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Last updated: 03/05/2011 0:32 AM

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Women's Basketball
Brittany Johnson Shoots the Buckeyes Past The Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Tournament
By Tony Gerdeman

Senior guard Brittany Johnson hit seven three-pointers and scored 23 points in leading the #5 seed Buckeyes (20-9) over #4 seed Iowa (22-8), advancing Ohio State into the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.

The Buckeyes used stifling defense and timely shooting in keeping the Hawkeyes from taking flight. Iowa shot just 19-58 (32.8%) from the field. Ohio State managed to answer every Hawkeye run with an offensive burst of their own.

Johnson got her three-point barrage started early on, making a pair in the first four minutes of the game. Samantha Prahalis responded with a three of her own to give the Buckeyes a 13-12 lead with 12:22 remaining.

The Buckeyes opened the lead up to 17-12, but a three-pointer from Iowa's Kalli Hansen, followed by a second personal foul by Prahalis swung the momentum in Iowa's favor.

With Prahalis on the bench, the Hawkeyes quickly went on a 10-4 run to take a 25-21 lead. But as was the case for the entire game, the Buckeyes answered with a 6-2 run to tie the game at 27-27 at the half.

After not getting much involvement from their post players in the first twenty minutes, Ohio State opened the second half by scoring their first eight points in the paint. Jantel Lavender had the first four points, and then Ashley Adams added four of her own. After Adams second basket, Iowa called a timeout to try to halt the Buckeye momentum.

Ohio State opened a ten-point lead after a blocked shot and length-of-the-court run for a layup by Brittany Johnson, but that lead quickly got cut to five. The Buckeyes then went back up by nine, but that was subsequently reduced to six. That six-point lead then became a twelve-point lead at 52-40 in the span of 38 seconds thanks to two three-pointers from Johnson.

“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. “And she got open for some open threes. She had some really good open looks, and Ohio State does such a great job of finding her.”

Down twelve points with just ten minutes remaining, the Hawkeyes refocused and attacked the Ohio State defense, going on an 11-0 run and scoring nine of those points at the free throw line.

“When shots aren't falling, that's a big key to get to the free throw line and try to get your rhythm back,” Bluder said.

“We weren't really closing down well, and let them get a full head of steam driving to the basket,” said Lavender, explaining what went wrong during the run.”

But as was the case for the entire game, Iowa could never get over the hump and grab the lead from the Buckeyes. After the Hawkeyes cut the lead to one, Tayler Hill hit two free throws to give Ohio State a little bit of breathing room. Ashley Adams then added a basket for even more room.

Iowa guard Jaime Printy hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to two points with 4:07 remaining, but Brittany Johnson negated it with a baseline three of her own that actually glanced off of the backboard.

“When you bank in a three from the sideline, you know life is going pretty well for you at the time,” said Bluder, referencing Johnson's bank shot.

“It just happened,” Johnson said. “I was shocked myself.”

Iowa made one final run to cut the lead to 60-59, but Johnson again silenced the Hawkeyes, this time with a pair of three-pointers to make it 66-61 with just over a minute to play. Iowa had no further fire.

The talk of the game was the three-point shooting from Brittany Johnson, but she was more than just an offensive threat on the night.

“How about the shot block, how about a full-court layup off a steal,” said Buckeye coach Jim Foster.

“She's always been a great shooter. I shouldn't say that. She's developed herself into being a great shooter. A lot of hard work. But I thought that the defensive part of Brittany tonight was every bit as exciting as the three-point shots.”

Lavender (11 points), Adams (10 points) and Hill (12 points) joined Johnson as double-figure scorers on the night. Prahalis led the way with eight assists for the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes will next face #1 seed Michigan State on Saturday around 7:30 pm on the Big Ten Network.

Box Score
Game Play by Play
Season Stats Year to Date

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

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