tressel has been named a finalist for the 2008 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, which honors college coaches who demonstrate responsibility and excellence on and off the field.
All-American linebacker James Laurinaitis was named the winner of the 2008 Lott Trophy as college football’s impact player of the year in ceremonies Dec. 14 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif. Laurinaitis, the first two-time finalist for the Lott Trophy, was selected over Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo, Florida State defensive back Myron Rolle and Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry for the award which emphasizes integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity in a college defender.
Freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Laurinaitis were named as Sporting News magazine’s respective Freshman of the Year and Defensive Most Valuable Player in the Big Ten Conference Dec. 15.

Men’s Hockey (11-6-1; 6-5-1-1 CCHA)
Head Coach: John Markell
Ohio State completed the two-game series sweep of nonconference opponent Bentley Dec. 12-13 in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes’ 10 goals in a 10-1 win in game one tied a Value City Arena record, first set against Bowling Green Nov. 28, 2000. In all, 15 Buckeyes had at least one point in the win, with eight posting two or more. Four had three-point nights, as senior Corey Elkins had two goals and an assist and sophomores Peter Boyd and John Albert and freshman Ian Boots each had a goal and two helpers.
The Falcons took the Buckeyes to overtime in game two, but Ohio State prevailed by a 3-2 score. Freshman Zac Dalpe scored the gamewinner in the extra stanza. The Scarlet and Gray were down, 2-1, early in the third period before sophomore Hunter Bishop tallied the game-tying goal midway through the stanza to send the game into overtime.
Ohio State closes out the first half of the season winners of nine of its last 10 games, including the last six.
Up Next: Ohio Hockey Classic in Value City Arena
Jan. 2
Miami vs. Clarkson, 5:05 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Army, 8:05 p.m.
Jan. 3
Army vs. Miami/Clarkson (Championship or Consolation Game), 5:05 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Miami or Clarkson (Championship or Consolation Game), 8:05 p.m.

Women’s Hockey (6-11-1; 4-9-1-1 WCHA)
Head Coach: Jackie Barto
The Buckeyes earned four points in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association after sweeping Minnesota State, including a nine-round shootout, Dec. 12-13 in Mankato, Minn.
Sophomore Jenna Kilpatrick tallied the gamewinning goal in the game two shootout to give Ohio State the 6-5 win. Senior co-captain Hayley Klassen led OSU with four points (2g, 2a) and was one of five Buckeyes with multiple-points. Freshmen linemates Laura McIntosh and Natalie Spooner each had a goal and two assists. Sophomore defensemen Teal Bishop and Shannon Reilly both collected two assists.
It was also a 6-5 victory for the Buckeyes in game one as Spooner set an Ohio State record with four goals. All six Buckeye goals were scored by the freshman class with McIntosh scoring and Kim Theut tallying the last-minute gamewinner.
Spooner and incoming forward Casandra (Hokey) Langan were named to Canadian teams that will compete in international events in January, Hockey Canada announced. Spooner was selected to the Under-22 Team for the 2009 MLP Cup and Langan was named to the Under-18 Team for the 2009 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championships.
Up Next: vs. Boston University, 7:07 p.m. Jan. 2 in OSU Ice Rink
vs. Boston University, 4:07 p.m. Jan. 3 in OSU Ice Rink

Women’s Tennis
Head Coach: Chuck Merzbacher
Ohio State announced the signing of three five-star recruits to NCAA National Letters of Intent Dec. 15 in Kara Cecil, Fidan Manashirov and Gabrielle Steele. All three national Top-100 tennis players continued an Ohio State tradition of recruiting well both at home and nationwide in recent years, with Manashirov hailing from California, Cecil from Florida and Steele from Ohio.

Men’s Volleyball
Head Coach: Pete Hanson
Ohio State has been picked to finish third in the 2009 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Preseason Coaches Poll. Lewis was picked as the unanimous choice to win the league. Ohio State won the league in 2008 for a second-consecutive year and won the 2008 MIVA tournament. Last season, the Buckeyes had an 11-1 conference record and were 20-8 overall.
Ohio State had two players, Robbie Klein and Ben Spurlock, named to the 10-player 2009 MIVA preseason all-conference team. The Buckeyes return to action in exhibition matches at 7 p.m., Jan. 2 and 3 against Waterloo in St. John Arena.

Women’s Volleyball
Head Coach: Geoff Carlston
Sophomore Katie Dull was named an honorable mention American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region selection Dec. 11 by the AVCA. She played in 25-of-32 matches, starting 22. Dull averaged team highs of 4.53 points and 3.93 kills for Ohio State. She averaged 1.36 digs and .79 blocks per set.

No. 6 Wrestling (3-0; 0-0 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Tom Ryan
Ohio State improves to 3-0 in dual competition after downing No. 17 Edinboro, 19-12, in Edinboro, Pa., Dec. 14. The Buckeyes won 6-of-10 bouts, including the match-deciding win by junior Corey Morrison at heavyweight. Morrison, ranked 14th downed No. 8 Joey Fendone, who was undefeated (14-0) entering the bout against Morrison.
Sophomore Colt Sponseller, No. 6 in the nation, also downed an undefeated wrestler in No. 3 Jarrod King. King was 12-0 before Sponseller beat him, 4-1.
The Buckeyes also received wins from No. 8 Reece Humphrey (133), No. 4 Lance Palmer (149), Sean Nemec (174) and No. 1 Mike Pucillo (184).
Up Next: vs. Kent State, 5 p.m. Jan. 4 in St. John Arena

Ohio State Athletics Schedule(Dec. 16-21)

Tuesday, Dec. 16
WBKB vs. Delaware State, 7 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena

Wednesday, Dec. 17
MBKB vs. Jacksonville, 9 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena (Television: ESPNU)

Saturday, Dec. 20
MBKB vs. Iona, noon
Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena (Television: Big Ten Network)

Sunday, Dec. 21
WBKB vs. Michigan, 2 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena (Television: Big Ten Network)