INDIANAPOLIS – Brittany Johnson loves shooting 3-pointers against Iowa.

Johnson tied career highs with 23 points and seven 3s to help Ohio State defeat the 24th-ranked Hawkeyes 71-61 in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals Friday night.

Johnson made five 3s in the previous meeting between the teams, an 81-67 win for Ohio State.

“I was just, you know, in the zone, I guess,” Johnson said. “I was focusing really hard. My teammates had confidence in me.”

Johnson was a focus of Iowa’s defense, but she got her shots anyway.

“She is a very, very good set shooter, and you have got to know where she is all the time,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “She had some really good open looks, and Ohio State does such a great job of finding her.”

Jantel Lavender had 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Buckeyes (20-9), who won their seventh straight and advanced to play No. 1 seed Michigan State on Saturday in a semifinal. Penn State, the No. 2 seed, will play No. 11 seed Illinois in the other semifinal.

Jaime Printy led Iowa with 19 points, and Morgan Johnson added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Hawkeyes (22-8). Iowa, which had won five consecutive games, shot just 33 percent.

Johnson helped the Buckeyes break away from a 27-all halftime tie. She scored 17 points after the break, and the Buckeyes shot 54 percent in the second half.

“In the first half I thought we stood still and forced; second half, I thought we moved and took care of our business,” Ohio State coach Jim Foster said.

Ohio State defeated Iowa 66-64 in the final last year.

Lavender was held to four points in the first half, but she scored two quick buckets to start the second half to help the Buckeyes take a 35-29 lead and force Iowa to call a timeout.

A 3-pointer and an off-balance bank shot by Tayler Hill gave Ohio State a 40-30 lead.

Iowa trimmed the lead to 46-40 on a 3-pointer by Kelsey Cermak, but Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Buckeyes ahead 52-40.

Just as Ohio State looked poised to run away with the game, Iowa’s Kachine Alexander made free throws, then Printy got a steal, made a layup and was fouled. She converted a three-point play to cut Ohio State’s lead to 52-47.

The Hawkeyes cut Ohio State’s lead to 52-51 during an 11-0 run. Iowa held Ohio State scoreless for more than 5 minutes to close the gap.

Another 3-pointer by Johnson pushed Ohio State’s lead back up to 59-54.

Kamille Wahlin made a 3-pointer for Iowa to trim Ohio State’s lead to 63-61, but Johnson came back with her seventh 3 of the game with 1:15 remaining.

“We played together,” Johnson said. “We played hard. We didn’t let up. And we just wanted to win really bad, so we did whatever it took.”

Friday, March 4, 2011
Conseco Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Ind.
No. 5 Ohio State 71 (20-9), No. 4 Iowa 61 (22-8)
No. 5 Ohio State advances to play No. 1 Michigan State

Postgame Notes

• The Buckeyes advance to Saturday’s semifinals vs. No. 1 seed Michigan State, who defeated No. 8 seed Northwestern, 56-25, earlier Friday.
•Ohio State has won 15 of its last 17 meetings with the Hawkeyes.
• The win was the seventh straight for Ohio State, who now advances to the semifinals for the third straight year, the eighth time in the last nine years (2008) and its 12th overall. 
• The Buckeyes are 27-13 all-time at the Big Ten tournament and have lost their first game of the tournament only once.
• Ohio State is now 16-1 all-time in its opening game of the tournament.
• With the win, Ohio State record its ninth straight 20-win season under head coach Jim Foster. It marks the 25th of Foster’s career and 12th consecutive overall.
• Jim Foster is the winningest active coach in Big Ten tournament play with 16 victories. His .761 winning percentage (16-5) is tops among active coaches and ranks third all-time. 
• Foster is 16-5 all-time at the Big Ten tournament with titles in 2006, 2009 and 2010. Foster is now 8-1 all-time in the quarterfinal round, 5-3 in the semifinals and 3-1 in title games.
•Ohio State is 3-1 vs. Iowa in the tournament, including wins in each of the last three years.
• Ohio State has a 13-2 mark overall since the 2006 tournament.
• Ohio State opened the second half with an 13-3 run for its first double-digit lead of the game at 40-30.
• Brittany Johnson tied a career high with 23 points and connected on a career-high three 3-point field goals – good for second on Ohio State’s all-time list. She hit five of those in the second half.
• Johnson’s seven three-point baskets is the second-most ever in a Big Ten tournament game and ties her career best. It is the third time she has hit seven three-point baskets in a game and the second time this season.
• Johnson is now fourth on Ohio State’s all-time list with 205 makes from beyond the arc, passing Marcie Alberts who hit 203 from 1994-97.
• Brittany Johnson has 46 3FGs in her last 12 games (3.8 per game).
• Johnson’s 14 three-point attempts ties the tournament single-game record.
• Johnson (986) is now 14 points away from recording 1,000 career points.
• Jantel Lavender has recorded a double-double in six of her eight career Big Ten tournament games. She finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.
• Lavender has 16 double-doubles this season and 73 in her career, the most among active Big Ten players. The Buckeyes are 58-15 overall in her career when she records a double-double.
• Ohio State is now 6-2 against ranked teams this season, defeating No. 9 Michigan State, No. 11 Oklahoma, No. 18 Iowa, No. 23 Penn State, No. 10 Michigan State and No. 24 Iowa, while falling to No. 1 UConn and No. 21 Iowa on the road.
• With eight assists, Samantha Prahalis has recorded 64 assists over the last eight games, an average of 8.0 per game.
• Ohio State is 12-2 this year when Prahalis records 7 or more assists.
• Ohio State is 18-2 this season when scoring 70+ points and 3-7 when scoring fewer. Ohio State was 25-0 last season when scoring 70 or more and 6-5 when scoring fewer.
• Ohio State has allowed just two teams to shoot 50 percent this season.
• Lavender has now started all 131 games of her career – a school record.
• Lavender has scored in double figures in all 131 career games, an NCAA record for most consecutive double-figure scoring games.  The record for most overall double-figure scoring games is 134 by Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris from 2006-2009 (137 games).

Most Career Double Figure Scoring Games Overall in NCAA History:

1. Courtney Paris, Oklahoma    134
2. Jantel Lavender, Ohio State    131
3. Sophia Young, Baylor        130