#25 Ohio State (11-6, 2-3) at Illinois (7-11, 2-3)
Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 – 7/8 p.m. ET
Radio: The Fan 1460 AM (Marty Bannister, Toni Roesch)
Listen for FREE at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Scouting The Illini
Illinois is 7-11 overall and 2-3 in the Big Ten after its 83-62 loss at Penn State Sunday. In conference play they have picked up wins over Minnesota at home and on the road at Indiana, with losses at Michigan State, Penn State and at home against Northwestern. Sophomore forward Karisma Penn, a native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, ranks in the top 5 in the Big Ten in both scoring and rebounding with her 16.6 points per game and 10.5 rebounds. She had 15 points and 13 rebounds in UI’s last game against the Nittany Lions. Head coach Jolette Law (Iowa, 1990) is in her fourth season at Illinois.
Series Record: OSU leads 42-17
Series in 2009-10: OSU, 3-0
Last Meeting: 3/5/09, OSU, 66-55
In Columbus: OSU leads 21-3
In Champaign: OSU leads 14-12
Neutral Site: OSU leads 7-1
Current Win Streak: OSU – 6
Next Meeting: Only meeting this season
Last time vs. Illinois
The 10th-ranked Buckeyes had to continually fend off Illinois’ comebacks before finally pulling away in the final minute for a 66-55 win in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals March 5, 2010. Jantel Lavender finished with 19 points and six rebounds. Samantha Prahalis added 13 points and eight assists and constantly menaced Illinois in the passing lanes, while Brittany Johnson hit three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points. But the Buckeyes made just 40 percent from the field, including 6 for 22 from 3-point range, got outrebounded 45-34 and struggled to wrap up the victory. It was the third straight year a ninth-seeded Illinois team met the top-seeded Buckeyes in the quarterfinals. Ohio State opened the game by building a 17-7 lead and twice in the first half had chances to put Illinois in even bigger holes. Instead, Illinois rallied, cutting a 22-12 deficit to 24-19 and then staying within 33-24 at the half even after the Buckeyes went on a 7-0 run. Illinois opened the second half with five straight points, to make it 34-29. The Buckeyes answered that with an 11-4 run and extended the lead to 55-39 with 8:46 to go. But the Illini charged back with a 14-2 run over 3 1/2 minutes to close within 57-51. Ohio State closed it out with free throws in the final minute.
Last Time Out
Jantel Lavender had 24 points and No. 24 Ohio State broke out of its rare slump to roll over the ninth-ranked Spartans, 67-53, Sunday. After weeks of shooting poorly, Ohio State faded near the end to shoot 43 percent from the field while the Spartans had their worst shooting game of the year, hitting just 29 percent – including making only 2 of 23 behind the arc. It was Ohio State’s first victory over a top-10 opponent since beating No. 3 Oklahoma on Dec. 20, 2006. Down just 33-29 at the break, Michigan State missed its first nine shots of the second half. When Ohio State’s Tayler Hill, who finished with 17 points, and Brittany Johnson hit 3-pointers, all of a sudden the lead was 39-29. The Spartans continued to misfire from all over the court. Their cause was further hurt when center Lykendra Johnson picked up her fourth foul on a reach-in 30 feet from the basket with 13:41 left. The Buckeyes built the lead to 17 before cruising to the finish.
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