COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jantel Lavender scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half to set an NCAA record with her 135th straight double-figure scoring game, leading Ohio State past Georgia Tech 67-60 Monday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Lavender, who had been tied with Oklahoma's Courtney Paris with 134 consecutive games of 10 or more points, also grabbed 11 rebounds. She dominated in the paint as the Buckeyes advanced to a regional semifinal Saturday against top-seeded Tennessee in Dayton.
Samantha Prahalis added 16 points and eight assists, and Ashley Adams scored 11 for the fourth-seeded Buckeyes (24-9), who have won 11 in a row.
Metra Walthour had 15 points to lead the fifth-seeded Yellow Jackets (24-11), who have never advanced past the second round in seven NCAA appearances.
Sasha Goodlett and Tyaunna Marshall each had 12 points for Georgia Tech, which led by as many as four early in the second half before an unfriendly crowd at Ohio State's backup home, St. John Arena.
The victory was a measure of redemption for an Ohio State team that had failed to get past the second round in six of the last eight years under coach Jim Foster. It also was a continuing sign of a turnaround after the Buckeyes lost nine of 14 games in midseason.
Lavender had her 76th career double-double. The only four-time player of the year, male or female, in the Big Ten, she hit 10 of 14 shots from the field, going 8 of 10 in the second half.
Down 35-34 after Goodlett scored inside for the Yellow Jackets with 17:42 left, the Buckeyes — and Lavender — took over the game. Lavender hit an 8-foot jumper for the lead, then scored on consecutive fast-break passes from Prahalis to push the lead to 40-35.
After a basket by Chelsea Regins for Georgia Tech, Lavender had nine points and Tayler Hill the other four in a 13-3 run that stretched the lead to 53-40.
The Yellow Jackets never got closer than seven points again.
Shooting 33.5 percent from 3-point range for the season, Georgia Tech mustered just 12 percent against the Buckeyes (2 of 17). The Yellow Jackets shot 39 percent from the field to Ohio State's 60 percent (25 of 42).
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 Regins that caught Lavender in the throat. After a lengthy review at midcourt, double intentional technical fouls were called on both players.
The officials had earlier watched tape of another smack to the face when Georgia Tech's Alex Montgomery came down with a rebound after being hit in the mouth. But no foul was called on that play.
Players were grousing to the officials or expressing their frustration with non-calls on fouls throughout the game.
Georgia Tech led 30-29 on Marshall's 15-foot jumper with a second left in the half.
As expected, the Yellow Jackets' smothering pressure was effective, forcing the Buckeyes into 21 turnovers — matching their season high. But the Buckeyes offset the turnovers by hitting their shots.