Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008 – 6:30 p.m. ET
Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
No. 20 Ohio State (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Hartford (3-1, 0-0 America East)
Radio/Internet – WOSU 820-AM/www.wosu.org
P-by-P: Marty Bannister; Analyst: Toni Roesch
Television – Big Ten Network
Leah Secondo, Stephanie White
No. 20 Ohio State looks to rebound from a heartbreaking loss Sunday at then-No. 20 Auburn when they welcome the Hartford Hawks at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night. Both teams enter the game 3-1 and are coming off a loss. Ohio State was tripped up by the Tigers in overtime while Hartford dropped its last game at DePaul 81-70 Nov. 22.
Jantel Lavender, last week’s Big Ten player of the week, leads the Big Ten in scoring (22.5 ppg) and rebounding (12.8 rpg). Lavender also had a career-high seven assists in the overtime loss at Auburn Sunday.
Lavender has scored in double-figures in all 35 career games and has recorded a double-double in every game this season. She has 17 for her career.
Freshman point guard Samantha Prahalis leads the Big Ten with 5.75 assists per game. She had a season-high eight dimes in the overtime loss at Auburn and seven dimes in the win over Army
Sophomore guard Brittany Johnson recorded career bests of 15 points and four 3FG’s in the win over Syracuse
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 Buckeyes have been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for 81-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 Sate has won 79-consecutive games at home against unranked opponents. The last unranked team to win in Columbus was Penn State, Feb. 3, 2002.
Ohio State is 68-3 at home since the start of the 2004-05 season. The Buckeyes are 95-7 all-time at home under head coach Jim Foster.
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.
Ohio State has won the only meeting with Hartford in the all-time series, a 77-49 win in Columbus Nov. 30, 2002.
Hartford is a member of the America East Conference located in West Hartford, Conn. Last season the Hawks went 28-6 and won the America East with a 14-2 record before advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Hawks are 3-1 on the season with wins over Dartmouth (73-40), Providence (69-50) and then-No. 5 Duke (53-51) Nov. 21 before losing its first game of the season the very next night at DePaul, 80-71. Leading the Hawks this season is senior guard Lisa Etienne who is averaging 14.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. She had 15 points and seven steals in the win over Duke. Etienne is followed closely by junior forward Diana Delva with 13.0 ppg and 8.0 rebounds while junior forward Erica Beverly rounds out the top performers with 7.0 ppg and 8.5 rebounds. Jennifer Rizzotti is in her 10th season as head coach with an overall record of 175-105 entering Tuesday’s game.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes dropped their first game of the season Sunday, falling to No. 20 Auburn 87-80 in overtime at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum in Auburn, Ala. Ohio State led 75-72 in the final minute of regulation, but Auburn’s Alli Smalley connected on her fifth 3-pointer of the game with 28 seconds remaining to tie the score. The Buckeyes had one last chance, but Samantha Prahalis’ 3-pointer hit the back of the iron, sending the game into overtime. The Tigers scored the first four points of the extra frame until Ashlee Trebilcock hit her third 3-pointer to make the score 79-78. But Auburn would score the next six points to put the game out of reach as time ticked away. The Buckeyes then went just 2-for-7 shooting in overtime while Auburn was 6-for-9. Auburn jumped out to a 53-42 lead with 15:28 left in the game, but Ohio State regrouped after a timeout and went on a 21-3 run over the next 8 minutes, capped off when Prahalis found a streaking Lavender running the floor as the Buckeyes took a 63-56 lead with 7:08 left. Lavender led Ohio State with 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for her fourth double-double in as many games this year. Star Allen had 18 points and Prahalis scored 15 and dished out eight assists. Trebilcock finished with 11 points off the bench for Ohio State while Brittany Johnson chipped in with eight.
Young, Yet Deep
Ohio State’s starting lineup features a freshman (Prahalis), three sophomores (Lavender, Johnson, Jackson) and one senior (Allen). Among the five, Lavender is the only regular starter from last season. Prahalis, Jackson and Johnson are each are starting for the first time in their careers. Allen started all 32 games two seasons ago, but had only 10 last year after sitting out winter quarter to focus on academics. Through four games this season, Prahalis, Lavender and Johnson are three of Ohio State’s top four scorers. However, the Buckeyes feature a deep and talented bench this season loaded with experience. Senior Ashlee Trebilcock brings instant offense with her outside shooting ability while junior Shavelle Little, the 2008 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, is arguable the best on-the-ball defender in the Big Ten and one of the best in the country. Junior center Andrea Walker has shown dramatic improvement recovering from a foot injury last season. When on the floor with Lavender, the duo has proven to be a tough 1-2 punch inside with their scoring and shot-blocking ability.
Good as Advertised
Through four games this season, freshman guard Samantha Prahalis has not disappointed. Since the first game of the season, she has performed like a seasoned veteran, running Ohio State’s offense, finding the open teammate and coming up with one big shot after another. She leads all Big Ten freshman and is seventh overall with 13.8 ppg and also leads all conference players with 5.75 assists. She has had four or more assists in every game, including a season-high eight in the overtime loss at Auburn. She scored 15 of her season-high 17 points in the win over Syracuse and hit three from downtown.
Johnson Settling into Starting Role
Sophomore Brittany Johnson is starting to show the kind of form that enabled her to score more than 4,000 points in high school. Over the last two games, Johnson is averaging 10.0 points and has connected on six 3-pointers.
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