8:25 PM ET, March 7, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS -- It didn't take long for Ohio State to show that its rematch with Iowa was headed for a much different result.The No. 12 Buckeyes ran out to a 20-2 lead and eventually beat the Hawkeyes 72-56 on Saturday night in the Big Ten tournament semifinals.Iowa beat Ohio State 85-75 in their only regular-season meeting. That defensive meltdown was on the Buckeyes' minds."That was a major emphasis," said Jantel Lavender, who led Ohio State with 21 points and 17 rebounds. "We knew if we gave up 85 points, it's kind of hard for us to beat a team like that. Eighty-five points is just too much to give up. We knew that."Ohio State enters the final on a seven-game winning streak. Iowa had won its past seven games.Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said Ohio State looked like a different team this time."They came out much more aggressive than they did at our place the first time," she said. "It caught us off-guard a little bit. We had seen good defense throughout the year, but Ohio State certainly is a great team. They really came out wanting to avenge that loss. They did a great job."Star Allen had 13 points and 15 rebounds for the top-seeded Buckeyes (26-5), who will play Purdue in the final for the third time in four years.Purdue, the No. 3 seed, beat No. 7-seed Wisconsin 70-56 in the other semifinal to advance to Sunday's championship game.Purdue, the two-time defending tournament champion, beat Ohio State in the 2007 final.The Boilermakers have won seven titles in 14 years. They have the advantage of playing at Conseco Fieldhouse, about 65 miles from campus."This is sort of like their home court," Lavender said. "We have to come out and play with the kind of intensity we played with today."Kamille Wahlin and Kristi Smith each scored 11 points for the fourth-seeded Hawkeyes (21-10)The Buckeyes led 34-17 at halftime and increased its advantage to 25 with 12:13 to play."We set the tempo in the first half," Lavender said. "We came out with that same energy in the second half. We knew if we didn't let up it was kind of hard for them to keep up with us. We came out and played the exact same way in the second half and it was effective."Ohio State followed a 57 percent shooting effort in its quarterfinal win over Illinois with 48 percent against the Hawkeyes. The Buckeyes also outrebounded Iowa 41-34.Iowa, which had scored 79 points in a win over Minnesota the previous night, shot 37 percent against Ohio State, including a 29 percent effort in the first half. The Hawkeyes led the Big Ten in scoring and 3-point percentage during conference games, but didn't get going on Saturday until it was too late."I thought they came out and played extremely well," Bluder said. "I thought their defensive intensity was great. It almost shell-shocked us, the way they played defense. We were back on our heels and turned the ball over too many times to begin the game. You can't give a good team like that that many points right off the bat."Wendy Ausdemore, who scored 25 points in Iowa's quarterfinal win over Minnesota, scored nine points on 4-for-9 shooting against Ohio State.Smith, Iowa's leading scorer this season, made just 4-of-13 shots."It was just frustrating," Smith said.Ohio State expects Purdue to make adjustments for the final. The Buckeyes won the first meeting 71-60 at Purdue, then won the rematch 71-58 in Columbus."I'm sure people will have wrinkles," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said. "It's the nature of what we do. ... We'll have some thoughts, as will they."
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||22-59 (.373)||28-59 (.475)|
|3P Made-Attempted||6-15 (.400)||7-17 (.412)|
|FT Made-Attempted||6-9 (.667)||9-22 (.409)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||14 (0/0)||12 (0/0)|