Ohio State (17-9, 8-6) at #10/8 Michigan State (24-3, 12-2)
Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 – 6:30 p.m. ET
East Lansing, Mich.
TV: Big Ten Network (Tom Hart, Mary Murphy)
Radio: The Fan 1460 AM (Marty Bannister, Kristin Watt)
Listen for FREE at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Series Record: OSU leads 47-23
Series in 2009-10: Tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: Jan. 19, 2011, OSU, 67-53
In Columbus: OSU leads 19-10
In East Lansing: OSU leads 18-10
Neutral Site: OSU leads 10-3
Setting the Stage
Ohio State (17-9, 8-6) travels to East Lansing Thursday for a 6:30 p.m. ET tip with No. 10/8 Michigan State (24-3, 12-2). The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Ohio State won the previous meeting this season, 67-53, back on Jan. 16 in Columbus behind a solid defensive effort and 41 points from Jantel Lavender and Tayler Hill. The Buckeyes held the Spartans to a season-low 29.0 percent shooting in that game.
At 12-2, the Spartans have already clinched a share of the Big Ten regular season title and will be looking to clinch the title outright with a win Thursday.
Ohio State, meanwhile, has won four in a row and are looking to solidify a top 5 finish in the conference standings to earn a bye in the upcoming 2011 Big Ten Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and to bolster its NCAA tournament resume.
The Buckeyes will close out the regular season Sunday when they welcome Wisconsin to Value City Arena at Noon ET.
• Ohio State currently has an RPI ranking of No. 18 according to Realtimerpi.com and boasts the eighth-toughest schedule in the country.
• Ohio State is 4-2 against ranked teams this season, defeating No. 9 Michigan State, No. 11 Oklahoma, No. 18 Iowa and No. 23 Penn State, while falling to No. 1 UConn and No. 21 Iowa on the road.
• With the win over No. 9 Michigan State Jan. 16, Ohio State picked up its first win over a top 10 opponent since Dec. 20, 2006 when No. 8 OSU defeated No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman, 74-67.
• The Buckeyes are averaging 84.5 points per game over their current four-game win streak while giving up 71.0 (+13.5).
• Ohio State ranks second in the Big Ten with 74.4 points per game this year and first with 73.2 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes scored 90 points for the second time this season in a 90-67 win over Purdue Feb. 10.
• Jantel Lavender (2,633 points) became Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer Feb. 13 at Minnesota, breaking Katie Smith’s previous mark of 2,578 points.
• Lavender is the second-leading active scorer in the NCAA (2,633) behind UConn’s Maya Moore (2,816).
• Lavender holds the NCAA record with 10 or more points in 128 consecutive games — every game of Lavender’s career.
• Samantha Prahalis leads the Big Ten and is third in the nation with 6.9 assists per game.
• Prahalis has recorded 45 assists over the last five games, an average of 9.0 per game.
• Prahalis became Ohio State’s all-time assists leader (651) with 11 in the win over No. 23 Penn State Feb. 17. She broke the old record of 643 held by Jamie Lewis. Prahalis did it in 93 career games, compared to Lewis’ 643 in 117 games.
• Prahalis recorded her first career triple-double with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds against Northwestern.
• Prahalis is the only Buckeye to record at least 1,000 points and 650 assists.
• Brittany Johnson went over 900 career points with 17 in the win over Purdue Feb. 10 and now has 946.
• Johnson hit five second-half 3FGs in the win at Purdue, including the game winner with 0.7 seconds remaining, and is now fifth on Ohio State’s all-time list with 193 makes.
• Sophomore Tayler Hill is averaging 16.8 ppg and shooting 84.4 percent (27 of 32) from the FT line over the current four-game win streak.
Last Time Out
Senior Brittany Johnson hit five second-half three-pointers, including the game winner with 0.7 seconds remaining, to give Ohio State a thrilling come-from-behind win over Purdue, 76-74, at a raucous Mackey Arena.Trailing by one with 14 seconds left, Jantel Lavender caught the ball on the post and looked to score. Fending off a double team, Lavender pivoted to the baseline and slung a pass out to a wide open Johnson in the corner who buried the three as the Ohio State bench erupted. Purdue led by as much as 11 points in the second half as the Buckeyes slowly chipped away at the Boilermakers lead. Samantha Prahalis gave Ohio State its first lead of the second half with a three-pointer from the left wing with 44 seconds left. Then after a Purdue timeout, Antionette Howard drove the lane and converted a layup with 21 seconds left to put the Boilers back on top, 74-73. Then after Ohio State burned its final timeout, Johnson saved the day with her trey from the corner. Lavender led the Buckeyes with 23 points and nine rebounds. Prahalis added 19 points and four assists while Johnson finished with 15 and Tayler Hill 12. Freshman Ashley Adams recorded a career-high seven blocked shots to go along with four points and six boards. With Purdue leading 38-31 at the half, Ohio State opened the second period on a 9-2 run over the first 5 minutes to tie the score at 40. However, a Drey Mingo layup on Purdue’s next possession sparked a 12-3 run by the Boilermakers before Hill stopped the bleeding with her first three of the night. Behind a three-pointer by Purdue’s Courtney Moses and the inside play of Drey Mingo in the second half, the Boilermakers pushed their lead back to 10 on two occasions before Johnson caught fire, hitting three 3-pointers over the next four minutes to cut the lead to two and put Ohio State in position to pull out the win in the final minutes.
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