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Make sure to click on the link above for a photo gallery of the Buckeyes’ adventures in Pittsburgh

Hello WONDERFUL Buckeye fans! This is Cherise Daniel back at it again with the 2010 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tour-nament blog. Hopefully you all will enjoy reading what goes on within the team and I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read it. So without further ado, here goes …

Day 3 – Sunday

GAME DAY!!!!!

Shoot around was very early today but it was totally worth it as we get ready for a big game against St. Francis. We had a good shoot around – everyone was focused and ready to play later.

After shoot around we came back to the hotel, escorted by the police and their sirens again and got ready for breakfast which was at 9am. Next on the itinerary was a 10:15 departure back to the arena. Everyone loaded the bus and you could tell that everyone was ready to play and show what we are made of out there.

Once we got to the arena something that I have been doing for the past two years as we step off the bus, which annoys some people and others love to laugh at, is I honk the horn very loud as we step off the charter bus. Today it upset Coach Ed but Sammy laughed hard – she is the main one who waits for me to do it.

We went through security and into the locker room in which everyone got dressed, took care of getting ankles taped, etc. Next was a film session of St. Francis and then we brought it in and headed upstairs to get lose before pregame warm-ups. Everyone worked up a sweat and so we came back down to the locker room to get changed and headed back up there. The Ohio State fan support was amazing; it was great to see everyone’s family, friends and all the wonderful Ohio State supporters there to cheer us on. What a great feeling, thank you guys!!

The game went fairly well for us and was exciting to watch. St. Francis kept us on our toes with all the outside shooting but in the end we won which was a great feeling.

After the game everyone headed back to the locker room for showers, food and a media session. We tuned in to the OSU/Georgia Tech game and cheered on our guys until we came back upstairs to watch the first half of the Mississippi St.-Middle Tennessee game. The game was good and both teams played hard but in the end Miss St won which will be a great second round rematch for us on Tuesday.

We headed back to the hotel to relax and hang out until dinner at 6pm. We dressed up our business attire to Ruth’s Chris in downtown Pittsburgh. It was really good. Most of us ordered steaks in which they came back sizzling on the plate – I had never seen that before. After dinner we headed back to the hotel to unwind and relax once again. A lot of people went back to their room to chill and some of us others chatted in the hallway on our floor, something that we enjoy doing for some strange reason. I fell to sleep at about 9:30, which is not normal for me but I guess that I was pretty tired.

Until next time Buckeye fans … O-H!!

Day 2 – Saturday

Today started out with a good breakfast at 9:30am. Next on the schedule was our open practice at noon at the University of Pittsburgh, so we met in the hotel lobby at 10:55am and headed to the arena, and you could tell by everyone’s face that they were so excited to start this great adventure!!!

We took off in our charter bus with four police escorts leading us to Pitt’s basketball arena – this was something new and very cool. We all felt like VIP as we did not have to stop at any traffic lights. We unloaded the bus and headed to the locker room for press conferences, media interviews, etc. Then it was time for practice! We had one hour of an open practice to get ready for tomorrow’s big game and it went well. Afterwards we went back to the locker room and tuned into the Michigan State/Bowling Green women’s basketball game as we ate the food and drinks that were pro-vided to us by the NCAA.

We arrived back at the hotel for a few hours of downtime which is always good. Next was dinner in which we left at 5:15 to head to Georgetown Inn which was located in a very neat place. Once we got to the area was noticed lots of hills and something called an ‘Duquesne Incline’ that had a little trolley car that traveled up and down the hill on tracks and it is used to transport people to the restaurants located at the top of the hill. It moved very slow and looked safe as ever but for some reason Sammy Prahalis was still scared.

We all made it up there and the view of Pittsburgh from the top was absolutely incredible!! (Check out the pics from the photo gallery). Dinner was very good if I must say so, I had some great seafood and everyone really seemed to enjoy their meal. I explained to Sasha Dobranic what French Onion soup is and she ordered it as an appetizer and she liked it.

After dinner we stood in a tourist area and took pictures of the great view and got a great O-H-I-O shot. Next, we tra-veled down the trolley again and got on the bus and that’s when we got the news that Kansas had just got upset by Northern Iowa. It seems like a great shot for our guys to continue winning with the #1 seed being knocked out so best of luck to them!

We returned back to the hotel to chill and enjoy each other’s company. A bunch of us tuned in to all the great games that were on. Iowa women’s bball team got a good win over Rutgers. I then told the girls that you must read my blog or I will not mention you in it. Jantel and Shavelle seemed to not believe me but Tayler did and so I read my Day 1 blog to them as a bedtime story. We then departed ways and went into our own rooms to get focused for tomorrow’s big game and get some sleep as we were taking off fairly early Sunday morning for shoot around. Sweet dreams Buckeye fans!

Day 1 – Friday

Practice began at 10am at St. John Arena. We did not practice at our usual site, the Schottenstein Center, because of the girls high school state tournament games. On the practice itinerary was a reunion with some of the former Ohio State women’s basketball players for a scrimmage and to practice some drills and concepts against a very tough team.

The players who came included Jessica Davenport, Alice Jamen, Marscilla Packer, Caity Maiter, Star Allen, Kim Wilburn, Courtney Coleman and coached by none than other Brandie Hoskins. Stephanie Blanton, who was in town from Wash-ington DC, came by to say hello to everyone. Some highlights to the practice session were my pinning Jessica’s shot on the backboard with one hand, Andrea Walker hitting five 3-pointers in a row during the scrimmage, and Star going up for a 360 dunk on a fast break … Okay, I made all of those up but we were able to get a little better from their help. Thanks girls! After practice Brandie Hoskins offered us some words of wisdom and told us not to take this opportunity for granted, she gave a great speech!

We were set to take off to Pittsburgh at 1pm so everyone left practice, showered, finished up their last minute things and met back at the Schott by that time.

I pulled up to the Schott at 12:35 with my sunglasses as the sun is beaming outside which is a wonderful feeling because spring time is great! We then took off on our three hour ride to Pittsburgh; unfortunately there was no CBS on the bus so we couldn’t watch any of the men’s NCAA March Madness games so we decided on the movie “The Happening.”

Once we arrived in Pittsburgh those who were sleep woke up and enjoyed the scenery especially all of the hills. Andrea Walker immediately got excited upon arriving in her hometown as she told us stories and pointed out various sites. She told us about the tunnel that you drive through and while doing so, you attempt to hold your breath the entire time. So once we got to the tunnel Andrea held her breath and she let it all out with great relief after we drove through the tunnel (but I think that she cheated).

We arrived at the hotel and everyone grabbed all of their luggage and they passed out our room assignments. I got my paper and saw that I would be stuck with Brianna Sanders for this trip, can you believe that? Just kidding, she and I were also roomies during the Big Ten Tourney and we had a blast. She is hilarious and fun to be around and I enjoy babysitting her on the road.

Everyone then took time to unwind and relax until dinner at 6:45. When that time hit, we all gathered in the lobby of the hotel in our dress up clothes as everyone looked very nice and then headed out to dinner at The Fish Market. Chalisa, our trainer, failed to tell us that we were walking to dinner, but it wasn’t a bad walk at all and the weather was great!

Once inside the restaurant we were seated at a huge table and had a great dinner and enjoyed each other company as usual. We chatted about funny stories throughout our years at OSU and reminisced about high school as well. And with everyone full we walked back to the hotel and went to our rooms or others’ rooms to hang out. Andrea, Shavelle  and I hung out in Emilee and Andrea’s room and watched the Michigan State men’s game which was a good one!  My teammates are all great! I will talk about all of them throughout my blog so you can get to know them.

Until tomorrow, goodnight folks!