Ohio State (15-9, 6-6) vs. #23/25 Penn State (21-6, 10-3)
Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 – 7 p.m. ET
Value City Arena
TV: Big Ten Network (Tom Hart, Mary Murphy)
Radio: The Fan 1460 AM (Marty Bannister, Kristin Watt)
Listen for FREE at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Setting the Stage
Ohio State welcomes No. 23/25 Penn State to Value City Arena Thursday as the Buckeyes look to avenge a previous loss to the Lady Lions back on Jan. 30 in State College. The Lady Lions have won six of seven, are 21-6 overall and 10-3 in the Big Ten — a half game behind Michigan State (10-2) for first place in the conference standings.
Ohio State, meanwhile, is starting to find its groove once again after two straight wins last week against Purdue (90-67) and at Minnesota (83-76). They are 15-9 overall and 6-6 in the Big Ten and a win Thursday against another ranked team would go a long way in solidifying its NCAA tournament fate. The Buckeyes are 3-2 this season against ranked teams entering tonight’s game.
After Penn State, Ohio State will hit the road for its final two conference road games at Purdue Sunday (5 p.m./ESPN2) and at No. 11/10 Michigan State (6:30 p.m./Big Ten Network) Thursday.
• Ohio State is 3-2 against ranked teams this season, defeating No. 9 Michigan State, No. 11 Oklahoma and No. 18 Iowa, while falling to No. 1 UConn and No. 21 Iowa on the road.
• With the win over No. 9 Michigan State Jan. 16, Ohio State picked up its first win over a top 10 opponent since Dec. 20, 2006 when No. 8 OSU defeated No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman, 74-67.
• Ohio State ranks second in the Big Ten with 73.8 points per game this year. The Buckeyes scored 90 points for the second time this season in a 90-67 win over Purdue last Thursday.
• Jantel Lavender (2,587 points) became Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer Sunday at Minnesota, breaking Katie Smith’s previous record of 2,578 points.
• Lavender is the second-leading active scorer in the NCAA (2,587) behind UConn’s Maya Moore (2,796).
• Lavender also now holds the NCAA record with 10 or more points in 126 consecutive games — every game of Lavender’s career.
• Samantha Prahalis leads the Big Ten and is fourth in the nation with 6.9 assists per game.
• Prahalis (636) also is seven assists away from tying and eight away from breaking Jamie Lewis’ school record of 643 career assists.
• Prahalis recorded her first career triple-double with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds against Northwestern. She is only the second Buckeye to record at least 1,000 points and 600 assists.
• Brittany Johnson went over 900 career points with 17 in the win over Purdue Feb. 10. She hit five 3FGs and moved into fifth on Ohio State’s all-time list with 184 makes.
Series Record: PSU leads 31-19
Series in 2009-10: OSU, 1-0
Last Meeting: 1/10/11, PSU, 80-71 at PSU
In Columbus: PSU leads 11-8
In State College: PSU leads 17-6
Scouting Penn State
No. 23/25 Penn State is a half game behind Michigan State in the Big Ten standings at 10-3 and 21-6 overall. They are led by Big Ten freshman of the year candidate Maggie Lucas’ 16.7 ppg off the bench. She leads the Big Ten and is eighth in the NCAA with a 46.2 clip from three-point range (96-of-208). Sophomore guard Alex Bentley is second on the team with 14.8 points and second in the Big Ten with 5.4 assists. Sophomore Mia Nickson is second in the Big Ten in field goal percentage at 54.1 percent while averaging 10.5 points and 6.6 boards.
As a team, PSU leads the conference in scoring (79.3), field goal percentage (.452), three-point field goal percentage (.448), rebounding (41.4) and is second in steals (10.4) and 3-pointers per game (7.1).
Coquese Washington (Notre Dame, 1993) is in her fourth season as head coach with a record of 62-56.