Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009 4 p.m. ET
Assembly Hall Bloomington, Ind.
#20/17 Ohio State (21-5, 12-3 Big Ten) at Indiana (17-8, 10-6 Big Ten)
Radio/Internet – WOSU 820-AM / www.wosu.org (Marty Bannister, Kristin Watt)
Television – ESPN2 (Bob Picozzi, Nancy Lieberman)
Series Record: OSU leads, 43-20
Last meeting: 2/1/09, OSU 59-51 in Columbus
In Bloomington: IU leads, 13-4
Current streak: OSU-1
Last meeting in Bloomington: 2/25/08, IU, 69-61 OT
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Buckeyes face another critical road test Sunday as they conclude a three-game stretch run in the chase for a fifth-consecutive Big Ten regular-season championship.
Ohio State travels to Bloomington, Ind., Sunday for a 4 p.m. ET tip against the Indiana Hoosiers who beat the Buckeyes in overtime, 69-61, last season at Assembly Hall. The game is being televised on ESPN2 with Bob Picozzi and Nancy Lieberman on the call.
The Buckeyes control their own destiny for at least a share of the conference title. They are currently tied for first with Michigan State at 12-3 with Purdue a half game back at 12-4. Minnesota (10-5), Iowa (10-5) and Indiana (10-6) are all separated by a half game.
Buckeyes Notch Seventh Consecutive 20-Win Season
Last Sunday’s win over Northwestern gave Ohio State its seventh-consecutive 20-win season. It also marked the 23rd of Coach Jim Foster’s career, his 10th-consecutive overall and his seventh in Columbus — the most of any coach at Ohio State. Last year he tied former OSU coach Nancy Darsch, who had six 20-win seasons in 12 years as head coach from 1985-97. Foster has done it each year at Ohio State since his first season in 2002-03, including a 30-win season in 2004-05.
Prahalis Heating Up
Rookie point guard Samantha Prahalis (10.2 ppg, 5.7 apg) broke out of a shooting slump with a season-high 18 points in the win over Northwestern Feb. 15, then followed that up with 17 points in the road win at Minnesota Thursday. Against NU she hit a season-best four 3-pointers — all in the second half — while also recording four assists and four steals in 27 minutes. Then against the Gophers, she hit two more from deep and dished out nine assists while going 7-of-8 from the line. She has 35 points, 13 assists, six 3-pointers, four steals and is 9-of-10 from the FT line in her last two games.
Lavender Tops 1,000 Points in Her Sophomore Season
With her fourth field goal against Purdue Feb. 5, sophomore Jantel Lavender scored the 1,000th point of her career, becoming the second-fastest player in the history of Ohio State women’s basketball (53 games) to reach the milestone. Katie Smith (1993-96) was the fastest to do it in 52 games. Lavender is the 27th Ohio State player overall to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Ohio State players quickest to 1,000 points:
Katie Smith: 1993-94 seasons (52 games)
Jantel Lavender: 2008-09 seasons (53 games)
Frani Washington: 1978-79 seasons (56 games)
Jessica Davenport: 2004-05 seasons (63 games)
Lavender Also Going for Best First Two-Season Total
The Cleveland native has 1,092 career points and could also set an Ohio State record for the best first two-season scoring total in program history. Katie Smith scored 1,194 points in her first two seasons, Frani Washington scored 1,104 while Jessica Davenport had 1,066. If Lavender continues at her 21.0 ppg pace, she will break Smith’s mark by season’s end. She needs 13 points to pass Frani Washington.
Katie Smith: 1993-94 seasons (1,194)
Frani Washington: 1978-79 seasons (1,104)
Jantel Lavender: 2008-09 seasons (1,092)
Jessica Davenport: 2004-05 seasons (1,066)
Freshman of the Year?
Rookie point guard Samantha Prahalis is making a strong case for Big Ten freshman of the year honors. The Commack, N.Y., native leads the Big Ten with 5.9 assists per game and tops all Big Ten freshmen in scoring (10.2 ppg) and steals (50), ranks second in FT percentage (.774 — minimum 2 makes per game) and is fourth in rebounding (3.2).
Last Time Against The Hoosiers
Star Allen scored 21 points and Jantel Lavender added 17, and each had two baskets in a 15-3 surge to end the half, to lead No. 15 Ohio State past Indiana 59-51 on Sunday. The Buckeyes had 24 turnovers, hit just 2 of 9 3-pointers and went through long sluggish periods on offense. But the game looked like a masterpiece to a Buckeyes team which remained in first place in the Big Ten and kept alive its chase for a fifth consecutive conference crown. Indiana led throughout the first half and was on top by nine points before the Buckeyes took the lead for good. Lavender had five points and Allen four in the 15-3 run. Lavender scored the final five points in the surge on a three-point play and a perimeter jumper. Allen had started the run with two baskets. Ohio State, up 32-29 at the half, then slowly added to its lead. Allen also had 13 rebounds and Lavender nine. Samantha Prahalis had eight points and six assists. The Hoosiers effectively denied the ball to Lavender for the first 15 minutes. Hanging on to a 38-35 lead, the Buckeyes picked up some breathing room when Allen scored two baskets inside. The first came off an assist from Prahalis that resulted in Allen’s 12-foot jumper. Ashlee Trebilcock then hit Allen, who was underneath the basket, with a pass, and Allen flipped the ball in from an awkward angle to make it 42-35. The Hoosiers never got closer than six points again. Indiana scored just three points over one 9-minute span of the second half. Indiana shot just 24 percent from the field in the second half and finished at 31 percent.
Taking the Show on the Road
Unlike last season when Ohio State featured one of its younger teams in recent years, the Buckeyes are finding life on the road much more enjoyable this season, despite recent setbacks at Michigan State and Iowa. After going 6-6 overall and 4-5 in Big Ten road games in 2007-08, the Buckeyes are 7-3 away from home this season and 6-2 in conference play. Their only non-conference loss away from home was at now-No. 3 Auburn in overtime Nov. 23 — a game the Buckeyes led by three in the final minute of regulation before a 3-pointer by Auburn in the final seconds sent the game into overtime.
Lavender Unstoppable at Iowa
Jantel Lavender scored OSU’s first 13 points in the loss at Iowa Feb. 12 and went on to score a season-high 32 while tying career bests with 15 field goals and four blocked shots. She recorded another double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds and added three assists in 38 minutes.
Ohio State is currently ranked 15th in the latest RPI rankings according to RealtimeRPI.com and has the 24th toughest schedule in the country. Two of Ohio State’s five losses are to teams currently ranked in the AP Top 10 (No. 3 Auburn and No. 10 North Carolina) — both by single-digit margins, including one in overtime at Auburn.
Ohio State leads the Big Ten in scoring (68.1), scoring margin (+12.3) and field goal percentage (.436) and rank either second or third in scoring defense (55.8), free throw percentage (.749), FG percentage defense (.356), rebounding (39.5), rebounding margin (+5.3), assists (15.3) and assist/turnover ratio (+0.87).
Sophomore center Jantel Lavender leads the Big Ten in scoring (21.0 ppg), rebounding (10.5 rpg) and FG percentage (.534) and is the only player in Division I to rank in the Top 102in scoring and rebounding. She also leads the Big Ten with 16 games of 20 or more points.
Lavender has scored in double-figures in all 57 career games. That streak currently ranks fourth in Division I among active players according to STATS, Inc.
Lavender’s 30 career double-doubles in 57 career games is tied with Indiana senior Whitney Thomas and Illinois junior Jenna Smith for the career lead among active Big Ten players. Lavender has a Big Ten-best 17 this season. The Buckeyes are 24-6 in her career when she gets a double-double.
Lavender also was named to the Women’s John R. Wooden Award 2009 Midseason Top 20 candidate list Jan. 30. Lavender and UConn’s Maya Moore are the only two sophomores on the list. The Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to her university that she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
Freshman point guard Samantha Prahalis leads the Big Ten and ranks 16th nationally with 5.7 assists per game. She had a season-high 13 assists in the 9-point loss to then-No. 2 North Carolina Dec. 3. She has 15 games with six or more assists.
Prahalis’ 10.2 ppg is best among all freshmen in the Big Ten and is 21st overall among all conference players. She also is among the league leaders in steals (1.9) and assist/turnover ratio (+1.37).
Prahalis has 149 assists on the season and is 20 shy of breaking Kim Wilburn’s Ohio State freshman record of 168 assists set back in 2002-03.
Senior guard Ashlee Trebilcock is second in the Big Ten in 3FG percentage (.444) while classmate Star Allen is tied with Jantel Lavender for the Big Ten lead in FG percentage (.534). Allen also is third in the league in offensive rebounds with 3.0 per game.
Junior Shavelle Little, the 2008 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, leads the conference with 3.07 steals in Big Ten games.
Ohio State has won 75 of its last 87 (.862) Big Ten regular-season games and 40 of its last 42 (.952) at home. The Buckeyes won the last six games of the 2003-04 season, went 14-2 in 2004-05, 15-1 in 2006 and 2007 and went 13-5 during the expanded 18-game conference schedule last season.
Head coach Jim Foster is 90-23 (.796) in Big Ten regular-season games at Ohio State.
Ohio State had its 86-consecutive game win streak against unranked teams at home snapped with its 59-56 loss to Minnesota Jan. 15. The last unranked team to win in Columbus was Penn State, Feb. 3, 2002.
Ohio State owns the seventh-best winning percentage (.838) and has the ninth-most wins (109) in all of women’s basketball during the last four full years.
The 20th-ranked Buckeyes have been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for 93-consecutive weeks.
Ohio State owns the most Big Ten titles with 11. This season they are attempting to become the first team to win five in a row since the Ohio State teams from 1983-87.
Ohio State has had four Big Ten Player of the Year selections the last four seasons; Jessica Davenport in 2005-07 and Jantel Lavender in 2008.
Last Time Out
Samantha Prahalis scored 17 points to lead 20th-ranked Ohio State in a 73-62 victory at Minnesota on Thursday night, keeping the Buckeyes in first place in the Big Ten race and avenging an earlier loss at home to the Gophers. Prahalis snapped a shooting slump with a season-high 18 points against Northwestern last Sunday. Jantel Lavender and Star Allen had 14 points apiece for the Buckeyes (21-5, 12-3), who remained tied with Michigan State atop the conference. Emily Fox led Minnesota (18-8, 10-5) with 18 points, but the Gophers missed their chance to sweep Ohio State for the first time in the program’s history and saw their hopes of winning their first Big Ten title effectively end. They’re tied for fourth place with Indiana, behind Purdue — which stayed a half-game behind the Buckeyes and Spartans. Ohio State (21-5 overall) trailed, 30-26, at the half, but took advantage of numerous Minnesota turnovers and jumped out to a game-high 14-point lead midway through the period. Ohio State shot 65 percent in the second half after shooting just 34 in the opening 20 minutes. Brittany Johnson knocked down four 3-point field goals to contribute a dozen points. Allen led the Buckeyes with nine rebounds.
For the complete release, player bios and stats, click the PDF above