Feb. 24, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The No. 4/6 Ohio State women’s basketball team (26-3; 13-2 Big Ten) beat Purdue (15-11; 8-7 Ten) 57-51 Thursday in Mackey Arena. The victory was the first for any Buckeye team since a 71-68 OSU win Dec. 31, 1994. Jessica Davenport scored a game-best 21 points, collected a game-high eight rebounds and blocked five shots in her fourth-consecutive 40 minute game.
While Ohio State led the entire contest, the Boilermakers were able to make it a four-point game three times in the final 1:55. Boilermaker Emily Heikes went 1-for-1 from the free-throw line, which made it 51-47 before Davenport hit a jumper at 1:43. Purdue’s Sharika Webb, who was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line for the game, sank two shots at the charity stripe to make 53-49 with 1:16 remaining.
Davenport cleared the defensive board and Brandie Hoskins converted on the other end of the court for a fast-break layup, which made it 55-49 at 0:47. Katie Gearlds sank two more free throws with nine seconds left, but Buckeye Caity Matter went 2-for-2 from the charity stripe to seal Ohio State’s 13th conference victory.
The most the Buckeyes led by was 13, 46-33, in the second-half when Stephanie Blanton drained two free throws with 7:24 to play.
Ohio State, the Big Ten’s top-shooting team, shot 53.5 percent (23-of-43) and held Purdue to 30.9 (17-of-55) shooting from the floor.
Hoskins and Matter added 14 and 11 points, respectively. Blanton was the Buckeyes’ second-leading rebounder with five caroms. Hoskins added five assists, while Kim Wilburn dished four helpers and tallied two steals.
Purdue was led by Gearlds, who netted 16, and Erin Lawless, who scored 13.
Ohio State will finish regular-season play vs. No. 22/24 Penn State at 6 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena. A Buckeye win on Sunday would give Ohio State its first Big Ten title since the 1992-93 season. Michigan State clinched a share of the conference title with a victory Wednesday against Michigan.
As of Thursday, there are more than 17,000 tickets out for Sunday’s contest. Fans should note that the Ohio State men’s basketball team will play host to Wisconsin at 2 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena prior to the women’s contest. Fans are encouraged to allow plenty of time for parking.