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Feb. 14, 2007

Gene Smith Named to Inaugural “Legends Class”
The newly formed McLendon Minority Scholarship Ad Hoc Steering Committee of National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Division I-A Athletics Directors announced the inaugural induction of the “Legends Class”, the first Hall of Fame that will honor minority collegiate and professional athletics administrators who have made a lasting impact on sport, in conjunction with the debut of the John McLendon Basketball Classic. The Classic is an event created to raise funds for the McLendon Minority Scholarship Fund.

The inaugural class of minority amateur and professional athletics administrators will be comprised of Wayne Embry, Dr. James Frank, Ozzie Newsome, Gene Smith, Dr. LeRoy Walker and Bill White.

Smith was a member of Notre Dame’s 1973 national championship team and served as an assistant football coach at his alma mater after graduating in 1977. In 1983, Smith began his athletics administration career as assistant athletics director at Eastern Michigan. In 1985 he was named interim athletics director before coming the permanent AD a year later. Since then, Smith has been an athletics director at Iowa State, Arizona State, and currently at Ohio State. He is the first African American to hold this position for the Buckeyes and was NACDA’s first African American president in 1994. Currently, he is also the president of the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association and is on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee. Smith serves on various national committees and was honored by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful African Americans in Sports.” Smith will also serve on the McLendon Scholarship Ad Hoc Steering Committee of the Division I-A Athletics Directors, but was not included on this initial release because of his nomination to the inaugural “Legends Class.”

Athletes of the Week

Mike Conley Jr., the Big Ten’s leader in assists, steals andassist-to-turnover ratio, earned co-Big Ten player of the weekhonors after he led the men’s basketball team to a pair of homewins last week to remain unbeaten at home (16-0) and tied for thetop spot in Big Ten Conference play with a 10-1 record. Conley, afreshman point guard from Indianapolis, averaged 18.5 points andfive assists while connecting on 61 percent of his shots from thefield, 75 percent of his 3-point attempts and 86 percent of hisfoul shots. He scored a career-high 23 points in the win overMichigan (Feb. 6) while making 9-of-12 shots from the field andhanding out six assists with just one turnover. He shares the awardwith Wisconsin senior forward Alando Tucker.

Conley’s shooting efforts moved him into the No. 5 spot among league players for the season in field goal percentage (.527/96-182). For the season, he has recorded a league-high 157 assists to go with a Big Ten best 58 steals. He already owns the Ohio State freshman record for assists in a season and is moving up the all-time Top 10 list for assists in a season. He is currently tied for No. 5 with Larry Bolden (1975) and trails No. 4 Curtis Wilson’s 162 in 1987. Conley’s season steals total is tied for the No. 10 spot with Brent Darby (2003) and is No. 2 all-time among OSU freshmen behind Michael Redd’s 61 in 1998.

Senior defenseman Amber Bowman of the women’s hockey team tiedthe Ohio State record for career points by a defenseman, increasingher total to 99 with two points in the Wisconsin series. She had agoal Friday and an assist Sunday to extend her point streak to fourgames. The assist was the 71st of her career to rank secondall-time in the OSU record books. Bowman also is tied for second inthe single-season records with 27 assists this year. With 35 pointsthis season, Bowman is second on the Buckeyes in scoring and thesecond-highest scoring defenseman in the NCAA. She ranks seventhoverall in scoring in the WCHA, third in assists (27) and is tiedfor second in power play points (21).

Athletics Good Stuff

The Big Ten Conference office announced Tuesday that the 2007Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships have been postponedbecause of severe weather in the Midwest and resulting traveldifficulties. The event, originally scheduled to begin on Thursday,Feb. 15, will now start one day later on Friday, Feb. 16.

Ohio State University will serve as the host of the 2007 Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships from Friday, Feb. 16, through Sunday, Feb. 18 in Columbus, Ohio, at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The event will begin on Friday at noon local time with preliminary swimming heats. The championships conclude on Sunday at 7 p.m. with finals competition for swimming and diving before the crowning of the 2007 Big Ten champion.

The men’s basketball team tied a school record for homevictories with its 16th triumph of the season last Saturday vs.Purdue (63-56). The record was set a year ago with a 16-1 homerecord. The 32-1 record at Value City Arena the last two seasonsalso is a record for home wins over consecutive seasons. TheBuckeyes are 22-3 overall and 10-1 in Big Ten Conference playheading into a pair of road games this week at Penn State (8p.m./ESPN) Wednesday and at Minnesota Sunday (1 p.m./CBS). OhioState has won 10 or more Big Ten games in a season 25 times overalland for the second time in head coach Thad Matta’s three seasons inColumbus. The No. 4/5 ranked women’s basketball team (23-1, 12-0Big Ten) scored a pair of road wins last week at Minnesota (70-67)Thursday and at Illinois (69-60) Sunday. Jessica Davenport notchedthe second triple-double of her career with 17 points, 10 reboundsand 11 blocked shots at Minnesota and fronted the Buckeyes with aseason-high 28 points at Illinois. Marscilla Packer added 18- and17-point games against the Golden Gophers and Illini, while StarAllen posted her third double-double in the last five games with 10points and 10 rebounds at Illinois.

The Buckeyes tip off a stretch of three consecutive home games vs. Wisconsin at 7 p.m. Thursday in Value City Arena.

The 17th-ranked wrestling team dropped a 21-15 decision to No.23 Michigan Feb. 11 at Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. TheBuckeyes held an early 3-0 lead when No. 17 Lance Palmer upsetsecond-ranked Josh Churella, 6-4, in the final seconds of thesecond tiebreaker with a takedown at 149 pounds. Palmer handedChurella just his third loss of the season. Earlier in the year,Palmer lost to Churella, 3-0, in the semifinals of the EasternMichigan Open. Palmer finished the tournament in third place.

No. 3 Mike Pucillo (184) and No. 6 J.D. Bergman (197) also gave Ohio State wins against ranked opponents. For the second time this season, Pucillo defeated No. 4 Tyrel Todd, 5-3, and Bergman beat No. 19 Nick Roy, 2-0. T.J. Enright (133) and J Jaggers (141) also won by decisions.

The women’s tennis team was 2-1 over the weekend, with a 5-2win over Marquette Friday, a 5-2 loss to Virginia Tech Sunday and a7-0 victory over Miami (Ohio) Sunday. Senior Sonia Ruizmovsky andjunior Caitlin O’Keefe led the Buckeyes with 4-1 records in singlesand doubles combined, including a 3-0 mark in doubles. Thisweekend, the Buckeyes hit the road for two matches. The squad willface Marshall at 1 p.m. Saturday and William & Mary at 1 p.m.Sunday in Williamsburg, Va.

The Buckeyes’ 2007 recruiting class put together by head coach Chuck Merzbacher, including Paloma Escobedo and Cameron Hubbs, was ranked eighth by tennisrecruiting.net

The men’s lacrosse team opened its season with a 13-5 victoryover Robert Morris Saturday at North Turf Field. Buckeye juniorKevin Buchanan led the squad with six points and four assists,while sophomore transfer Jeff Ryan had a hat trick and five pointsin his first game as a Buckeye. Sophomore Joel Dalgarno had fourpoints, including three goals. Sophomore Doug Ruhnke had two goalsand three points, marking the first points of his Buckeye career.

The squad travels to Baltimore, Md., this weekend to face North Carolina at 1 p.m. at Calvert Hall College.

The men’s hockey team swept a two-game series against NorthernMichigan last weekend, with 3-2 and 4-1 wins. Friday, seniorMathieu Beaudoin broke a 2-all tie in the third period to lift theBuckeyes to the win. Saturday, senior Andrew Schembri had twopoints and freshman goalie Joseph Palmer made 30 saves in thevictory. The squad travels to face Nebraska-Omaha for two gamesthis weekend. The teams, which are tied for fifth place in the CCHAstandings, will meet at 8:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the CivicAuditorium in Omaha. The No. 10 women’s hockey team dropped itslast two road games of the regular season, falling to No. 2Wisconsin by scores of 5-2 and 3-2, Feb. 9 and 11, respectively.Senior defenseman Amber Bowman tied the Ohio State record forcareer points by a defenseman with 99. She is tied with two-timeOlympian and former All-American Emma Laaksonen (2000-03). With onemore point, Bowman would become just the third Buckeye to reach the100-point milestone. Erin Keys and Tessa Bonhomme both had a goaland an assist Sunday and, along with Bowman, are on a four-gamepoint streak.

The Buckeyes are tied for fourth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings with Minnesota State at 26 points. Ohio State will host the Mavericks this weekend at the OSU Ice Rink in a battle for home ice during the first round of the WCHA championship playoffs. Games begin at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 4:07 p.m. Saturday.

The men’s tennis team improved to No. 2 nationally in thelatest FILA Intercollegiate Tennis Association Poll released Feb.6. The second-place ranking is the highest by the Buckeyes inschool history. The previous high was No. 3, a spot Ohio Stateattained in the preseason rankings this year. Last week, BryanKoniecko was named the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Player of the Weeknoting the first time this year a Buckeye has won the recognition.Last season, OSU had five winners of the award.

The No. 2 Ohio State team improved 6-0 on the after collecting two wins last week. The Buckeyes beat Toledo (7-0) Wednesday at the Jesse Owens West Tennis Center to extend their home win streak to 45 matches. Ohio State then beat No. 36 Tennessee by a 4-0 score Friday at the Goodfriend Tennis Center in Knoxville, Tenn. The Buckeyes have shut out each team they have faced this season. Opponents have managed to take only five of a possible 83 singles sets from OSU. OSU has opened the season with six consecutive wins for the second year in a row. The Buckeyes began 9-0 last season.

Men’s volleyball opened conference play in the MIVA with winsover fifth-ranked IFPW, 3-1 and Mercyhurst, 3-0, in road matches.The 10th-ranked Buckeyes upset IPFW behind a career-high 22.5points by Dan Meske. Sam Stevens added 14.5 points and Layne Drevenhad 14. Dreven and Matthew Hankey scored a match-high 10 pointseach in OSU’s win at Mercyhurst.

Ohio State returns home for three matches in the next two weeks, beginning with George Mason (3-2) Saturday at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena.

The men’s track and field team finished action Saturday at theSykes-Sabock challenge in State College, Pa. The Buckeyes claimedthe team title with a total of 107 points, ahead of host Penn Stateand Pittsburgh. The Buckeyes took the team lead in the event with awin by Elon Simms in the in the 600-meter run and never lookedback. Simms won the 600m in a meet record time of 1:18.01. Simms’time also is the best in the Big Ten season. Also in the 600m,freshman Brandon Woodard came in fifth with a time of 1:20. 57.Junior Anthony Cole took second in the 200-meter dash with a 21.54,a best this season and the second-best time in the Big Ten. In the800-meter run, sophomore Jeff See took fifth with a time of1:50.83. The Buckeyes sealed the victory with a top time in the4x400-meter relay in 3:14.97. The women’s track and field teamcompleted action at the Skykes-Sabock Challenge Saturday with afifth-place team finish. The Buckeyes were led by the 4×400-meterrelay team of Chandra Krempel, Jenna Harris, Ashley Caldwell andAyrizanna Favours that placed second in a school-record time. Therelay team set the school record for second-consecutive week with atime of 3:38.68, setting a NCAA provisional qualifying mark.Individually, the Buckeyes were lead by Harris, who took second inthe 400-meter dash with a time of 53.27. She was followed closelyby Favours, who took third in a time of 53.47. Harris’ time is thesecond-best in Ohio State history in the 400m and Favours’ time isthe third-best all-time. Both times are NCAA provisional qualifyingmarks and are two of the Top 8 times in the country this season.Six gymnasts from the men’s gymnastics program competed inindividual event and all-around finals at the Winter Cup ChallengeSaturday in Las Vegas. Buckeyes DJ Bucher, Jimmy Wickham and WillieIto finished in the Top 3 on parallel bars, vault and high bar,respectively, at the conclusion of the two-day competition. The No.21 women’s gymnastics team returns to the road at 7 p.m. Saturdayat Pittsburgh. The Buckeyes (5-4) scored a season-high 194.975 lastweek in St. John Arena. The squad is led by juniors MaalikaMoore-Thomas and Kaylan Clevinger in the all-around, who rank tenthand 12th in the central region. The softball team opened its seasonat the Arizona State Kajikawa Classic in Tempe last weekend, wherethe Buckeyes beat New Mexico and Cal State Northridge and fell toNo. 1 Arizona, No. 5 Arizona State and Texas Tech. Freshman SamMarder became the first freshman in OSU history to hit a grand slamin her first game, which led the Buckeyes to a 4-3 win over theLobos. Marder hit .300 with three homers during the Classic, whilesenior Nycole Koyano hit a team-best .429. After an off-week, OhioState travels to Cathedral City, Calif., for the Palm SpringsClassic Feb. 23-25 for five games, including four against Top 20opponents. The fencing team went unbeaten Saturday at the OhioState Duals in French Field House, compiling an overall 18-0record. Facing all club opponents, the Buckeye men and women,ranked No. 2 and No. 6, respectively, both posted 9-0 marks whiledominating their home facility. The Ohio State men are now 27-1,while the Buckeye women are 24-4. Six Buckeyes went undefeated onthe day, including junior Siobhan Byrne, Syvenna Siebert, SergeySmirnov, Joe Streb, Alexandra Obrazcova and Julia Tikhonova. Thesynchronized swimming team went 2-0 on the weekend, defeatingRichmond, 89-71, Feb. 10 and William & Mary, 101-86, Feb. 11.The Buckeyes’ (7-0) 101 points was a season high.

Against Richmond, the meet started with the trio competition with the grouping of Barbara Nesbitt, Leah Pinette and Hannah Shively finishing first with a score of 90.833. The trio of Ellen Hacker, Carmen Moraes and Caitlin Stewart were second with a 90.667. The duo of Hacker and Stewart were the lone OSU pairing in duet and they took the top spot with a mark of 89.500. In the solo event, Nesbitt continued to dominate, earning a 93.167 for first place, while classmate Moraes was second with 88.333 points. In the team competition, the Scarlet Team notched a 93.000 to outpace Richmond’s 80.250.

The Buckeyes notched a season-high 101 points against William & Mary for their seventh win of the season. Hacker, Stewart and Moraes won their third trio event of the season after scoring an 89.833 to edge teammates Nesbitt, Pinette and Shively’s 89.500. Like in the Richmond match-up, Hacker and Stewart were the lone OSU representatives in the duet, but they outdistanced their nearest opposition by more than 12 points, scoring a 91.500. In solo, Nesbitt and Moraes again finished in the Top 2, with Nesbitt recording a 92.167 and Moraes tallying an 89.833. The Scarlet Team took the top spot in the team competition, scoring a season-best 96.000 points.

The Buckeyes travel to Keuka, N.Y., where they will face Keuka College Feb. 17.

The men’s golf team finished 11th at the Gator Invitational inGainesville, Fla., Sunday. The team shot a season low 882(283-300-299). Senior Colin Biles led the Buckeyes with athree-round total of 219 (69-76-74). The Buckeyes return to actionin the Rio Pinar Intercollegiate at the Rio Pinar Country Club inOrlando, Fla. Feb. 19-20. The rifle team finished second in a NCAASectional hosted by the Buckeyes at the Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range inConverse Hall. OSU had a 4,474 aggregate score, second to Akron at4,537. Morehead State finished third at 2,272. Akron finished firstin both smallbore rifle (2,240) and air rifle (2,297). Ohio Statewas second in air rifle (2,269) and third in smallbore rifle(2,205) with Morehead State taking second in smallbore rifle(2,238) and third in air rifle (2,234).

Individually, Ohio State’s Steven Nozaki was second in air rifle, shooting a 580. He was OSU’s top scorer in smallbore rifle at 559. Jeff Naswadi was second on the team at 550. Kelly Lake had the second best OSU score in air rifle at 576.

The team and individual scores will be compiled with other sectionals and the advancing schools and individuals will be announced Feb. 20. The 28th NCAA Championship will be hosted by Alaska Fairbanks at the Patty Center, March 9-10.

The pistol team will host the Midwest Sectionals, Feb. 16-17 atthe Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range in Converse Hall.

Ohio State Athletics Schedule
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20

Feb. 14
Men’s Basketball at Penn State, 8 p.m.
State College, Pa.

Women’s Golf vs. Northrop Grumman, All Day
Palos Verdes, Calif.

Feb. 15
Women’s Basketball vs. Wisconsin, 7 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena

Feb. 16
Men’s Swimming at Big Ten Championships, All Day
Columbus, Ohio
Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatics Pavilion

Wrestling at Iowa, 7 p.m.
Iowa City, Iowa

Men’s Ice Hockey at Nebraska-Omaha, 7:05 p.m.
Omaha, Neb.

Women’s Ice Hockey vs. Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
OSU Ice Rink

Pistol at Midwest Pistol Sectionals, TBA
Columbus, Ohio
Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range

Men’s Tennis at National Team Indoor Tournament, TBA
Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 17
Men’s Track at Buckeye Invitational, All Day
Columbus, Ohio
French Field House

Women’s Track at Buckeye Invitational, All Day
Columbus, Ohio
French Field House

Men’s Swimming at Big Ten Championships, All Day
Columbus, Ohio
Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatics Pavilion

Women’s Tennis vs. Marshall, 1 p.m.
Williamsburg, Va.

Men’s Lacrosse at UNC, 1 p.m.
Baltimore, Md.

Women’s Ice Hockey vs. Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
OSU Ice Rink

Men’s Volleyball vs. George Mason, 7 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena

Women’s Gymnastics at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Men’s Ice Hockey at Nebraska-Omaha, 7:05 p.m.
Omaha, Neb.

Pistol at Midwest Pistol Sectionals, TBA
Columbus, Ohio
Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range

Men’s Tennis at National Team Indoor Tournament, TBA
Chicago, Ill.

Fencing at Junior Olympics, TBA
Denver, Colo.

Synchronized Swimming at Keuka, TBA
Keuka Park, N.Y.

Feb. 18
Men’s Swimming at Big Ten Championships, All Day
Columbus, Ohio
Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatics Pavilion

Men’s Basketball at Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Minneapolis, Minn.

Women’s Basketball vs. Michigan State, 1 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena

Wrestling at Illinois, 1 p.m.
Champaign, Ill.

Women’s Tennis at William & Mary, 1 p.m.
Williamsburg, Va.

Fencing at Junior Olympics, TBA
Denver, Colo.

Feb. 19
Men’s Golf at Rio Pinar Intercollegiate Tournament, All Day
Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 20
Men’s Golf at Rio Pinar Intercollegiate Tournament, All Day
Orlando, Fla.