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Jan. 21, 2005

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THE TIP
The No. 3/4 Ohio State women’s basketball team (18-2; 5-1 Big Ten) plays host to Northwestern (4-15; 1-5 Big Ten) at 2 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena.

ABOUT NORTHWESTERN
Northwestern is 4-15 overall and 1-5 in Big Ten play, with one win in conference competition vs. Michigan 66-59 Jan. 6. The Wildcats are on a three-game losing streak.

Northwestern is lead by Sarah Kwasinski, Ifeoma Okonkwo and Suzanne Morrison, who score 12.6, 12.2 and 11.9 points per game, respectively. Melissa Miller is the team’s best rebounder with a 6.6 rebounds per game, followed by Okonkwo’s 5.8 caroms per contest.

The Wildcats are under new leadership this season with Beth Combs at the helm of the program. She was previously at Colgate, where she accumulated an overall 44-45 record in three seasons. Combs played at Illinois and earned a psychology degree in 1992. Her assistants are Jim Sexton (Blackburn College, 1977), Tempie Brown (Michigan, 1990) and Catherine DiGiacinto (Michigan, 1998).

OHIO STATE-NORTHWESTERN SERIES
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Northwestern 27-15 and have won nine consecutive outings vs. the Wildcats. The last NU win vs. the Buckeyes was a 48-41 victory Jan. 17, 1999 in Evanston. The last Northwestern win in Columbus was a 74-62 victory Feb. 7, 1997 in St. John Arena. Northwestern has never won in Value City Arena.

LAST TIME VS. NORTHWESTERN
The Ohio State women’s basketball team beat Northwestern 57-46 Feb. 19, 2004 in St. John Arena. LaToya Turner scored 13 points and Jessica Davenport added 12 points, while Caity Matter and Brandie Hoskins each tallied nine points. Davenport’s then-career-high six blocks gave her 56 for the year, which is the Ohio State record for blocks by a freshman.

Off a combined effort by Turner and Davenport, the Buckeyes went up 6-0 to open the game. Northwestern was able to pull within six off a Michelle Zylstra trey with 7:51 left in the half, but Ohio State responded with a 10-2 scoring run, which began with back-to-back Matter layups, and established a 14-point advantage (28-14) at 3:33. Hoskins nailed a reverse layup with two seconds left and sent Ohio State up 33-21 into halftime.

Ohio State went up by as many as 19 points when Kim Wilburn sank two free throws with 11 minutes left in the game. Northwestern was able to pull the game to within 11 points, 44-33, at 9:06, when Zylstra drained a jumper, but Ohio State rebounded and went up 52-35 with 6:33 remaining. The Wildcats once again cut the lead to 11 points (52-41) off a Zylstra trey with 5:34 left, however Ohio State responded with a Candace Dark 3-pointer on the baseline. Offense slowed down for both teams to end the game and Ohio State held on for the 57-46 win.

Wilburn scored six, Stephanie Blanton and Dark netted three each and Beth Howe added two points to round out the Buckeye scoring effort. Davenport and Hoskins pulled down seven boards apiece, Matter, Turner and Wilburn each grabbed five caroms and Blanton brought down four rebounds. Matter and Wilburn each earned three steals.

Zylstra led Northwestern with 19 points off a 7-of-11 night from the field and a 4-for-8 stroke from downtown.

LAST TIME OUT VS. INDIANA
The No. 3/4 Ohio State women’s basketball team (18-2; 5-1 Big Ten) downed Indiana (8-8; 1-5 Big Ten) 52-30 Thursday at Assembly Hall. The Buckeyes held Indiana scoreless for 15 minutes in the first half and continued to play tough defense in the second for the first OSU victory in Bloomington since 1999.

Jessica Davenport scored 12 points and brought down 10 rebounds for her fifth-season and ninth-career double-double. Michelle Muñoz tied her season-high mark of 12 points for the third time this year.

Indiana’s Cyndi Valentin hit a jumper to put her team up 6-4 with 15:39 to play in the first, but the Buckeyes went on a 22-0 run over the next 15 minutes to take a 24-6 lead. Hoosier Jamie Gathing broke IU’s scoring drought with 16 seconds until halftime to make it 26-8 in favor of Ohio State at the break.

In the first, Ohio State held Indiana to 12.9 percent shooting from the field off a 4-of-31 performance. The Buckeyes were 10-of-23 and shot 43.5 percent.

Ohio State continued hot shooting in the second half. Muñoz netted nine of the first 11 second-half scores for Ohio State. The Buckeyes led by as many as 27 several times in the last half of play.

OSU outrebounded Indiana 48-28 and tallied 17 assists vs. the Hoosiers’ five helpers.

Caity Matter, Tamarah Riley and Kim Wilburn each added seven points for Ohio State. Wilburn brought down seven rebounds and Muñoz and Ashley Allen each collected five boards. Davenport added a career-best five assists, two blocked shots and one steal to her double-double.

Indiana was led by Valentin and Gathing, who scored 15 and 10 points, respectively.

LUCKY NUMBER 52
Ohio State has scored 52 points in the last two games. The Buckeyes beat Rutgers 52-50 Jan. 16 and downed Indiana 52-30 Jan. 20.

WATCH OUT FOR WILBURN
At 5-feet-6-inches tall, junior guard Kim Wilburn is the shortest member of the Ohio State team. That is not stopping Wilburn on the boards. She has been the leading rebounder in two games this year (eight caroms at Penn Dec. 13 and five vs. Liberty Jan. 9). Wilburn is averaging 3.4 boards per contest in the previous seven games, including a seven-rebound effort at Indiana Jan. 20. Wilburn’s seven boards was No. 2 behind Jessica Davenport’s 12 rebounds vs. the Hoosiers.

MUñOZ MATCHES BEST
Michelle Muñoz matched her season-best scoring effort with 12 points at Indiana Jan. 20. She entered the game scoring 4.7 points per contest and shot 5-of-9 from the field, including a 2-for-4 mark from outside the 3-point line, vs. the Hoosiers.

30 SECOND-LOWEST
Ohio State held Indiana to 30 points Jan. 20 in Bloomington. That is the second-lowest offensive output by a Buckeye opponent this season. Saint Joseph’s scored 29 points in a 76-29 Buckeye victory Nov. 14. Ohio State has held one other team – Ohio University – to less than 40 points. The Bobcats scored 37 Dec. 1 in Athens.

PARTY LIKE ITS 1999
Ohio State has plenty to celebrate about its 52-30 victory at Indiana Jan. 20. It was the first victory for any Buckeye team in Bloomington since Jan. 15, 1999 when OSU won 78-60.

MAKE IT ANOTHER FOR DAVENPORT
Sophomore center Jessica Davenport recorded her fifth double-double of the season at Indiana with 12 points and 10 rebounds. It marked the ninth career double-double for Davenport.

Her 24 points and 12 rebounds against Purdue Jan. 2 was double-double No. 4 of the season.Davenport scored 20 points and collected 12 boards for her third double-double vs. then-No. 20/23 UCLA Dec. 21. Davenport had 12 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season in the victory at Oregon Dec. 18. Davenport’s first double-double of the season was a 16-point and 13-rebound performance at Dayton Dec. 4.

DAVENPORT A GOOD SHARER
Sophomore center Jessica Davenport, who stands at 6-feet-4-inches, tallied a career-best five assists at Indiana Jan. 20.

TRYING TO MATCH EIGHT STRAIGHT
Ohio State is on a seven-game win streak. This is the second significant win streak for the Buckeyes this year. OSU won eight in a row prior to a 69-62 loss at Penn State Dec. 30.

NO. 3 TOPS FOR A BUCKEYE TEAM
The Ohio State women’s basketball team is ranked No. 3 in the latest Associated Press poll. Last week, the Buckeyes beat Michigan, then-No. 21 Iowa and then-No. 4 Rutgers to improve to 17-2 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are on a seven-game win streak, are 7-1 vs. Top 25 teams and have won the last six outings vs. ranked opponents.

A No. 3 ranking in the AP poll ties the best ranking for any Buckeye squad. The 1992-93 Ohio State team was ranked No. 3 twice in March of 1993 before OSU went to the Final Four that season and fell to Texas Tech, 84-82.

DAVENPORT NAMED PLAYER OF WEEK FOR SECOND TIME
Ohio State women’s basketball player Jessica Davenport was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week, the Big Ten Conference announced Jan. 17. Davenport averaged 20 points and 7.3 rebounds in the Buckeyes’ victories over Michigan Jan. 11, then-No. 21/T22 Iowa Jan. 13 and then-No. 4/7 Rutgers Jan. 16.

Davenport, who is sharing the honor with Penn State’s Tanisha Wright, has now won conference player of the week accolades twice this season. She was first honored Jan. 3.

Davenport scored 19 at Michigan and vs. Iowa and netted a game-best 22 points vs. Rutgers. For the week, Davenport was a combined 24-of-41 from the field for a .585 average and shot 92 percent from free-throw line, including a 7-of-8 performance vs. Rutgers.

The sophomore center from Columbus averaged 7.3 boards and tallied four assists, five blocked shots and one steal in the three contests. Davenport hit her first-career 3-pointer in the first half of the Rutgers game and played 31.3 minutes per outing.

KNOCKING OFF NO. 4 – SECOND-HIGHEST OPPONENT IN VCA
Ranked No. 4 at the time, Rutgers was the second-highest opponent to play in Value City Arena when the Scarlet Knights and the Buckeyes played Jan. 16. Ohio State won 52-50 vs. Rutgers. Second-ranked Purdue is the highest to ever play in VCA and the Boilermakers knocked off Ohio State 64-56 on Jan. 26, 1999. Purdue went on to win the national championship that year.

HIGHEST-RANKED WIN FOR FOSTER’S BUCKEYES
Ohio State beat then-No. 4/7 Rutgers 52-50 Jan. 16 in Value City Arena. The Scarlet Knights were the highest-ranked opponent the Buckeyes have beaten under head coach Jim Foster. Earlier this season, Ohio State beat then-No. 6/6 Michigan State 68-54 Jan. 6, which at the time was the highest-ranked win for the Buckeyes under Foster.

During the 2002-03 season, Ohio State defeated No. 10/11 Purdue 56-51 in Value City Arena. Last year, the Buckeyes defeated No. 10/10 Minnesota 75-57 at home.

FIRST “W” WHEN TRAILING AFTER 20
Ohio State trailed 21-16 at halftime vs. Rutgers Jan. 16 and went on to win, 52-50. It was the first win for a Buckeye team when the team trailed after the first 20 minutes.

The Buckeyes also trailed at half vs. Notre Dame Nov. 20. The Buckeyes were losing 29-25 in South Bend, Ind., and eventually fell 66-62 to the Fighting Irish.

DAVENPORT FROM DOWNTOWN?
Against Rutgers Jan. 16, sophomore Jessica Davenport hit her first-career 3-pointer. Davenport was 1-for-1 from downtown in the Rutgers game and is 1-for-3 on the season. She did not attempt a trey during her rookie campaign.

70 IN THE SECOND
Against Rutgers Jan. 16, Ohio State shot .765 percent (13-of-17) from the field in the second half. The Buckeyes have shot 70 percent or better in the second 20 minutes in three games this season. In the first half vs. the Scarlet Knights, the Buckeyes’ 16 points and .261 (6-of-23) field goal percentage in the first stanza were season-low marks for OSU.

SEASON HIGH SEATS FILLED
There were 8,145 people on hand to watch the Ohio State vs. Rutgers game Jan. 16 in Value City Arena. That is a season-high mark for a Buckeye game – home or away.

SIX 20’S FOR DAVENPORT
Jessica Davenport scored 22 points vs. Rutgers Jan. 16 and it marked her sixth game with 20 or more points this season.

OVERALL UNDER FOSTER
Foster is 565-247 overall in 27 years of collegiate coaching and 61-22 in three seasons at Ohio State. In Columbus, Foster is 40-4 overall with a 31-3 mark in Value City Arena and an 9-1 record in St. John Arena.

Ohio State’s win over then-No. 21/24 Arizona Nov. 17 in Columbus gave head coach Jim Foster win No. 550 and the victory at Dayton Dec. 4 gave him win No. 50 while at Ohio State.

TOP 25 OPPONENTS
In the previous 10 games, Ohio State has faced six Top 25 teams and has tallied victories over all six opponents. This season, Ohio State is 7-1 overall vs. Top 25 teams and 6-0 against ranked opponents at home.

Under head coach Jim Foster, Ohio State is 10-3 all-time and 5-0 this season against ranked opponents in Value City Arena, with a 1-0 record this year vs. Top 25 teams in St. John Arena.

The Jan. 16 matchup with then-No. 4/7 Rutgers was the highest-ranked opponent for Ohio State. The Buckeyes won, 52-50. The then-No. 6/6 Michigan State fell to the Buckeyes, 68-54, Jan. 6 in Value City Arena. The Fighting Irish were No. 10/11 when OSU lost 66-62 in South Bend, Ind., Nov. 20.

The Buckeyes also beat then-No. 20/20 Purdue 63-50 Jan. 2 in Value City Arena (VCA), then-No. 20/23 UCLA 83-60 Dec. 21 in VCA, then-No. 24 Oregon 73-58 Dec. 18 in Eugene, Ore., and then-No. 21/24 Arizona 78-45 Nov. 17 in VCA.

The only OSU loss vs. a Top 25 squad this year was a 66-62 loss at then-No. 10/11 Notre Dame in the final game of the 2004 Sportsview.tv Preseason WNIT Nov. 20 in South Bend, Ind.

A GOOD SIGN OF THINGS TO COME
Ohio State is 16-0 when leading at halftime this season. The Buckeyes are 1-1 when they trail at half, 0-1 when it was tied at half and 1-0 when it was tied at the midway mark.

OVER 70 BEST FOR THESE BUCKS
Ohio State is 13-0 when scoring 70 points or more. The Buckeyes’ only two losses have come when the squad scored between 60-69 points.

MATTER DRAINING 3’S
Senior Caity Matter is a combined 13-of-23 from 3-point land in the last three games for a .521 mark.

BLANTON BRINGING THE OFFENSE
Sophomore Stephanie Blanton averaged 3.2 points per game last season. This year, she is netting 5.4 points per contest, which ranks fourth behind Jessica Davenport, Caity Matter and Brandie Hoskins.

HOSKINS HOT FROM THE FIELD
Sophomore guard Brandie Hoskins has scored double digits in 14-of-18 games played, including the last 11-of-13. In her first six contests, Hoskins averaged nine points per outing. She is currently averaging 12.3 points per game and in Big Ten games, she is second on the team with 13.7 points per outing.

IT’S BEEN TWO DECADES
It has been two decades since Ohio State was 18-2. The 1984-85 Buckeyes were 18-2 in the first 20 games and won the next 10consecutive games before ending the season with a 72-68 loss vs. Old Dominion March 23, 1985 in the NCAA east regional final game.

RPI RATINGS
In the latest WBCA/Summerville RPI rankings, Ohio State is No. 4 and the Big Ten Conference is No. 5. According to Collegerpi.com, the Buckeyes are No. 4, while the Big Ten sits at No. 2 on the conference list.

6-2 ON ROAD THE BEST UNDER FOSTER
Ohio State is 6-2 on the road this season. The Buckeyes’ 6-2 record away from Columbus is the best under head coach Jim Foster, who is in his third season at OSU.

ALLEN’S ASSISTS-TO’S AT THE TOP
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten with a +3.65 turnover margin and a 1.36 assist-to-turnover ratio. The second-ranked Big Ten squad for turnover margin is Michigan State with a +3.2, followed by Illinois’ 1.4 mark.Ohio State is one of only four teams in the conference to have a positive turnover margin.

Among Big Ten leaders, Ashley Allen is ranked No. 1 with a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio and Kim Wilburn is No. 3 with a 1.9 mark. Brandie Hoskins is tied for No. 6 with a ratio of 1.50.

BUCKEYES USING THE 3
The Ohio State team averages 6.4 shots made from downtown vs. team’s 3.7 treys per outing.

ASSISTS GALORE
The Buckeyes are ranked first in the Big Ten with 18.7 assists per game, but no individual is ranked higher than No. 10 on the league leaders list. Brandie Hoskins is No. 10 with 3.5 assists per game, Kim Wilburn has a 3.4assists-per-game average and is ranked No. 12 in the Big Ten. Ashley Allen’s 3.2 average is No. 15 in the league. Additionally, Caity Matter is averaging 2.7 helpers and center Jessica Davenport has a 1.6 assists average.

Of note, Matter averaged 1.97 assists last year and entered the season with a 1.67 career assists average. Additionally, Buckeye opponents are averaging only 9.2 dishes per outing vs. Ohio State’s 18.8.

POWER INSIDE EQUALS WIN
If the Buckeyes outscore opponents inside the lane, the squad is likely to win the game. There have been two exceptions this season, but both times the Buckeyes have prevailed with the win. On Jan. 9, Liberty outscored Ohio State 28-18 and on Jan. 16, Rutgers scored 28 points vs. OSU’s 26 in the paint. Liberty fell 66-51 and Rutgers fell 52-50 to the Buckeyes.

Ohio State is outscoring opponents inside by an average of 34.1 to 18.1 points per game (682-362). Besides Liberty and Rutgers, the only two teams to contend in the lane vs. the Buckeyes were Notre Dame and Penn State, who are the only two squads to beat Ohio State. On Nov. 20, the Fighting Irish scored 28 points inside vs. Ohio State’s 30 in the lane and Dec. 30, the Lady Lions tallied 30 points vs. the Buckeyes’ 32 points inside.

MATTER SETTING STANDARDS DOWNTOWN
The Big Ten’s best 3-point shooting team can thank Caity Matter for holding her own from downtown. Matter is the league’s No. 3 shooter from outside the arc with a ..463 (44-95) average. Matter’s 2.2 treys per game ranks No.4 among Big Ten leaders. In Big Ten games, Matter is No. 2 with 2.8 treys made per outing.

As a team, the Buckeyes are No. 1 with 6.4 treys made per game.

NO. 12 FOR MATTER
Caity Matter started her senior season ranked No. 21 among Ohio State’s career points leaders. This season, she has jumped nine spots and is currently No. 12 on the all-time scoring list with 1,341 points. The No. 12 spot was held by Larecha Jones’ 1,275 points. Jones played at OSU from 1996-99. In order to move to No. 11, Matter needs 106 points.

WINNING MARGIN LEADS THE BIG TEN
The Buckeyes are leading the Big Ten with a +24.2 scoring margin. That mark is 7.3 points higher than the second-ranked squad Minnesota, who is winning games by a margin of 16.9 points. Only three Big Ten teams are winning games by a double-figure average.

TIME SHARED WITH THIS SQUAD
Eight of 13 Buckeyes are averaging more than 10.0 minutes per game and only five players – Jessica Davenport, Caity Matter, Brandie Hoskins, Kim Wilburn and Ashley Allen – are clocking more than 20.0 minutes per outing. The most PT for any Ohio State player is 28.2 minutes an outing (Davenport).

MATTER AT TOP OF EVERY 3-POINT LIST
Senior Caity Matter is at the top of every 3-point career record in the Ohio State records book.

Matter went 2-for-7 vs. Liberty Jan. 9. Matter’s seven attempts gave the senior guard from Bluffton, Ohio, the record for career attempts. She is now at 588 total attempts. Katie Smith previously held the No. 1 spot with 564 attempts from 1993-96.

Matter also broke Smith’s record earlier this season for career treys made and currently has 241 career 3-pointers drained. Smith made 218 3-pointers during her career and held the No. 1 spot for eight years. She sank one 3-pointer at then-No. 24 Oregon Dec. 18 and tied the record for career treys made by an Ohio State player. Three days later vs. then-No. 20/23 UCLA Dec. 21, Matter hit her 219th career 3-point field goal at 14:02 to break the school record for treys in a career. Matter is only the third Buckeye to make at least 200 career 3-pointers. Marcie Albert is ranked No. 3 with 203 treys.

Matter is currently No. 1 with a .410 (2414-of-588) career 3-point percentage.

BUCKEYES ON WITH OFFENSE
The Buckeyes are leading the Big Ten in every major offensive category except free-throw percentage. Ohio State ranks first among league leaders for scoring offense (74.6 ppg), scoring margin (+24.2), field-goal percentage (.517; 558-1080), 3-point field-goal percentage (.425; 127-299). OSU is No. 2 with a .778 (249-320) mark from the charity stripe.

Individually, Brandie Hoskins is ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten with a .582 (96-165) field-goal percentage, followed by Jessica Davenport, who is shooting .577 (131-227) and ranked No. 5 in the Big Ten, and Caity Matter, who averages 53.0 percent (96-181) and is No. 7 among league leaders.

In Big Ten games, Hoskins is No. 1 with a .586 (34-58) mark from the field and Davenport is ranked third with a 54.5 average (42-of-77).

MATTER SHOOTING BIG IN BIG TEN GAMES
Caity Matter is shooting 53.1 percent from 3-point land in Big Ten games this year. She has made 17-of-32 treys attempted and is 26-of-51 from the field for a 51.0 shooting average in conference contests.

MATTER SETS SINGLE GAME RECORD … AGAIN
Senior shooting guard Caity Matter sank eight 3-pointers at Michigan Jan. 11. The eight treys tied the Ohio State single-game record she set Dec. 1, 2003 vs. IUPUI. Matter was 8-of-11 from 3-point land, 10-of-13 from the floor and tied her career-high mark of 28 points vs. the Wolverines.

SCORING FROM THE SIDELINES
The Buckeyes’ bench is getting utilized this year and the help is proving its worth. Ohio State players coming off the bench are averaging 22.2 points per game (443 total) vs. opponents’ 11.7 points per contest (234 total) from the reserves.

Purdue, Notre Dame and Rutgers are the only three schools to outscore the Buckeye bench this season. The Fighting Irish, who beat the Buckeyes 66-62 Nov. 20, had eight points vs. Ohio State’s seven points from non-starters. Purdue’s bench tallied 25 points vs. Ohio State’s 10 scores in a 63-50 Buckeye victory Jan. 2. On Jan. 16, Rutgers’ reserves scored 25 points vs. OSU’s 13 scores.

Nebraska was close with a 13-12 mark in favor of the Buckeyes during an 86-61 Ohio State win Dec. 11.

DAVENPORT SWATS TO THIRD PLACE
Jessica Davenport had four blocked shots vs. Michigan State Jan. 6 and moved into third place on Ohio State’s career leaders list. Davenport, who replaced Francine Lewis’ 124 swatted shots, currently has 135 blocked shots. Davenport needs 31 to take over No. 2 and 107 to become the school’s career leader for swatted shots in Buckeye history. Mary Sivak tallied 241 blocks during her tenure at Ohio State from 1979-82.

Davenport is leading the Big Ten with 2.8 blocked shots per outing. Of note, Davenport added eight blocked shots to her first double-double of the season (16 points, 13 rebounds) at Dayton Dec. 4. Eight blocks is a career-best mark for the sophomore center from Columbus.

BUCKEYE DEFENSE DOING WELL
Ohio State – the Big Ten’s best shooting squad – is doing its part on defense as well. The squad is No. 1 and No. 4 in scoring defense (50.4 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.361; 373-1033), respectively.

While the Buckeyes have shot better than .500 12 times and greater than .600 twice this season, only one Ohio State opponent has shot better than .500 from the field. Then-No. 21/T22 Iowa sank 50 percent of its shots from the floor Jan. 13 in Value City Arena.

ALL THAT MATTERS AT THE STRIPE
Ohio State is No. 2 in the Big Ten with a .778 (249-320) mark from the free-throw line. The Buckeyes are led by Caity Matter, who is No. 1 in the league with an .887 (47-53) mark. Jessica Davenport, who has made 85-of-106 free throws this season and is No. 10 in the conference with an .802 average.

Last season, the Buckeyes shot .654 from the charity stripe on the season and were ranked last in the league.

WILBURN STEALING THE SHOW
Ohio State is No. 4 in the Big Ten with 9.4 steals per game. The Buckeyes are led by Kim Wilburn, who is averaging 2.3 steals per outing and is No. 8 in the league.

SCORING BURDEN SHARED
Jessica Davenport, Caity Matter and Brandie Hoskins are leading the team with 17.4, 14.2 and 12.3 points per game, respectively. Davenport has scored double figures in 19-of-20 games this season, Matter has scored double digits in 15-of-20 games and Hoskins has tallied double digits in 14-of-19 games played.

Davenport’s 17.4 points is No. 3 in the league, while Matter and Hoskins come in at No. 16 and 22 in the Big Ten, respectively.

In conference games, Davenport’s 18 points is No. 3 in the Big Ten.

BLANTON’S NEW ROLE
As a rookie, sophomore Stephanie Blanton made only four treys last season. She is now 12-for-32 (.375) on the year.

DAVENPORT BIG ON THE BOARDS
Jessica Davenport is leading her team and ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten with 8.1 rebounds per outing. In conference games, the sophomore center is averaging 9.2 rebounds per game and No. 3 among league leaders.

DAVENPORT’S FIRST PLAYER OF WEEK HONOR
On Jan. 3, Jessica Davenport was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the first time in her career. Davenport’s honor was the first for a Buckeye player since teammate Caity Matter was honored Feb. 16, 2004. Davenport averaged 22 points and 10.5 rebounds vs. Penn State Dec. 30 and then-No. 20/20 Purdue Jan. 2. In the two game combined, Davenport shot .519 (14-of-27) from the field and .800 (16-of-20) from the free-throw line. A sophomore center from Columbus, Ohio, she also notched three assists, two blocked shots and two steals in the two conference contests. The Buckeyes dropped a 69-62 decision at Penn State, but bounced back to beat the Boilermakers, 63-50, in Value City Arena. Davenport’s 24 points and 12 rebounds vs. Purdue was her fourth double-double of the season and her eighth career double-double.

+70 A RECORD
The Buckeyes beat Ohio, 107-37, Dec. 1 in Athens, Ohio. Ohio State’s 70-point win tied the school record for the largest margin of victory. Ohio State beat Akron 105-35 on Feb. 22, 1977. The win was the Bobcats’ worst lost in program history. Ohio’s previous worst lost was 52 points at Iowa in 1991.

The previous biggest margin of victory for a Buckeye team under head coach Jim Foster was a 48-point win. Foster’s Ohio State teams had beaten two squads by 48 points: 96-48 vs. IUPUI Dec. 1, 2003 in Value City Arena and 89-41 vs. Bowling Green Nov. 12 in Value City Arena.

107 THE HIGHEST UNDER FOSTER
Ohio State’s 107 points vs. Ohio Dec. 1 was the highest points total this season and the most for any Buckeye team coached by Jim Foster. The Buckeyes’ previous season-high was 89 points against Bowling Green (Nov. 12) in the season opener. Ohio State’s 46 points in the first 20 minutes of play vs. Ohio Dec. 1 was the most in the first half this year.

The last time a Buckeye team scored at least 100 points, was vs. Wayne State Nov. 26, 2002 in Foster’s second-ever game at the helm of the Buckeyes.

The most points ever scored by a Buckeye team was a 119-point performance vs. Idaho State Dec. 11, 1994. The Buckeyes won, 119-63.

SEVEN REACH DOUBLES
The Buckeyes had seven players reach double figures in scoring vs. Ohio Dec. 1. Tamarah Riley had 18, Caity Matter scored 14 points, Stephanie Blanton, Jessica Davenport, Beth Howe and Michelle Muñoz all netted 12 and Candace Dark tallied 11 scores. Seven players in double digits is the most this season. Ohio State had five players reach double figures against St. Joseph’s (Nov. 14).

ALLEN BACK IN THE STARTING MIX
Ashley Allen has started in 15 consecutive games and is back in the starting mix for head coach Jim Foster. The Buckeye Classic games vs. Yale Nov. 27 and vs. Bradley Nov. 28 marked her first two starts since Feb. 19, 2003 at Illinois when she was injured and forced to miss the rest of the season. Allen played in six games in 2003-04 but did not make a start and in 2002-03, she started in all 25 games she played.

ALLEN SHOOTS HER WAY BACK
Ashley Allen officially returned to the Buckeye lineup against Bowling Green for the first time since Dec. 20, 2003. Allen scored 17 points vs. the Falcons and made a career-high five 3-pointers (of six attempted) against the Falcons.

Allen’s previous record was four 3-pointers drained vs. UNC Wilmington Dec. 25, 2003.

MATTER A CLASS ACT
Ohio State women’s basketball player Caity Matter was named a finalist for the 2004-05 Bayer Advantage Senior CLASS Award by the organizing committee of the award. The Senior CLASS Award is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. The award is given to the outstanding male and female senior NCAA Division I basketball player annually and originated from the award’s honorary chairman, CBS sportscaster Dick Enberg.

A national media committee will select 10 finalists for the award in February of 2005. In March, a nationwide fan ballot will be paired with results from a vote of coaches and media to determine the winners. The winner will be announced by Enberg during the CBS telecast of the 2005 NCAA Men’s Final Four.

Courtney Coleman, a former Ohio State regional Kodak/WBCA All-American honorable mention pick and four-year Buckeye letterwinner, was named a second team Senior CLASS Award winner in 2003.

THE BUCKEYE BASKETBALL SHOW WITH Jim Foster
“The Buckeye Basketball with Jim Foster Show” began its 10-week run Jan. 9. The half-hour show, which is hosted by WBNS’ Ryan Miller, will be aired on WBNS statewide at 11 a.m. Sunday mornings. It will be replayed on Ohio News Network Sunday nights. Please check local listings for the ONN air times.

BUCKEYE CLASSIC NOTES
The Ohio State vs. Bradley game Nov. 28 was the 12th time Ohio State has made it to the title game in 13 years of the Buckeye Classic. In 1983 – during the first year of the Buckeye Classic – Georgia and Clemson met and Georgia won the title, 78-64. The Buckeyes have won the Buckeye Classic seven times, including the previous four events in a row. The last two MVP’s of the Buckeye Classic are underclassmen on the Ohio State team. Sophomore center Jessica Davenport earned the honor this season and classmate Brandie Hoskins was tabbed the Buckeye Classic’s MVP last season when she was a rookie.

BUCKEYE CLASSIC ALL-TOURNEY TEAM MEMBERS
Jessica Davenport and Caity Matter were named to the 2004 Buckeye Classic All-Tournament Team. Davenport, the most valuable player, was 16-of-27 from the field and tallied a total of 37 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, four steals, five blocked shots and only two turnovers. Matter was 7-of-13 form the field, scored 22 points and had seven assists, six rebounds and four steals. Davenport and Matter were also named to the Sportsview.tv 2004 Preseason WNIT All-Tournament Team.

PRESEASON WNIT WRAP-UP
Ohio State beat Bowling Green, 89-41, Nov. 12 and blew by Saint Joseph’s, 76-29, Nov. 14 in rounds one and two of the 2004 Sportsview.tv Preseason WNIT. In the semifinals vs. No. 21/24 Arizona, the Buckeyes won, 78-45, and earned the program’s first trip to the finals of the preseason WNIT. The first three games were in Columbus, Ohio (with round one and the semifinal game being held at Value City Arena and round two taking place in St. John Arena), but the Buckeyes had to travel to South Bend, Ind., to face then-No. 10/11 Notre Dame in the final game Nov. 20.

Notre Dame tallied victories at home over Illinois State (92-73), Nebraska (73-57) and No. 6/6 Duke (76-65) on its path to the final game of the preseason WNIT event, fought for the title in a close game vs. the Buckeyes. In a back-and-forth battle with seven lead changes and nine ties, Ohio State led, 62-54, with 5:18 to play, but Notre Dame went on a 12-0 run to close the final five minutes of the game and earn the championship.

It was the second preseason WNIT run for Ohio State. The Buckeyes were also in the 1995 event and faced Pittsburgh Nov. 15, 1995. The Buckeyes beat Pitt, 85-50. In the second round of that year’s preseason WNIT, the Buckeyes beat Maine in the second round, 93-64, before falling to Arkansas, 86-80. Then-senior Katie Smith, who is currently a student assistant for the Buckeyes, was named to the 1995 Preseason WNIT All-Tournament team.

PRESEASON WNIT ALL-TOURNEY SELECTIONS
Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport and Caity Matter were named to the Sportsview.tv 2004 Preseason WNIT All-Tournament Team. For the tournament, Davenport averaged 17.8 points, 6.3 boards and 2.5 rebounds per game, while shooting .581 from the field (25-of-43) and making all 21 free throws she attempted. Matter averaged 14.3 points, 3.8 assists and shot .467 (21-of-45) from the field and 7-for-7 from the charity stripe in the four games.

BUCKEYES BREAK WNIT TREY RECORDS
The Buckeyes have set two preseason WNIT team records: 3-pointers in a game and 3-pointers in a tournament.

Ohio State made 13 3-pointers (of 20 attempted) vs. Bowling Green Nov. 12. The previous mark was held by Connecticut, who drained 12 treys vs. Fairfield Nov. 9, 2001. Ohio State was .650 from beyond the arc vs. the Falcons, due primarily to Ashley Allen, who was 5-of-6 from downtown, Caity Matter, who hit 2-of-4, and Michelle Muñoz, who hit both 3-pointers attempted.

The Buckeyes’ 27 3-pointers accumulated during the four preseason WNIT contests beat the previous mark of 23 treys in a tournament set by the University of Arkansas in 1995.

FOSTER IN ST. JOHN ARENA
The Buckeyes beat Saint Joseph’s, 76-29, Nov. 14 in St. John Arena. Under Foster, the 47-point differential is the largest Buckeye margin of victory in St. John Arena. The next closest for a Foster-coach squad was a 43-point victory over Wright State, 88-45, Dec. 18, 2003. Foster’s Buckeye squads are 8-1 in St. John Arena, with the lone loss coming in the NCAA tournament last year in second-round action vs. Boston College.

DEFENDING VS. THE HAWKS
Besides impressive offensive performances by the Buckeyes, Ohio State’s defense deserves some credit as well. OSU held Saint Joseph’s to 29 points, which is one more than the lowest output by any Buckeye opponent – 28 points by Purdue Feb., 6, 1976. The Buckeyes beat the Boilermakers, 61-28.

THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM
The Nov. 12 game vs. BGSU was the earliest start in Buckeye history since dates for games were recorded beginning in the 1974-75 season. The next earliest start was a Nov. 15, 1995 game in the preseason WNIT vs. Pittsburgh.

USING THE SUMMER DOWN UNDER
While most of the women’s basketball team spent time lifting weights, conditioning and playing in the summer leagues in Columbus, one player gained experience of another sort. Jessica Davenport was a member of the 2004 Big Ten Basketball Foreign Tour Team and scored double-digits in all four contests abroad. She averaged 15.0 points and 6.8 boards per outing as a member of the undefeated 12-player roster under the direction of Indiana’s Kathi Bennett. Bennett’s team went 4-0 in Australia during the 11-day trip.

PRESEASON KUDOS
The Ohio State women’s basketball team opened the season tied for ninth place in the preseason USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches’ Poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press poll. Both polls were released the week off Nov. 15. In other preseason rankings, the Buckeyes are No. 6 according to Women’s Basketball News Service, No. 8 in Athlon and No. 13 among Lindy’s rankings.

COACHES’ FAVORITE
Ohio State was picked to finish first in the coaches’ Big Ten preseason poll, in front of Michigan State and Minnesota. The media chose Purdue No. 1, the Buckeyes No. 2, and Penn State No. 3. Ohio State was the only squad named in both polls.

ESPN.COM ACCOLADES
Senior Caity Matter was listed as one of the Top 5 off-guards in the country and a “Fresh Face To Watch” by ESPN.com. Sophomore center Jessica Davenport was an honorable mention pick by ESPN.com for Top 5 centers in the country. Davenport has faced two players who were named to the Top 5 centers list in Liberty’s Katie Feenstra and Arizona’s Shawntinice Polk. The Buckeyes beat both Liberty and Arizona. Davenport will play another Top 5 center in Minnesota’s Janel McCarville Feb. 17.

EARLY HONORS FOR DAVENPORT
Buckeye sophomore center Jessica Davenport, the media’s pick for 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was named a member of both the media and the coaches’ preseason all-conference teams. Davenport averaged 12.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots per game in her rookie campaign.

SMITH’S SECOND GOLD
Katie Smith, a student assistant in the Ohio State women’s basketball office and a former two-time All-American at OSU, was one of the first seven members named to the 2004 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team. Smith represented the U.S. at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and despite suffering an injury in Athens, aided her team in capturing a gold medal – the second overall for Smith. 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 and plans to return to the WNBA in 2005 once she recovers.