COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lost in all the excitement of yesterday’s thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Hawkeyes, which gave Ohio State its second-consecutive Big Ten tournament title, was another monumental milestone by tournament most outstanding player Jantel Lavender.
With her fourth free throw at the 3:51 mark of the second half, Lavender eclipsed 2,000 points in her 100th career game, becoming the first Buckeye in program history to reach the milestone in her junior season. She joins former Buckeye All-Americans Katie Smith (2,578) and Jessica Davenport (2,303) as the only other Buckeyes in the 2,000 Point Club. She is the 15th Big Ten player to reach the milestone.
That same free throw also gave Ohio State its first lead since going up 6-4 to start the game and cap a 29-11 run that helped the Buckeyes battle back from 16 down — and also give Ohio State a program record-tying 30th win.
Lavender tied a tournament single-game record with 35 points (one shy of her career high), going 14-of-25 from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 from the line. She also added 10 boards for her 56th career double-double.
With a career average of 20.0 points per game, she is on pace to become Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer with her senior season still ahead. And in case you were wondering, the Big Ten record for most career points is 2,919 held by Penn State’s Kelly Mazzante from 2001-04.