Jantel Lavender scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half to set an NCAA record with her 135th consecutive double-figure scoring game, leading fourth-seeded Ohio State past No. 5 seed Georgia Tech, 67-60, in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Lavender, who had been tied with Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris with 134 games in a row of 10 or more points, also grabbed 11 rebounds.
“She is the best post player in the country, and one of the top three players,” Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. “She was aggressive in the second half. In the first half, she was a little passive, setting picks outside away from the basket. But then they started getting the ball to her on the block.”
Samantha Prahalis added 16 points and eight assists, and Ashley Adams scored 11 for the Buckeyes (24-9), who have won 11 in a row.
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Lincoln High graduate Alex Montgomery scored seven points for the Yellow Jackets (24-11) on 3-for-15 shooting, including 1-for-11 on 3-pointers. Montgomery, a senior guard, added a team-high nine rebounds to go with two assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
Metra Walthour had 15 points for Georgia Tech, which has yet to advance past the second round in seven NCAA appearances.
“We knew what we were up against,” Montgomery said. “We just didn’t execute the game plan. They were knocking down shots, and we weren’t able to do that.”
Sasha Goodlett and Tyaunna Marshall each had 12 points for Georgia Tech, which led by as many as four early in the second half in front of an unfriendly crowd at Ohio State’s backup home, St. John Arena.
Lavender had her 76th career double-double. The only four-time player of the year, male or female, in the Big Ten, she was 10-for-14 from the field, going 8-for-10 in the second half.
The Buckeyes have often been criticized for failing to get past the second round in six of the previous eight years under coach Jim Foster
“First, I’m really happy we got past this round,” Lavender said. “Second, to do that we had to really compete in the second half.”
The game was held up for almost 10 minutes at the 5:24 mark of the first half while the officials watched a replay of an elbow thrown by Chelsea Regins that caught Lavender in the throat. After a lengthy review at midcourt, intentional technical fouls were called on both players.
The officials had earlier watched tape of another smack to the face when Montgomery came down with a rebound after being hit in the mouth but no foul was called on that play.
“This late in the tournament, you have to play exceptional,” Joseph said. “Today was just an average day for us.”
At Tennessee 79, Marquette 70: Meighan Simmons scored 18 points as the top-seeded Lady Vols (33-2) advanced to the regional semifinals.
Angel Robinson scored 19 points for the eighth-seeded Golden Eagles (24-9).
Notre Dame 77, Temple 64: Devereaux Peters had her ninth double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the second-seeded Fighting Irish (27-7) over the Owls in Salt Lake City.
Guard Shey Peddy had 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals for No. 10 seed Temple (24-8).