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Jan. 14, 2005

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THE TIP
The No. 5/5 Ohio State women’s basketball team (16-2; 4-1 Big Ten) plays host to No. 4/7 Rutgers (12-2; 3-0 BIG EAST) at 3 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena. The game is part one of the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Stacey Dales-Schuman will be the analyst and Beth Mowins will be covering play-by-play. Live radio coverage can be heard on WOSU-820 AM with Marty Bannister (play-by-play) and Kristin Watt (analyst). Game two of the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge will feature No. 20/20 Purdue at No. 6/7 Notre Dame beginning at approximately 5 p.m. on ESPN2.

ABOUT RUTGERS
Rutgers is 12-2 overall and 3-0 in BIG EAST competition. The Scarlet Knights are ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll and No. 7 in the most recent coaches’ poll. Rutgers has been on a tear recently, upsetting then-No. 8/8 Tennessee Dec. 29, then-No. 3/4 Texas in Austin Jan. 2 and then-No. 1/1 LSU in overtime Jan. 5.

Prior to the team’s trip to Columbus, the Scarlet Knights beat conference foes Pittsburgh Jan. 11 and Georgetown Jan. 13.

Michelle Campbell and Matee Ajavon are leading Rutgers with 13.6 and 13.3 points per game, respectively. Campbell also leads the team with 6.2 rebounds per game, followed by Essence Carson, who is grabbing 5.5 caroms per contest.

Of note, senior All-American Cappie Pondexter did not play in the first half of the season and returned to action in Rutgers’ upset vs. then-No. 8/8 Tennessee Dec. 29. Pondexter, who is averaging 7.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in her first six games this year, has aided her team in six consecutive wins, three of which were upsets vs. Tennessee, then-No. 3/4 Texas and then-No. 1/1 LSU.

Head coach C. Vivian Stringer is 707-243 in 33 years of collegiate coaching and is 187-106 in 10 seasons at the helm of the Rutgers program. Stringer is no stranger to Columbus. She spent 12 season as the head coach at Iowa from 1983-95. Stringer led the 1992-93 Hawkeyes, who met Ohio State is the national semifinals. The Buckeyes won 73-72 in overtime before falling 84-82 vs. Texas Tech in the national championship game.

OHIO STATE-RUTGERS SERIES
Ohio State and Rutgers are tied 3-3 in the overall series. The Scarlet Knights have won two consecutive games, including a matchup last season with the Buckeyes. Ohio State lost 56-53 at Rutgers Jan. 4, 2004 in the 2004 Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge. Prior to last year’s meeting, the previous Ohio State vs. Rutgers game was Dec. 1, 1999 in Columbus. The Scarlet Knights beat the Buckeyes, 46-35.

LAST TIME VS. RUTGERS
The then-No. 17/18 Ohio State women’s basketball team fell to the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers, 56-53, Jan. 4, 2004 in the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge in Piscataway, N.J. LaToya Turner led the Buckeyes with 15 points while teammates Stephanie Blanton and Caity Matter recorded 10 and nine points, respectively.

The Scarlet Knights outscored the Buckeyes 7-0 in the last 1:49 of the game. A Turner basket put Ohio State up 53-49 at 1:49, but Rutgers’ Cappie Pondexter nailed a 3-pointer at 1:09 to bring the Scarlet Knights within one. A Buckeye turnover and an OSU foul put Pondexter at the free-throw line and her first free throw tied the game at 53. A miss on the second attempt was followed by a Rutgers’ offensive rebound by Chelsea Newton to keep the ball in its possession. Pondexter hit a 3-point basket with 5.4 seconds left to put the Scarlet Knights up 56-53. The Buckeyes inbounded to Kim Wilburn but were unsuccessful in a last-second field goal attempt during the final five seconds.

In the first half, Rutgers went on a 7-0 run at the 10-minute mark but the Buckeyes followed with a 6-0 run of their own, sparked by a Matter jumper off a pass from teammate Michelle Muñoz. The Scarlet Knight offense responded with another 8-2 run in the last five minutes of the half and took a 27-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Ohio State and Rutgers traded leads nine times and also tied the game nine times. In addition, the Buckeyes were plagued with a season-high 22 turnovers to Rutgers’ 15.

Chelsea Newton led the Scarlet Knights with 16 points while Shalicia Hurns and Pondexter added 13 apiece.

Turner and Wilburn each pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Buckeyes on the boards. Wilburn also added eight assists and five points while Candace Dark and Jessica Davenport added five points each. Turner also recorded two blocks in a season-high 39 minutes of action.

LAST TIME OUT VS. NO. 21/T22 IOWA
The No. 5/5 Ohio State women’s basketball team (16-2; 4-1 Big Ten) defeated No. 21/T22 Iowa (13-3; 2-3 Big Ten), 80-57, Thursday at Value City Arena. The win marked the Buckeyes’ fifth-consecutive and six win of the season over a Top 25 team. Ohio State, the country’s top shooting squad, was 54.2 percent (32-of-59) from the field and 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from 3-point land.

In the first half, Hawkeye Crystal Smith sank a 3-pointer and gave her team an 11-6 lead at 14:22. Ohio State went on a 9-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 15-11 lead. Iowa’s Smith sank another trey to bring the contest to 19-16 at 8:23, but the Buckeyes laid on a 20-8 scoring run to end the half up 39-24. The biggest Buckeye lead in the first half was a 17-point advantage when Caity Matter sank a trey to make it 37-20 with 3:40 until halftime.

Both squads were hot from the field in the first 20 minutes. Ohio State shot 51.7 percent (15-of-29) from the field and 62.5 percent (5-of-8) from 3-point land. Iowa was 9-of-22 from the floor for a .409 average and made 3-of-4 shots from downtown for a 75 percent mark.

While Iowa shot .600 (12-of-20) from the field and made half of its attempts from beyond the arc in the second half, the Buckeyes were still able to maintain a double-figure advantage the last 20 minutes. The most Ohio State led by was 28 points when Matter drained one of her three treys at 5:52 left in the game.

The Buckeyes forced 21 turnovers that resulted in 25 points vs. Iowa’s five points off turnovers.

Jessica Davenport was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points. She also added nine rebounds and two blocked shots. Matter and Brandie Hoskins netted 13 points apiece and Michelle Muñoz matched her season-best mark of 12 points. Ashley Allen dished nine helpers and had only one turnover in 27 minutes of action.

Iowa’s Jamie Cavey scored a team-high 17 points, followed by Johanna Solverson’s 15 points and Smith’s 10 scores.

NO. 4 SECOND-HIGHEST IN VCA
When No. 4 Rutgers visits the Buckeyes in Value City Arena (VCA), it will mark the second highest-ranked opponent to ever play vs. Ohio State in VCA. A No. 2-ranked Purdue team beat Ohio State 64-56 Jan. 26, 1999. The Boilermakers were the first ranked team to play in VCA.

THE LAST TIME …
The last time an Ohio State team ranked in the Top 5 faced another Top 5 team was in the national championship game of the 1993 Final Four in Atlanta. The Buckeyes ended the season ranked No. 3 (Associated Press poll) and Texas Tech ended the year No. 5. The two teams met in the final game, but the Buckeyes lost, 84-82.

(Of note, Jim Foster was the head coach at Vanderbilt in 1992-93 and his Vanderbilt squad held the No. 1 ranking to end the 1992-93 season. Vanderbilt lost to Texas Tech in the national semifinals.)

In regular-season games, the last time an Ohio State team ranked in the Top 5 faced another Top 5 team was in 1992-93. The No. 4-ranked Buckeyes (Associated Press poll) played host No. 2 Iowa March 7, 1993 in St. John Arena. Ohio State won, 72-60.

OVERALL UNDER FOSTER
Foster is 563-247 overall in 27 years of collegiate coaching and 59-22 in three seasons at Ohio State. In Columbus, Foster is 38-4 overall with a 30-3 mark in Value City Arena and an 8-1 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.

BATTLING THE RANKED TEAMS
In the previous eight games, Ohio State has faced five Top 25 teams and has tallied victories over all five opponents. This season, Ohio State is 6-1 overall vs. Top 25 teams and 5-0 against ranked opponents at home.

Under head coach Jim Foster, Ohio State is 9-3 all-time and 4-0 this season against ranked opponents in Value City Arena, with a 1-0 record this year vs. Top 25 teams in St. John Arena.

Michigan State was the highest-ranked team the Buckeyes faced this year until Sunday’s matchup with No. 4/7 Rutgers. The then-No. 6/6 Spartans fell to the Buckeyes, 68-54, Jan. 6 in Value City Arena. Notre Dame is the next highest-ranked opponent for Ohio State. 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 15-0 when leading at halftime this season. The Buckeyes lost one game when they trailed at half, one game when it was tied at half and won one contest 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.

ALLEN CAN MATCH THAT
Junior guard Kim Wilburn dished a season-best nine assists at Michigan Jan. 11 and tallied only one turnover. Senior Ashley Allen matched that performance the next game with a 9:1 ratio vs. No. 21/T22 Iowa Thursday evening. Nine helpers also ties Allen’s season-best mark.

HOSKINS 12:4 IN LAST TWO OUTINGS
In the last two games, sophomore Brandie Hoskins has notched 12 assists vs. only four turnovers. At Michigan Jan. 11, she had a season-best seven assists to two turnovers and vs. No. 21/T22 Iowa Thursday, Hoskins had a 5:2 ratio.

MUñOZ MATCHES SEASON BEST
Michelle Muñoz matched her season-high scoring mark with 12 points off a 5-of-8 night vs. No. 21/T22 Iowa Thursday. She also netted 12 scores at Ohio Dec. 1. Muñoz entered the game averaging 4.5 points.

RAINING THREE’S
In the previous two outings, Ohio State has been showering the shots from downtown. They are a combined 21-of-43 for a .488 average from beyond the arc. At Michigan Tuesday, the Buckeyes were 12-of-24 and vs. No. 21/T22 Iowa Thursday, the team shot 9-of-19 from 3-point land.

Aiding the effort is senior Caity Matter, who is a combined 11-of-17 from 3-point land in the last two games. At Michigan Brandie Hoskins was 2-for-3 and vs. Iowa, Muñoz went 2-for-4 and rookie Marscilla Packer hit a career-high three of four attempts from downtown.

BLANTON BREAKING THROUGH
Sophomore Stephanie Blanton averaged 3.2 points per game last season. This year, she is netting 5.5 points per contest, and in the last four outings, Blanton has contributed to the Buckeye offense by scoring 7.3 points per game.

HOSKINS HOT FROM THE FIELD
Sophomore guard Brandie Hoskins has scored double digits in 14-of-17 games played, including the last 11 in a row. In her first six contests, Hoskins averaged nine points per outing. She is currently averaging 13.2 points per game and in Big Ten games, she is second on the team with 16 points per outing.

NO. 5 BEST SINCE 1993
Ohio State is ranked No. 5 in the most recent Associated Press poll. No. 5 is the highest ranking in the AP Top 25 poll since the Buckeyes were ranked No. 3 March 9 and March 16, 1993. The No. 3 mark is the highest in Ohio State history. On Jan. 26 and March 2, 1993, the 1992-93 Buckeyes were No. 4 in the AP poll.

Of note, Ohio State made the only trip in program history to the Final Four in 1992-93 and beat Iowa 73-72 (OT) in the semifinals before falling to Texas Tech 84-82 in the national championship game.

IT’S BEEN TWO DECADES
It has been two decades since Ohio State was 16-2. The 1984-85 Buckeyes were 16-2 in the first 18 games and won the next 12 consecutive 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. 7 and the Big Ten Conference is No. 5. According to Collegerpi.com, the Buckeyes are No. 10, while the Big Ten sits at No. 1 on the conference list.

5-2 ON ROAD THE BEST UNDER FOSTER
Ohio State is 5-2 on the road this season. The Buckeyes’ 5-2 record away from Columbus is the best under head coach Jim Foster, who is in his third season at OSU.

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.

LOW TO’S
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten with a +4.28 turnover margin and a 1.38 assist-to-turnover ratio. The second-ranked Big Ten squad for turnover margin is Michigan State with a +3.4, followed by Illinois’ 1.3 mark.

Ohio State is one of only four teams in the conference to have a positive turnover margin.

Among Big Ten leaders, junior Kim Wilburn is No. 1, Ashley Allen is No. 3 and Brandie Hoskins is No. 6 with ratios of 2.3, 2.1 and 1.6, respectively.

5-6 WILBURN BATTLING UNDERNEATH
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. In the previous five outing, Wilburn is averaging 3.4 rebounds per game – which is tied for second on the team in the last five games with sophomore Stephanie Blanton.

Wilburn led the squad with eight caroms at Penn Dec. 13, was the leading rebounder with five vs. Liberty Jan. 9 and matched the five-rebound effort in the next game at Michigan Jan. 11.

ASSISTS GALORE
The Buckeyes are ranked first in the Big Ten with 19.1 assists per game, but no individual is ranked higher than No. 9 on the league leaders list. Kim Wilburn has a 3.7 assists-per-game average and is ranked No. 10 in the Big Ten. Brandie Hoskins’ 3.5 average is No. 11 in the league. Ashley Allen dishes 3.1 assists, Caity Matter is averaging 2.8 helpers and center Jessica Davenport has a 1.4 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 11.8 dishes per outing vs. Ohio State’s 19.1.

POWER INSIDE EQUALS WIN
If the Buckeyes outscore opponents inside the lane, the squad is likely to win the game. There has been one exception this season – Liberty outscored Ohio State 28-18 in the paint Jan. 9, but fell 66-51 to the Buckeyes. The Flames are the only team this season to outscore OSU in the paint.

Ohio State is outscoring opponents inside by an average of 35.0 to 18.1 points per game (630-326). Besides Liberty, 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. 1 shooter from outside the arc with a .472 (42-89) average. Matter’s 2.3 treys per game ranks No. 2 among Big Ten leaders.

As a team, the Buckeyes are No. 1 with 6.6 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 1,327 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 120 points.

HIGHEST-RANKED WIN FOR FOSTER’S BUCKEYES
Ohio State beat then-No. 6/6 Michigan State 68-54 Jan. 6 in Value City Arena. The Spartans were the highest-ranked opponent the Buckeyes have beaten under head coach Jim 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.

WINNING MARGIN LEADS THE BIG TEN
The Buckeyes are leading the Big Ten with a +25.6 scoring margin. That mark is 7.3 points higher than the second-ranked squad Minnesota, who is winning games by a margin of 18.3 points.

TIME SHARD WITH THIS SQUAD
Eight of 13 Buckeyes are averaging more than 10.0 minutes per game and only four players – Jessica Davenport, Caity Matter, Brandie Hoskins and Ashley Allen – are clocking more than 20.0 minutes per outing. The most PT for any Ohio State player is 27.7 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 582 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 239 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 .411 (239-of-582) 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 (77.1 ppg), scoring margin (+25.6), field-goal percentage (.524; 518-989), 3-point field-goal percentage (.434; 119-274). OSU is No. 2 with a .793 (233-294) mark from the charity stripe.

Individually, Brandie Hoskins is ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten with a .609 (92-151) field-goal percentage, followed by Jessica Davenport, who is shooting .583 (119-204) and ranked No. 5 in the Big Ten, and Caity Matter, who averages 53.5 percent (91-170) and is No. 7 among league leaders.

In Big Ten games, Hoskins is No. 1 with a .635 (33-52) mark from the field.

MATTER SHOOTING BIG IN BIG TEN GAMES
Caity Matter is shooting 55.2 percent from 3-point land in Big Ten games this year. She has made 16-of-29 treys attempted and is 24-of-46 from the field for a 52.2 shooting average.

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 22.8 points per game (411 total) vs. opponents’ 11.6 points per contest (208 total) from the reserves.

Purdue and Notre Dame are the only two 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. 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 131 blocked shots. Davenport needs 35 to take over No. 2 and 111 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.

IOWA BREAKS THE PATTERN
Ohio State – the Big Ten’s best shooting squad – is doing its part on defense as well. The squad is No. 2 and No. 4 in scoring defense (51.6 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.365; 338-927), 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. No. 21/T22 Iowa sank 50 percent of its shots from the floor Thursday night in Value City Arena.

NO CHARITY NEEDED AT THE STRIPE
Ohio State is No. 2 the Big Ten with a .793 (233-294) mark from the free-throw line. Last season, the Buckeyes shot .654 from the charity stripe on the season and were ranked last in the league.

The Buckeyes are led by Caity Matter, who is tied for No. 2 in the league with a .900 (45-50) mark and Jessica Davenport, who has made 76-of-94 free throws this season and is No. 11 in the conference with an .809 average.

WILBURN STEALING THE SHOW
Ohio State is No. 4 in the Big Ten with 9.8 steals per game. The Buckeyes are led by Kim Wilburn, who is averaging 2.4 steals per outing and is No. 7 in the league.

FIVE 20’S FOR DAVENPORT
Jessica Davenport had 24 points vs. Purdue Jan. 2. The game marked her fifth 20-point performance, including her third consecutive game, this season. Davenport has scored double-digits in 17-of-18 contest this year and is leading the team with 17.4 points per game.

DAVENPORT’S DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Sophomore center Jessica Davenport recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 24 points and 12 rebounds against Purdue Jan. 2. It marked the eighth career double-double for Davenport.

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.

SCORING BURDEN SHARED
Jessica Davenport, Caity Matter and Brandie Hoskins are leading the team with 17.4, 14.9 and 13.2 points per game, respectively. Davenport has scored double figures in 17-of-18 games this season, Matter has scored double digits in 15-of-18 games and Hoskins has tallied double digits in 14-of-17 games played, including the last 11 outings in a row.

Davenport’s 17.4 points is No. 4 in the league, while Matter and Hoskins come in at No. 15 and 19 in the Big Ten, respectively.

In conference games, Davenport’s 19.2 points is No. 2 in the Big Ten and Hoskins is averaging 16.0 points per contest, which is tenth among league leaders.

BLANTON’S NEW ROLE
As a rookie, sophomore Stephanie Blanton made only four treys last season. She is now 11-for-29 (.379) 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 9.0 rebounds per game and No. 3 among league leaders.

DAVENPORT NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF WEEK
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 14 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.