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Buckeye star stops Knights

UCF’s Ashia Kelly, left, defends Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis in the second half of the Buckeyes’ 80-69 victory. Kelly scored 16 for the Knights to tie D’Nay Daniels for the team lead.

Associated Press

UCF’s Ashia Kelly, left, defends Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis in the second half of the Buckeyes’ 80-69 victory. Kelly scored 16 for the Knights to tie D’Nay Daniels for the team lead.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State coach Jim Foster has usually been able to count on one thing for four years: at least 10 points and 10 rebounds from star post player Jantel Lavender.

Lavender didn't disappoint in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday, scoring 30 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for her 75th career double double to lead the fourth-seeded Buckeyes past pesky No. 13 seed UCF 80-69.

The only four-time Big Ten player of the year, Lavender scored in transition, on medium-range jumpers and on her patented drop-step move on the block. The Buckeyes (23-9) are 60-15 when she hits double digits in points and rebounds in the same game.

"Yeah, that's always important," she said of her two-pronged production. "I know that if I have a double double or if I rebound well and I score, our team really feeds off of that. It's just fun. I guess that is how I measure if I play well."

Lavender tied Oklahoma's Courtney Paris (2006-09) for most career double-figure scoring games in Division I history at 134.

But the Knights (22-11), despite not having a starter taller than 5 feet 10, more than held their own on the boards (a 39-33 advantage) and were not afraid to drive the lane. UCF never backed down from the Big Ten tournament champion, which stretched its winning streak to 10.

But the Conference USA champion Knights knew they couldn't afford to commit two players to guard Lavender.

"We knew that going in that that would be one of the things that we would have to give up to have them play into our game plan," said Ashia Kelly, who matched D'Nay Daniels with 16 points for the Knights. "But (Lavender) did a great job of knocking down shots when she needed to."

The Knights went on a 10-0 run, capped by Chelsie Wiley's 3 and a bucket by Daniels off Gevenia Carter's steal, to cut it to 73-65 with 2:22 left. But the rally faltered when they failed to score over the next two minutes.

"We hung in there and fought," said UCF coach Joi Williams, a former player at USF. "There were times that we could have easily given up."

Ohio State, the fourth seed in the Dayton Region, faces No. 5 seed Georgia Tech in Monday's second round.

GA. TECH 69, BOWLING GREEN 58: Sasha Goodlett scored 19 and the Yellow Jackets (24-10) used relentless pressure to force 25 turnovers in Columbus. "Every time we trapped, they'd look at me," said Alex Montgomery, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets. "It was like they were scared." Lauren Prochaska led the Falcons (28-5) with 19 points.

TENNESSEE 99, STETSON 34: All 13 Volunteers played before halftime and all scored by the final buzzer as the top seed cruised at home in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee (32-2) outrebounded the Hatters 63-31 and Stetson (20-13) shot just 18.2 percent (12-for-66) in its second tournament appearance.

MARQUETTE 68, TEXAS 65: Senior guard Tatiyiana McMorris' 3-pointer with 10 seconds left gave Marquette the lead, and ninth-seeded Texas failed to get off a proper shot when Kathleen Nash got stuck in a crowd of defenders as time expired in Knoxville. Angel Robinson scored 19 to lead the eighth-seeded Golden Eagles (24-8). The Longhorns (19-14) led by nine with 12:38 left.

NOTRE DAME 67, UTAH 54: Skylar Diggins and Natalie Novosel scored 20 apiece for the Fighting Irish, the No. 2 seed which held off the host Utes in Salt Lake City. Utah (18-17) led late in the first half and was within five points with eight minutes left, but Notre Dame (27-7) had a 10-2 run to put it out of reach. The Irish held the Utes to 32.7 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers.

TEMPLE 63, ARIZONA ST. 45: The Owls (24-8) shook off a slow start in Salt Lake City to earn their largest victory margin in an NCAA Tournament game. Temple, the No. 10 seed, held the Sun Devils (20-11) to 30.9 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers.

Philadelphia Region

PENN ST. 75, DAYTON 66: Alex Bentley had 25 points and applied pressure on defense to help the host Nittany Lions (25-9) produce 22 turnovers in State College, Pa. Penn State, the sixth seed, ousted the Flyers for a victorious return to the tourney after a six-year absence. Dayton (21-12) trailed by 14 early in the second half but got within a bucket several times late.

DePAUL 56, NAVY 43: Felicia Chester had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Katherine Harry added 10 points and a couple of big second-half buckets in State College, Pa., to help the No. 3 seed Blue Demons (28-6) reach the second round for the first time in five years. Navy (20-12) trailed by three at halftime and led 30-29 early in the second half before DePaul pulled away.

DUKE 90, TENN.-MARTIN 45: Jasmine Thomas scored 18 in Durham, N.C., as the host and No. 2 seed Blue Devils (30-3). Duke won their seventh overall and 24th straight at home. In their NCAA Tournament debut, the Skyhawks (21-11) only trailed 41-31 at halftime but Duke ran off nine straight points to open the second half.

MARIST 74, IOWA ST. 64: Kate Oliver had 16 points for the Red Foxes (31-2), the No. 10 seed, in Durham. Marist led 40-20 and shot 8-of-10 on 3-pointers in the opening half. The Cyclones (22-11) never caught up, though Anna Prins hit a 3 to bring ISU within 60-54 with 4:22 left.

Spokane Region

GONZAGA 92, IOWA 86: Courtney Vandersloot scored a career-high 34 points for the host and No. 11 seed Bulldogs (29-4), who got to play on their home court in Spokane, Wash., also the site of the region semifinals and final. The Hawkeyes (22-9) got within 83-81 with two minutes left but never got back in front.

UCLA 55, MONTANA 47: The third-seeded Bruins (28-4) committed 19 turnovers and shot 42 percent in a sloppy performance in Spokane. The Grizzlies (18-15) got within 47-42 with 3:35 left but couldn't get any closer.

STANFORD 86, UC DAVIS 59: Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 22 points and seven rebounds for the top-seeded and host Cardinal (30-2). Paige Mintun scored 17 for UC Davis (24-9) in the final game for coach Sandy Simpson, who is retiring after 14 seasons.

ST. JOHN'S 55, TEXAS TECH 50: Nadirah McKenith scored 14 for the No. 9 seed Red Storm (22-10) at Stanford. The Red Raiders (22-11) scored a season-low 20 points in the second half.

KENTUCKY 66, HAMPTON 62, OT: Brittany Henderson scored four of her six points in overtime for the Wildcats (25-8), the fourth seed who survived an upset bid by the Pirates (26-7) in Albuquerque, N.M.

N. CAROLINA 82, FRESNO ST. 68: Italee Lucas hit four 3s among her 22 points for the fifth-seeded Tar Heels (26-8) against the Bulldogs (25-8), who led the nation in 3s but hit 14-of-50 from behind the arc in Albuquerque.

.FAST FACTS

Today's TV games

Purdue vs. Kansas State, 2:30 p.m., ESPNU

McNeese State vs. Texas A&M, 5 p.m., ESPNU

Florida State vs. Samford, 5:15 p.m., ESPN2

Louisiana Tech vs. Rutgers, 7:30 p.m., ESPNU

Other games airing in whiparound format on ESPN2 from noon to about 10 p.m.

Buckeye star stops Knights 03/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 19, 2011 11:52pm]

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