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Feb. 28, 2004

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THE TIP
The No. 25 Ohio State women’s basketball team (18-8; 10-5 Big Ten) closes its regular season vs. Wisconsin (10-15; 4-11 Big Ten) at 8 p.m. EST Sunday at The Kohl Center (17,142) in Madison, Wis. The Buckeye-Badger matchup can be heard on WOSU 820 AM with Marty Bannister and Kristin Watt.

The game can also be seen on live video streamed on the Internet at uwbadgers.com. Find the link in the Game Day page for UW women’s basketball. The feed from the game broadcast by Wisconsin Public Television will be simulcast on the Internet. The game will also appear live locally on UPN 14, and statewide delayed at 11 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television. Ken Syke will make the call and former assistant Dawn Crim will provide the color analysis.

Ohio State and Wisconsin met earlier this season in Columbus. The Buckeyes opened the Big Ten season with a 65-46 win over the Badgers Jan. 2 in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes hold a 31-14 advantage over Wisconsin and have won four in a row.

SCOUTING WISCONSIN
Wisconsin is 10-15 overall, 4-11 in conference play and coming off its first road win in conference competition with a 59-53 victory at Illinois Thursday. The Badgers are 6-6 at home in all games and 3-4 in Big Ten contests in the Kohl Center. Wins for Wisconsin in the Big Ten have come earlier in the season vs. Illinois at home (66-57) and in the last two outings vs. Northwestern (69-53) and vs. Indiana (66-62). Wisconsin is led by Ashley Josephson, Stephanie Rich and Emily Ashbaugh, who score 12.6, 10.2 and 10.2 points per game, respectively. Rebounding is truly a team effort for Wisconsin with four player averaging at least 5.0 boards per game. Lello Gebisa, who stands at 6-feet-7-inches, is the leader with 5.9 caroms per outing. Among Big Ten leaders, Rich’s 5.9 assists per game is atop the league’s leaders list and Gebisa’s 1.9 blocked shots per game is ranked third.

WISCONSIN’S LISA STONE
Lisa Stone is in her first year at the helm of the Wisconsin program. Stone was previously the head coach at Drake (Iowa) University. Stone, whose teams at Drake were a combined 64-27 during her three-year tenure, led the Bulldogs to a NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2002 and earned the 2001 Missouri Valley Coach of the Year Award. Stone has 18 years experience as a head coach at the collegiate level. She spent three years at Cornell College (1985-88) before taking over the UW-Eau Claire program for 12 seasons (1988-00). Entering 2003-04 Stone’s overall career record is 375-118, which ranks her ninth on the winningest active NCAA Division I coaches list. Stone is a 1984 graduate of Iowa, where she played basketball for C. Vivian Stringer. Stone earned a master’s degree in athletic administration in 1986 from Iowa.

LAST TIME OUT VS. NO. 12/12 MINNESOTA
The No. 25 Ohio State women’s basketball team (18-8; 10-5 Big Ten) beat No. 12/12 Minnesota (20-6; 9-6 Big Ten), 76-62, last Thursday at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. After trailing by eight points midway through the first half, Ohio State shot .783 (18-of-23) in the second half, stole the ball 10 times and outscored the Golden Gophers 12-2 on fast-break points, to extend the Buckeyes’ winning streak to five, including three wins over ranked opponents.

Freshman guard Brandie Hoskins scored 17 points, dished a career-high 11 assists and tallied a personal-best six steals. All four other starters scored in double digits for the second time this season. Senior LaToya Turner added 16, freshman center Jessica Davenport netted 15, while sophomore Caity Matter and Kim Wilburn scored 10 points each.

In the first half, Ohio State trailed by eight points, 21-13, when Minnesota’s Shannon Schonrock nailed a 3-pointer at 9:24. The Buckeyes went on a 17-2 scoring run and led 30-23 with 3:53 left until halftime. Minnesota answered with a 9-5 run to close the half and pulled within three points, 35-32, of Ohio State. Davenport netted five consecutive points, including a layup at 1:21, which put the Buckeyes up seven, 35-28, but Minnesota’s Janel McCarville scored the final four points of the half and brought her squad to within three points heading into the locker rooms.

McCarville converted a three-point play with just under 14 minutes to go and brought the Golden Gophers, who had not led since being up 23-22 at the 5:18 mark of the first half, within four, 45-41, of Ohio State. The Buckeyes, who shot .783 (18-of-23) the second half, went on a 10-0 run and led 55-41 with 11 minutes to play. Ohio State continued to build the double-figure lead off a Hoskins bucket, which was followed by five straight points from freshman Stephanie Blanton. Ohio State went up 62-44 with 8:54 left and led by as many as 26 points after a fast-break layup by Matter with 4:04 to play.

The Buckeyes shot .689 for the game (31-of-45), .750 from downtown (3-of-4) and .786 from the free-throw line (11-of-14) and outscored Minnesota 14-4 on fast-break points. Ohio State tied the season-high mark of 16 total steals and dished 21 assists. Blanton finished with five points and junior Beth Howe scored three points. Point guard Wilburn led the rebounding effort with six boards. Davenport, Matter and Turner each brought down four caroms. Matter had five assists and only one turnover.

McCarville had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds and Kadidja Andersson scored 10 points to lead Minnesota. After shooting .538 (14-of-26) in the first, Ohio State held the Golden Gophers to a .393 (11-of-28) stroke in the second half and forced 12 turnovers.

TEN FROM 1,000 FOR MATTER
Junior shooting guard Caity Matter is 10 points away from joining the Ohio State 1,000-point club. She has tallied 390 points this season and has 990 total points. Matter, who is averaging 15.0 points per game and missed the entire 2001-02 season because of injury, is the first junior to become a member of the 1,000 point club since former Buckeye Courtney Coleman scored her 1,000th point as a junior Feb. 13, 2002 at Illinois.

FIVE FOR THE SECOND TIME
All five Buckeye starters scored in double figures in the Buckeyes’ 76-62 victory at No. 12/12 Minnesota Thursday. It was the second time this season Ohio State had five scorers in double digits. The last time was in the championship game of the 2003 Buckeye Classic vs. Penn Dec. 21, which Ohio State won 95-54.

BUCKEYES SMOKIN’ THE LAST SEVEN
No. 25 Ohio State has been on fire the last seven games with a 6-1 mark, including three victories over ranked squads. The only loss was at then-No. 5/6 Purdue, 57-54. Notably in the Boilermaker loss, Ohio State was 11-of-22 from the free-throw line. As a squad the last seven contests, the Buckeyes are scoring 71.9 points to opponents’ 59.1, shooting .560 compared to opponents’ .396, making 74 percent of their shots from the charity stripe and blocking six shots compared to team’s 1.6 rejected shots per game.

Four active players are averaging double figures the last seven outings. Caity Matter is scoring 19.0, LaToya Turner is notching 14.1, Jessica Davenport is adding 12.4 and Hoskins is contributing 10.3 points per game. Turner, Davenport, Kim Wilburn and Matter are averaging 7.0, 6.0, 5.1 and 4.9 boards per game, respectively, the last seven games and Davenport is swatting 3.3 shots per game. Wilburn and Hoskins are combining for 9.1 assists per game during the last seven matchups.

QUITE A PAIR
Since LaToya Turner returned to the lineup after missing the Jan. 15 Michigan State game in Columbus due to a concussion suffered earlier that week in practice, she and rookie Jessica Davenport have made quite an impact offensively for the Buckeyes. The previous 11 games, Davenport and Turner have combined for 314 of the squad’s 757 total points and the pair is a combined 126-for-203 (.621) from the field.

70+ FOR THE SECOND TIME
No .25 Ohio State was on fire at No. 12/12 Minnesota Thursday as the team shot .783 from the field (18-of-23) in the second half. The only other time Ohio State has shot 70 percent or better in a half was in the second half vs. Wright State Dec. 18. The Buckeyes shot .833 from the field off a 20-of-24 stroke in the final 20 minutes and finished with a .720 overall effort (36-of-50), which is an all-time high percentage for an Ohio State team in a single game.

SECOND DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR HOSKINS
Rookie Brandie Hoskins tallied her second career double-double when she scored a team-best 17 points and dished a career-high 11 assists in the 76-62 victory at No. 12/12 Minnesota Thursday. Hoskins also notched a personal-high six steals in the Golden Gopher contest. Hoskins’ first double-double was vs. Penn State Jan. 25. The Dayton, Ohio, native scored 11 points and handed out 10 assists in the 70-64 loss to the Nittany Lions Jan. 25 in Columbus.

PICK POCKETS
Ohio State tied its season-high mark of 16 steals at No. 12/12 Minnesota Thursday and converted 23 points off turnovers and 14 fast-break points. The Buckeyes also tallied 16 steals at Northwestern Jan. 11.

EVEN VS. THE TOP 25
With a 72-67 victory Thursday at No. 12/12 Minnesota, No. 25 Ohio State is an even 4-4 against the Top 25. On Feb. 12, unranked Ohio State upset then-No. 10/10 Minnesota in Columbus, 75-57, and beat then-No. 15-17 Michigan State, 72-53, Feb. 15 in East Lansing, Mich., in a matter of three days. Prior to the first victory over the Golden Gophers, the last Buckeye win vs. a ranked opponent was a 73-59 victory at then-No. 21/23 UC Santa Barbara Dec. 28. Ohio State fell vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State, then-No. 7/8 Purdue, then-No. 7/8 Penn State and again vs. then-No. 5/6 Purdue before tallying the 18-point victory over the Golden Gophers Feb. 12.

HOSKINS GETTING HOT
Freshman Brandie Hoskins has had a hot hand lately, averaging 10.3 points off a .622 stroke from the field and a .800 average from downtown, 2.9 boards, 2.1 steals and 5.0 assists the last seven outings.

BUCKEYES BACK
In the latest Associated Press poll, Ohio State was ranked No. 25 after not being ranked in the Top 25 for six weeks. The last ranking for the Buckeyes was a No. 22 spot.

WILBURN’S ASSISTS A SOPHOMORE RECORD
Sophomore Kim Wilburn, who set the record for assists and for steals by a Buckeye freshman last year with 168 dishes and 92 steals, tallied five assists at then-No. 15/17 Michigan State Feb. 15 and became Ohio State’s sophomore assists record holder. Wilburn has 135 total assists this season and beat Jamie Lewis’ record of 122, which was set in the 1998-99 season. For her career, Wilburn’s 303 total assists is No. 9 on the all-time Buckeyes record holders list.

SIGNING OFF IN STYLE
Senior forward LaToya Turner gave a solid effort in her final game at home vs. Illinois last Sunday. She added 19 points, was 3-for-3 from the charity stripe, grabbed eight boards, dished three assists and earned three steals in 36 minutes on Senior Day at The Schottenstein Center.

20+ BECOMING HABIT FOR MATTER
Junior shooting guard Caity Matter has had nine 20+ games this season, including three of the last five outings. She has been the leading scorer for Ohio State 12 times, including five of the last seven games and has led both teams in scoring eight teams this year.

OVER HALF IN OVER HALF
The Buckeyes shot .689 percent from the field at No. 12/12 Minnesota Thursday, which marked the 15th time in 25 games this season the squad has shot 50 percent of better, including five of the last seven outings.

Ohio State is the country’s best-shooting squad with a .518 (677-1306) stroke. The Buckeyes have shot over 60 percent four times and over 70 percent once this year.

Notably, the Buckeyes’ .720 effort (36-of-50) from the field vs. Wright State is an all-time high percentage for an Ohio State team in a single game.

Ohio State is 13-2 this season when it shoots .500 or more and 5-6 when it shoots less than .500.

RIGHT ON TARGET
The Buckeyes’ .518 stroke overall is credited in part to freshman Jessica Davenport, who is playing 27 minutes a game and has started in 17 games as a Buckeye – including the last 12 – is scoring 12.9 points per game and is leading the Big Ten in all games with a .644 stroke from the field. Her average would be ranked No. 3 in the country, but the minimum requirement is 5.0 made field goals per game and Davenport is averaging 4.7 makes per outing. Veteran LaToya Turner is ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten and No. 20 in the nation with a .581 average and rookie Brandie Hoskins is No. 9 in the league with a .538 stroke.

THE TIP COUNTS
The Buckeyes’ win over Illinois last Sunday was the first game an Ohio State team had won when they lost the opening tip. It is only the fifth game this season in which Ohio State has lost the tip. The Buckeyes are 17-4 when they win the tip and 1-4 when the lose the tip.

DAVENPORT OWN FRESHMAN RECORD
With her swat at the 12:49 mark in the first half vs. Northwestern Feb. 19, Jessica Davenport broke the Ohio State freshman record of 51 blocks, which was previously held by Mary Sivak, who played for Ohio State from 1978-82. Her 51st block came 54 seconds into the game and tied the record. Davenport now has 62 blocks on the season.

Davenport finished the game with six swats, setting a career high. She is ranked No. 23 in the country with a 2.4 blocked-shots-per-game average, has tallied four or more blocks in six contests this season, including the three of the last five games, has blocked at least one shot in 23-of-26 games and averages 2.4 swatted shots an outing – a mark that is ranked No. 2 in the conference – and a top-ranked 2.93 shots in Big Ten games.

Davenport and Sivak are the only players in Buckeye history to accumulate 50 or more blocks in a single season. Senior LaToya Turner was close last season with 47 total rejected shots. Additionally, Sivak’s 70 bocks as a senior is the most for an Ohio State player in one season.

SECOND UNDER 59
Ohio State’s victory over Northwestern Feb. 19 was only the second time this season the Buckeyes have been victorious when scoring less than 60 points. The other win was a 51-49 win at Michigan Jan. 29.

MATTER NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ohio State women’s basketball player Caity Matter was named the Big Ten Player of the Week Feb. 16. A junior guard from Bluffton, Ohio, Matter averaged 25.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in the Buckeyes’ two upsets over ranked teams. She shot a combined 18-of-26 (.692) from the field, 10-of-15 (.667) from 3-point land and 5-of-6 (.833) from the free-throw line. This is the first Big Ten Player of the Week award for a Buckeye player this season and the second such honor for Matter during her Ohio State career.

Against No. 10/10 Minnesota Feb. 12, Matter led all scorers with a career-high 28 points, including a 24-point first-half effort. She was 11-of-15 from the field, 4-for-6 from behind the 3-point line and made both free throws she attempted. Matter also grabbed seven boards, dished three assists and tallied two steals.

At No. 15/17 Michigan State Feb. 15, Matter scored 23 points off a 7-of-11 stroke and a 6-of-9 afternoon from downtown. She was 3-of-4 from the charity stripe, pulled down four rebounds and had one steal. Entering the game vs. the Spartans, Matter needed one trey to move to third on the Ohio State records list for career 3-pointers made. Her total now is 186 career 3-pointers drained.

ST. JOHN ARENA AND FOSTER’S OHIO STATE
Last season, the Buckeyes played two games in St. John Arena and the tradition has continued this season. Ohio State is an undefeated 4-0 under Jim Foster in St. John Arena and have outscored opponents by an average of 71.3 to 53.2. Last year, the unranked Buckeyes beat then-No. 17/18 and eventual Final Four contestant Texas, 70-66, Jan. 5 in the Big Ten/Big XII Challenge and beat Michigan, 70-55, on senior night. This season, the Buckeyes beat Wright State, 88-45, Dec. 18 and Northwestern, 57-46, Feb. 19.

DOUBLES FOR DAVENPORT
Rookie Jessica Davenport tallied her fourth career double-double when she scored 15 points and 11 rebounds at then-No. 15/17 Michigan State Feb. 15. Davenport has scored in double figures 16-of-23 games and the last nine consecutive outings.

She tallied her second consecutive double-double (third career) with a career-high 27 points and 15 rebounds, which ties her personal-best mark, vs. then-No. 7/8 Purdue Jan. 22.

Her second double-double of the season came against then-No. 23/25 Michigan State when she tallied 16 points, 12 of which were scored in the second half, and 15 rebounds Jan.15 in Value City Arena.

Her first double-double as a Buckeye was vs. Florida A&M when she scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots off a 7-of-11 day from the field and an 9-of-14 stroke from the charity stripe.

RELYING ON THE BENCH
Ohio State is relying on the bench this season in a big way. Three out of the four players on the bench available to head coach Jim Foster are averaging at least 11 minutes per game and the Buckeyes have outscored opponents 426-258 with bench points.

MATTER MAKES MARK VS. MINNESOTA
Ohio State’s Caity Matter exploded in the first-half vs. No. 10/10 Minnesota Feb. 12. The junior shooting guard was on a roll when she outscored Minnesota’s 18-point first-half effort herself with 24 of her career-best 28 points coming in the first half.

Matter gave momentum to the Buckeyes when the game was tied at nine when she slid in the path of All-American Lindsay Whalen on a fast-break bucket and took the charge, which sparked Ohio State’s 34-9 run to close the first half. Matter assisted rookie Jessica Davenport on the go-ahead bucket at 12:05 and scored seven consecutive points during the next 1:10. Matter capped the run when she stripped the ball from a Minnesota player with 15 seconds left and subsequently drained her fourth 3-pointer of the half with three ticks left until halftime.

The most points she had scored in a half this season was a 19-point effort at Northwestern. Matter outscored the entire Ohio University team last year in the first half when she scored 17 points compared to the Bobcats’ 11 Dec. 13 in Athens, Ohio.

Additionally, after not scoring a 3-pointer at then-No. 5/6 Purdue Feb. 8, Matter drained all four of her six total attempts in the first half vs. Minnesota.

THIRD FOR THREE’S
Junior Caity Matter hit the first 3-pointer she attempted at then-No. 15/17 Michigan State Feb. 15 and tied the third-place record among Ohio State annals. She ended the afternoon with six shots from behind the 3-point arc, which moved her to third place on Ohio State’s all-time 3-point field goal list.

Matter passed Jamie Lewis, who recorded 181 treys in 117 games during her career from 1998-2001. Matter stands alone in third with 190 3-point buckets in 75 outings. She needs 13 more to reach second place and 28 more to tie Katie Smith, who tops the list with 218 3-pointers in 124 contests.

UNBEATEN WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF
The Buckeyes are currently 17-0 when they are leading at the half. The only win that came when the squad was trailing at halftime was Feb. 5 at Iowa. Ohio State was down 40-36 at halftime and came back for a 93-82 victory. Last year, Jim Foster’s first Buckeye team was an unblemished 12-0 when leading at half. No Buckeye team under Jim Foster has lost when taking the advantage into halftime. The Buckeyes are 1-8 when trailing at the midway mark this year.

ADD ‘EM UP
Scoring and scoring big has helped the Buckeyes this season. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 18 in the country with a 13.5 scoring margin over opponents. Ohio State is 14-0 when scoring 70 or more points this season. In two seasons under head coach Jim Foster, the Buckeyes are 29-0 when they put up 70-plus points against opponents, including a 15-0 stint last year.

When Ohio State scores 60 or more points, Jim Foster’s team is 16-2, however when they are held to 59 points or fewer, they are 2-6. In five of the team’s losses, OSU scored between 51 and 56 points (51 at Illinois; 53 vs. Rutgers; 55 vs. Nebraska; 56 vs. UCLA; 54 at Purdue) and vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State the Buckeyes were held to 47.

Ohio State has scored 80 or more points five times this season – 96 vs. IUPUI, 95 points vs. Penn, 93 at Iowa, 88 vs. Wright State and 83 vs. Ohio.

UNDER PRESSURE
Ohio State is holding opponents to 55.9 points per game – a mark that is ranked No. 2 in the Big Ten and No. 14 in the nation. The Buckeyes force teams to shoot .379 from the field, which is also second among league leaders.

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
Other than a 15-point loss to UCLA in December, the remaining seven Ohio State losses have come within 10 points and four of them were within a margin of five (at Nebraska, 60-55, at Rutgers, 56-53, at Illinois, 52-51 and at Purdue, 57-54). In those games, the Buckeyes have been outscored by 32 points combined, an average of 4.6 points per game.

The 51-49 win at Michigan Jan. 29 was a big step for the Buckeyes, who hade struggled on the road with a 3-4 mark outside of Columbus up until that game. The victory over the Wolverines also was the first win of the season when the margin is less than five points. Jim Foster’s squad had dropped four games that were all decided by five or fewer points earlier in the season. Additionally, the Buckeyes’ road win in Ann Arbor was the first win in six games this season when scoring 59 points or less.

THANK YOU FOR THE PASS
As a team, the Buckeyes are leading the conference and are ranked No. 12 in the country with an 18.0 assists-per-outing mark. Ohio State is led by sophomore point guard Kim Wilburn, who is No. 3 in the Big Ten with 5.19 dishes per game and freshman Brandie Hoskins, who is No. 8 with 3.96 assists per Big Ten outing. In conference outings, Wilburn remains at No. 3 with 4.40 dishes and Hoskins jumps to tied for fifth with 4.07 assists per game.

FEW FOULS
Ohio State is leading the nation when it comes to fewest fouls per game. With nine active players to date, the Buckeyes are averaging 11.8 fouls per game and have only had one player foul out in 26 games.

CLIMBING THE LADDER
Senior LaToya Turner is No. 17 on the all-time OSU leader board with 561 career rebounds. She needs six boards to move to No. 16.

TOP 20 SCORER
Turner’s 15-point effort vs. Michigan State last Sunday placed her No. 20 among Ohio State scoring leaders. She has 1,094 career points and is 40 points from No. 19. Turner added to the historic Buckeye win at Iowa Feb. 5 when she hit a layup with 2:34 left in the first half and became the 22nd member of Ohio State’s 1,000-point club.

BIG TEN BANDIT
Sophomore Kim Wilburn is No. 2 in Big Ten games with 2.93 steals per game. She has come alive lately with a 3.2 swipes-per-game average the last six games.

CLOCKING THE TIME
Sophomore Kim Wilburn and freshman Jessica Davenport are putting in a full days work for head coach Jim Foster. Both clocked 40 minutes at then-No. 5/6 Purdue Feb. 8. It was Wilburn’s fourth 40-minute outing of the season – the first was at Nebraska, the second was at Illinois and the third was at Michigan – and the ninth of her career. Wilburn, who is averaging a Buckeye-best 32.4 minutes an outing, led the team last season as a freshman with 34.8 minutes per game, including five 40-minute contests, three of which came in the final four games of the year.

Davenport played 40 minutes in the two opening games of the Big Ten season vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State and vs. then-7/8 Purdue and also tallied a full game at then-No. 5/6 Purdue.

TURNER’S 10TH
Senior center LaToya Turner earned her third season and 10th career double-double at then-No. 5/6 Purdue Feb. 8 with 13 points and 10 rebounds in Mackey Arena. Turner earned her second season double-double vs. UCSB with 16 points and 11 boards and her first double-double of the season was against Penn Dec. 21 with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

HERE A SWAT, THERE A SWAT
Ohio State is leading the Big Ten in conference contests with 5.47 swats an outing. The team set a season-high mark with nine blocked shots at Purdue Feb. 8. Kim Wilburn led the way with a career-best three rejections, while freshman Jessica Davenport, junior Caity Matter and senior LaToya Turner swatted two shots apiece vs. the Boilermakers. For the year, the Buckeyes have 114 blocked shots compared to opponents’ 42.

Ohio State is led by Turner and rookie Davenport, who stand at 6-feet-3-inches and 6-feet-5-inches, respectively. Among league leaders for all games, Davenport holds the No. 2 spot with 2.4 swatted shots per game and during Big Ten battles, Davenport is first with 2.9 and Turner is No. 5 with 1.8 blocks per outing. Turner is notching 1.7 in all games. The pair has combined for 99 of Ohio State’s 114 blocked shots. Veteran Turner is ranked second among OSU career block leaders. The Buckeyes have held six teams to zero blocks this season.

Both Turner and Davenport have had a five-block game this season and with those marks, both student-athletes tied the Value City Arena record for an Ohio State player. The record is held by none other than Turner, who swatted five attempts vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay Dec. 10, 2000. Davenport’s six blocks vs. Northwestern is a career-high and was set in St. John Arena.

GUARDS PULLING THROUGH
Senior LaToya Turner and freshman Jessica Davenport are averaging 6.5 and 5.7 rebounds per game, respectively, for the Buckeyes this season. Besides the two forwards, the guards are contributing to the rebound count in a big way. Kim Wilburn is averaging 4.1, Caity Matter is grabbing 3.9 and Brandie Hoskins is pulling down 3.2 boards per outing.

THREE MORE IN A ROW
The then-No. 5/6 Purdue game Feb. 8 began the Buckeyes’ second three-game swing against three consecutive Top 25 opponents this season. Ohio State played host to No. 10/10 Minnesota at home Thursday and capped the swing against the Spartans of No. 15/17 Michigan State Feb. 15. The Buckeye fell by three points at Purdue and beat Minnesota and Michigan State by an average of 18.5 points.

The first three-game Top 25 swing began Jan. 15 vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State in Value City Arena. MSU beat the Buckeyes, 55-47. The Spartan win snapped Ohio State’s 24-game consecutive home winning streak, which ranked second in the country at the time. One week after the contest vs. MSU, then-No. 7/8 Purdue came to VCA and beat the Buckeyes, 74-68. Ohio State faced then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25 and fell 70-64.

Ohio State beat then-No. 21/23 UC Santa Barbara, 73-59, Dec. 28 at The Thunderdome in Santa Barbara, Calif., and blew past No. 12/12 Minnesota, 76-62, Feb. 26 in Minneapolis, which moved the Buckeyes to 4-4 vs. the Top 25.

COUNT ON TURNER
Senior LaToya Turner has been consistent this season and has scored in double figures every game she has played in except two – 13 vs. IUPUI, 16 vs. Nebraska, 10 vs. Wright State, 10 vs. Penn, 16 vs. UCSB, 14 vs. Wisconsin, 15 vs. Rutgers, 12 at Illinois, 13 at Northwestern, 11 vs. Purdue, 15 vs. Penn State, 10 at Michigan, 19 vs. Indiana, 11 at Iowa, 13 at Purdue, 12 vs. Minnesota,15 at Michigan State,13 vs. Northwestern, 19 vs. Illinois and 16 at Minnesota.

Turner returned to the lineup against IUPUI Dec. 1 after missing the first three games of the year because of an injury suffered in preseason and missed the game vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 because of a concussion suffered in practice. The 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Turner is averaging 12.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per outing.

ALMOST 19 YEARS TO THE DAY
It was almost 19 years to the day that the current Buckeye basketball team made history and beat the Hawkeyes at Iowa, 93-82, Feb. 5. No Ohio State team – not even the 1993 Final Four squad – had left Iowa City with a win since a 56-47 victory Feb. 3, 1985. It took 16 tries, but the Buckeyes broke the pattern Thursday and were victorious in Carver-Hawkeye Arena – only the fourth such win of its kind in Buckeye program history.

MULTIPLE SCORERS THE KEY
It is no secret Ohio State has been relying on a myriad of players to score this season. And for the Buckeyes, that seems to be the best formula. In games when four or more players score in double digits, Ohio State is 7-0. When three players score in double digits, OSU is 8-4 and if two or fewer Buckeyes score 10 or more points, Jim Foster’s group is 3-4.

For the first time this season, six Ohio State players scored double digits in the squad’s 93-82 victory at Iowa Feb. 5. Against No. 12/12 Minnesota Feb. 26, all five starters scored in double figures and during the championship game of the Buckeye Classic vs. Penn Dec. 21, five Ohio State players scored in double digits for the first time this season.

FRESH FEBRUARY
Ohio State ended a three-game losing streak with a 51-49 win at Michigan Jan. 29 and capped a 2-5 record for the month. Last season, the opposite was true for Jim Foster’s squad, as the team posted a 6-2 mark in January and went on to tally an even 4-4 record in February. Ohio State is 7-1 this February and is on a five-game winning streak..

TWO STEALS FROM NO. 17
Six-foot-3-inch senior center LaToya Turner is not limited to rebounds and points. Turner now is ranked No. 18 on the all-time steals list with 128 and needs two swipes to take over the No. 17 spot among OSU record holders.

MATTER’S FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE
After a few games when she was held below her scoring average, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer Caity Matter rebounded in a big way at Michigan Jan. 29. Matter pulled down a personal-best 10 boards and scored 15 points in a 51-49 victory over the Wolverines, not to mention being credited with the assist on LaToya Turner’s final bucket to cap the Buckeye victory in Ann Arbor.

CRASHING A KEY
Crashing the boards is key for the Ohio State Buckeyes, who are averaging 33.5 rebounds per game compared to opponents’ 31.8 caroms a contest. When the Buckeyes outrebound teams, Ohio State is 12-1 and when opponents edge the Buckeyes, Jim Foster’s squad drops to 6-7.

TAKING CARE OF THE ROCK
Not only are Buckeyes willing to hit an open player with a No. 1 ranking in the Big Ten (18.0 assists per game), but the team is taking care of the ball as well. Ohio State is ranked second in the Big Ten with a 1.12 assist-to-turnover ratio. That figures is thanks primarily to freshman Brandie Hoskins and sophomore Kim Wilburn, who are ranked No. 4 and 5 in the league with 1.69 ratios each.

DAVENPORT MATCHING COLEMAN
In her first double-double vs. Florida A&M Nov. 23 (23 points, 12 boards), Jessica Davenport’s 14 free throw attempts vs. Florida A&M tied an Ohio State VCA record set by former Buckeye Courtney Coleman vs. Indiana Jan. 31, 2002. (She upped the mark with 16 free-throw attempts vs. Indiana Feb. 1.)

In her second and third double-doubles vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 (16 points; 15 rebounds) and vs. then-No. 7/8 Purdue Jan. 22 (27 points, 15 rebounds), Davenport gathered 15 rebounds each game and tied the Value City Arena record for a Buckeye best, which also is held by Coleman, who collected 15 caroms twice during her career in VCA.

THREES IN 45-OF-49
Junior shooting guard Caity Matter has made a 3-pointer in 45-of-49 games, dating back to Dec. 20, 2002 vs. Youngstown State. The only games she has not hit a trey was at Illinois Jan. 8, vs. then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25, at then-No. 5/6 Purdue Feb. 8 and vs. Northwestern Feb. 19. Until the game in Champaign, Ill., she had hit a trey in 36 consecutive games. Matter’s 2.60 treys per game average is No. 2 in the Big Ten.

COLUMBUS STREAK COMES TO A HALT
Ohio State was ranked second in the country with 24 games for the longest home winning streak in the country behind Texas’ 27 wins in Austin prior to facing then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 in Value City Arena. The Spartans won 55-47 and snapped the Buckeyes’ streak. The 24-game Buckeye win streak dated back to the final two games of the 2001-02 season and ranks second in Ohio State women’s basketball history. The longest home winning streak is 26 games, which began in January of the 1987 season and lasted until December of 1988. Under Jim Foster, Ohio State is 26-3 in Columbus dating back to the beginning of the 2002-03 season.

ALLEN OUT AGAIN
Ohio State women’s basketball player Ashley Allen suffered a knee injury in the Dec. 20 game vs. St. John’s and will not return for the remainder of the season. Allen, who missed the opening game vs. Ohio and returned to the court vs. Florida A&M after suffering a similar injury last January at Illinois, was averaging 5.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and was shooting .417 from the field and .500 from 3-point land.

UCSB WINNING STREAK ENDED
Ohio State’s 73-59 victory at then-No. 21/23 UCSB Dec. 28 snapped the Gauchos’ 27 consecutive game winning streak at home, a mark that ranked second in the country behind Connecticut’s 63 wins in Storrs, Conn. as of Dec. 28.

Additionally, the Buckeyes shot .529 for the game, including a .654 stroke in the second half. Prior to the contest, UCSB had held the last 111 opponents to less than .500 shooting dating back to the final game of the 1999-00 season.

MVP’S ALL AROUND
While freshman Brandie Hoskins was named the MVP of The 2003 Wonder/Hostess Buckeye Classic, look no further than the current Ohio State bench for the last MVP of the event. Student assistant and two-time Ohio State All-American Katie Smith was named the most valuable player of the 1994 Buckeye Classic.

BULLS EYE FOR DAVENPORT
Freshman Jessica Davenport has already placed herself among the Top 10 twice for single-game shooting accuracy (minimum 10 attempts). She was 11-for-13 from the field vs. Wright State and her .846 percentage (11-of-13) from the field is tied for 10th all-time for a single-game mark from the field for a Buckeye. Two games later, Davenport scored 20 points off a 9-of-10 night from the field. Her 9-of-10 accuracy is tied for third place among Buckeye single-game leaders. Additionally, her 8-for-10 stroke vs. then-No. 7/8 Penn State is tied for 16th on the all-time list.

MATTER SETS OSU SINGLE-GAME TREY RECORD VS. IUPUI
Junior shooting guard Caity Matter earned a single-game record with eight 3-pointers made vs. IUPUI Dec. 1. The previous record of seven was set by former two-time All-American and current student assistant Katie Smith vs. Northwestern Jan. 15, 1995. Matter tied the mark with seven makes from downtown Jan. 16, 2003 at Wisconsin.

RECORDS VANISHING AT THE VCA
Ohio State’s 14 3-pointers drained as a team against IUPUI Dec. 1 is a Buckeye Value City Arena record for makes from 3-point land. Foster’s squad rewrote the previous record of 10 during the game vs. UNC Wilmington Nov. 25 with 12 3-pointers nailed as a team.

After opening with .385 and .375 mark from behind the arc vs. Ohio and Florida A&M, respectively, Ohio State shot a season-best .667 (12-of-18) from 3-point land vs. UNCW Nov. 25. That mark gave Ohio State a Buckeye record for 3-point percentage in Value City Arena. The previous record was earned when the Buckeyes shot .615 from behind the arc vs. Pittsburgh Dec. 2, 1998. That 3-point percentage mark has stood since the first year the VCA was used as the home of Ohio State women’s basketball. Ohio State continued the hot shooting from downtown with a .609 (14-for-23) stroke against IUPUI Dec. 1. As a team the Buckeyes are shooting a league-best .529 from the 3-point line.

Freshman Jessica Davenport tied a Value City Arena record (set by Courtney Coleman Jan. 31, 2002) with 14 trips to the free-throw line vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 23). Against Indiana Feb. 1, Davenport had career highs with 10 free throws made and 16 free throws attempted – both marks are Value City Arena records for an OSU player.

FOSTER AND MATTER HONORED BY USA BASKETBALL
Jim Foster, head coach of the 2003 USA Basketball World Championship For Young Women Team last summer, was named the 2003 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year by the USA Basketball Executive Committee. Junior shooting guard Caity Matter, who was selected to the Young Women Team from the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Trials last spring, earned a spot as part of the 2003 USA Basketball Team of the Year, which also was selected by the USA Basketball Executive Committee. Both Foster and Matter (as part of the team) have been nominated by USA Basketball for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Developmental Coach of the Year and Team of the Year awards, respectively, which will be announced by the USOC at a later date.

Foster’s squad finished with a 7-1 record and collected the inaugural FIBA World Championship For Young Women gold medal in Sibenik, Croatia, last summer.

NEW FACES ON STAFF
WNBA Minnesota Lynx forward Tamika Williams and Erin Wright were named assistant coach and director of basketball operations, respectively, for the Ohio State women’s basketball program over the summer. A student assistant for the Buckeyes last season, Williams’ primary duties will include on-the-floor coaching and recruiting responsibilities and Wright, who served as the director of basketball operations for two seasons at Vanderbilt under Foster, will be managing the day-to-day operations of Buckeye basketball, including travel, camp and schedule coordination.

SMITH NAMED TO 2004 USA BASKETBALL SENIOR NATIONAL TEAM
Katie Smith, a student assistant in the Ohio State women’s basketball office and a former two-time All-American at OSU, is one of the first seven members named to the 2004 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team. Smith will be part of the team that is expected to represent the U.S. at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. A Logan, Ohio, native, Smith is also a member of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. She is a four-time All-WNBA player and a four-time WNBA All-Star.

THE VOICES OF THE BUCKEYES
Tune to WOSU 820 AM for complete coverage of all Buckeye basketball games this season. Marty Bannister will replace Herb Howenstine, who moved to Texas last summer, as the play-by-play announcer. Color commentary duties will be shared by a trio of former Ohio State players in Alysiah Bond (1992-95), Toni Roesch (1983-86) and Kristin Watt (1982-85).

MEET THE FRESHMEN
Freshmen Stephanie Blanton, Jessica Davenport and Brandie Hoskins will be sporting Scarlet and Gray this year. Stephanie Blanton, the 2003 Dispatch/Agonis Club Co-Player of the Year, averaged 23.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks at Lancaster (Ohio) High School. Davenport, a 2003 McDonald’s All-American, averaged 17.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.1 blocks, 2.3 assists and shot 64 percent from the field last year at Independence (Columbus) High School. Hoskins, the 2003 Division II All-Ohio Player of the Year, tallied an average of 15.9 points and 6.0 rebounds at Chaminade-Julienne.

WAITING IN THE WINGS
Tia Battle, a junior transfer from Vanderbilt University, also will join the Ohio State women’s basketball team this season. A six-foot guard/forward from Plymouth, Minn., she spent two seasons with the Commodores and started in 16-of-30 games, averaging 5.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 18.5 minutes per game last year. A 2001 Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year and 2000 NIKE All-American, Battle also was a three-time Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-America selection. Battle will sit out the 2003-04 campaign per NCAA transfer requirements, but will have two years of eligibility remaining when she begins competing with the Buckeyes next season.

HISTORIC ST. JOHN ARENA
Ohio State and St. John Arena will play host to the 2004 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship First and Second Round Games March 20 and 22. Tickets for all women’s basketball games and for all other Ohio State athletics events can be purchased at www.hangonsloopy.com or by calling 1-800-GOBUCKS.

Two times during the 2002-03 regular season the Buckeyes hosted games in historic St. John Arena and the tradition will continue this season. The Dec. 18 contest against Wright State and the Feb. 19 Northwestern game were held in the former long-time home of Buckeye hoops. Ohio State won both contests.

Last season, Ohio State faced then-No. 17/18 Texas Jan. 5 and Big Ten foe Michigan Feb. 27 in St. John. Ohio State beat the Longhorns, 70-66, and wrapped up the regular-season portion of their schedule with a 70-55 victory over the Wolverines.