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Buckeyes beat back Knights in tourney opener

Mar 19, 2011 - 11:05 PM Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Jantel Lavender posted game highs of 30 points and 11 rebounds as she led the Ohio State Buckeyes to the 80-69 win over the UCF Knights in first-round play in the Dayton Region of the NCAA Tournament at St. John Arena.

Lavender, who registered her 75th career double-double on the afternoon, finished 13-of-22 from the floor for the fourth-seeded Buckeyes (23-9). Also posting a double-double in the outing was Samantha Prahalis with 19 points and a game-high 10 assists, while Brittany Johnson accounted for 14 points on 3- of-5 shooting behind the three-point line.

The 13th-seeded Knights (22-11) were paced by D'Nay Daniels and Ashia Kelly who both dropped in 16 points, the former clearing a team-best 10 rebounds as well. Chelsie Wiley tacked on 11 points.

UCF took a three-point lead early in the first half, but the squad shot only 36.4 percent from the floor in the period and ended up trailing at the break by a 43-33 margin.

In the second half the Buckeyes kept their distance by connecting on 53.6 percent from the floor, en route to the 11-point triumph.

Ohio State outscored the visitors in the paint by a 46-28 margin which helped the group to overcome just 3-of-11 shooting behind the three-point line.

OSU advances to the second round on Monday and will clash with Georgia Tech which defeated Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon.