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Dec. 20, 2004

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THE TIP
The No. 7/10 Ohio State women’s basketball team (10-1; 0-0 Big Ten) plays host to No. 17/20 UCLA (6-2; 0-0 PAC 10) at 7 p.m. Tuesday night in Value City Arena.

ABOUT UCLA
UCLA is 6-2 overall and ranked No. 20 in the Associated Press poll and No. 17 in the coaches’ poll. The Bruins are led by Noelle Quinn, Lisa Willis and Nikki Blue, who average 20.3, 14.8 and 10.4 points per game, respectively. Quinn is the leader on the boards with 7.4 caroms per contest, while Blue is the squad’s leaders in assists with 4.9 helpers per game.

The Bruins’ only two losses have come vs. TCU (65-60) in the season-opener Nov. 19 and at Illinois, 78-63, Dec. 19. Significant UCLA victories have come vs. No. 4/4 Texas (63-60) and vs. No. 18/20 Purdue (70-64).

UCLA is led by Kathy Olivier, who is in her 12th season at the helm of the Bruin program and has accumulated an overall mark of 171-154.

OHIO STATE-UCLA SERIES
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with the Bruins, 4-3. The two teams met last year in Los Angeles and UCLA gave the Buckeyes its worst loss during the regular season. The Bruins won 71-56 Dec. 30, 2003 in Pauley Pavilion. In games played in Columbus, the Buckeyes are an undefeated 3-0.

BUCKEYE PROMOS
Buckeye fans, at halftime help us kick off the celebration of the 40th year of women’s basketball. Throughout the season, milestones will be ntroduced at select Ohio State women’s basketball games beginning with tonight’s game vs. UCLA.

Don’t forget after the UCLA game to stick around for an autograph session with Candace Dark behind the Official Team Shop on the concourse.

BRINGING THE HEIGHT
UCLA’s Sissy Pickett and Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport bring some major height to their respective squads. Senior Pickett stands at 6-feet-7-inches and is the tallest player in UCLA history. Sophomore Davenport is 6-feet-4-inches tall and is leading the Buckeyes in scoring with 18.0 points per game.

COMMON COMPETITION
UCLA is no stranger to Big Ten competition. The Bruins lost to Illinois 78-63 Dec. 19 and beat Purdue 70-64 in Los Angeles Dec. 5.

LAST TIME VS. UCLA
The then-No. 17/18 Ohio State women’s basketball team lost to UCLA, 71-56, Dec. 30, 2003 at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Caity Matter led all scorers for the second consecutive game with 21 points off a 7-of-13 night from behind the 3-point arc. Brandie Hoskins added 10 points and Kim Wilburn dished six assists and accounted for five steals.

The Bruins capitalized on a 7-2 scoring run to end the first half and an 11-5 run to open the second half and took a 44-33 lead with 16:06 to play. Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport hit a jumper with just less than 13 minutes to play to bring the Buckeyes to within nine points, 50-41, but UCLA responded with four straight points by Whitney Jones and Nikki Blue, which put the Bruins up 54-41 with 11:36 to play. UCLA led by double digits the remainder of the game. The closest Ohio State got was 10 points (66-56) with 1:39 to play off two Beth Howe free throws, but UCLA took time off the clock on the next possession and Noelle Quinn nailed her only 3-pointer of the night with time running out on the shot clock. Quinn also hit a layup to end the game.

Ohio State and UCLA traded leads seven times and tied the game seven times in the first half. For the third time that season, Matter drained four treys in the first 20 minutes. Hoskins was 4-for-5 in the first half and hit a layup at 5:50 to send the Buckeyes up four points (24-20) for the second time during the game. UCLA answered with a 13-4 scoring run and took a 33-28 lead at the midway mark. Ohio State would not lead the remainder of the game.

UCLA was led by Lisa Willis, who scored 17 points, Nikki Blue, who had 15 points and nine assists, and Quinn, who tallied 14 scores.

LAST TIME OUT AT NO. 24 OREGON
The No. 7/10 Ohio State women’s basketball team (10-1; 0-0 Big Ten) gave No. 24 Oregon (7-1; 0-0 PAC-10) its only loss of the season with a 73-58 victory Dec. 18 at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore. The Buckeyes were led by senior Caity Matter, who scored 19 points, collected a season-high seven rebounds and hit one 3-pointer to tie the Buckeye record for career treys. Matter’s 218 3-pointers ties former two-time All-American and current student assistant Katie Smith’s mark.

Jessica Davenport, who only played 26 total minutes and because of foul trouble, scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Brandie Hoskins and Ashley Allen added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Allen grabbed a season-best seven rebounds and tied her season-high with six assists.

In the first half, Ohio State jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead and tacked on a 7-3 scoring run to lead 14-3 at 13:50. Oregon scored eight unanswered points to pull the contest to within three points (14-11) at 10:55. At 9:36, Matter drained the record-tying trey and started a string of four consecutive makes from downtown by the Buckeyes. Hoskins, Allen and Marscilla Packer added one 3-pointer apiece to put the Buckeyes up 26-18 with 3:26 until the half. Ohio State led, 31-22, at the break.

Davenport opened the second half with four straight points and gave her squad a 35-22 advantage. At 14:12, Oregon’s Andrea Bills hit a bucket to cut the Buckeye lead to less than double digits (41-32) for the first time in the second half. Hoskins hit a field goal to stretch the game back to 11 points (43-32) but Oregon’s Cathrine Kraayeveld hit a basket to bring it back to nine. Davenport sank two free throws for yet another OSU 11-point lead, but the Ducks went on an 11-6 scoring run to make it 51-47 in favor of Ohio State with 8:23 to play.

A 7-0 scoring run by Ohio State created a 58-47 cushion at 6:41. The closest Oregon would get was nine points when Chelsea Wagner drained a 3-pointer with less than five minutes remaining. An 8-1 scoring run gave Ohio State the largest lead of the game when the squad went up 68-52 at 1:06. The Buckeyes were 9-of-10 from the charity stripe in the final four minutes to secure their seventh consecutive victory.

As a team, the Buckeyes shot .520 (26-of-50) from the field, .429 (6-of-14) from 3-point land and .882 (15-of-17) from the free-throw line. Ohio State outrebounded Oregon 42-22 and held the Ducks to 32 percent shooting from the field and downtown. Oregon entered the game averaging 36.9 rebounds vs. the Buckeyes’ 34.5.

Kim Wilburn had a solid game for Ohio State with eight points off a perfect 3-for-3 night from the field. After missing the first six games of the year, rookie Alice Jamen scored her first points as a Buckeye with four points. Jamen, who also had four boards, scored two key buckets in the final 10 minutes of play. Stephanie Blanton, Packer and Michelle Muñoz each contributed three points.

Oregon’s Kraayeveld led all scorers with 21 points and the Ducks notched only seven turnovers.

MATTER TIES SMITH’S TREY RECORD
Caity Matter sank one 3-pointer at No. 24 Oregon Dec. 18 and tied the record for career treys made by an Ohio State player. Katie Smith and Matter hold the school’s all-time record with 218 career 3-pointers apiece. Matter is only the third Buckeye to make at least 200 career 3-pointers. Marcie Albert is ranked No. 3 with 203 treys.

DAVENPORT’S SECOND SEASON DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Jessica Davenport had 12 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season and her sixth overall 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.

TWO IN A ROW VS. THE PAC-10
Ohio State, who is facing the second PAC-10 school in as many games vs. UCLA, is 14-8 all-time vs. PAC-10 schools. Last season, the Buckeyes faced UCLA and suffered their worst regular season loss – a 15-point loss (76-51) in Pauley Pavilion. This year, Ohio State has already faced two PAC-10 schools. Arizona visited Columbus in the semifinals of the 2004 Sportsview.tv Preseason WNIT. The Buckeyes beat the Wildcats, who were ranked No. 22/24 at the time, 78-45, Nov. 17 at Value City Arena. The Buckeyes are coming off a 73-58 victory at No. 24 Oregon Dec. 18.

MATTER LEADING THE WAY FROM THE FT LINE
Ohio State is No. 1 the Big Ten with a .796 (152-191) 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 ranked No. 1 in the league with a .935 (29-31) mark and Jessica Davenport, who has made 46-of-55 free throws this season and is ranked No. 12 in the conference with an .836 average.

2-1 VS. THE TOP 25
The Buckeyes’ 73-58 win at then-No. 24 Oregon Dec. 18 moved the squad to 2-1 vs. the Top 25. Ohio State earned its first victory of the season over a Top 25 team with a 78-45 victory over then-No. 21/24 Arizona Nov. 17. Ironically, Foster’s first win over a Top 25 team since he took over the helm of the Buckeye program in 2002, was an 84-65 victory over then-No. 19/24 Arizona Dec. 15, 2002 in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes are 5-3 against ranked opponents in Value City Arena since Foster took over the helm of the program.

The only loss of the season for Ohio State 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.

UNDEFEATED IN DECEMBER
In games played in December, Ohio state head coach Jim Foster is 16-3 overall while at the helm of the Buckeye program and 5-0 this season. Foster is 10-0 in games played at home in December.

OVERALL UNDER FOSTER
Foster is 557-246 overall in 27 years of collegiate coaching and 53-21 in three seasons at Ohio State. In Columbus, Foster is 33-4 overall with a 25-3 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.

ON FIRE
The Buckeyes are leading the Big Ten in every major offensive category. Ohio State ranks first among league leaders for scoring offense (80.2 ppg), scoring margin (+31.9), field-goal percentage (.547; 329-601), 3-point field-goal percentage (.486; 72-148) and free-throw percentage (.796; 152-191).

Individually, Jessica Davenport is shooting .603 (73-121) and ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten, followed by Brandie Hoskins’ No. 5-ranked average of .585 (48-82). Caity Matter is No. 7 among league leaders with a .559 mark (57-102) from the floor.

MATTER NOT ALONE IN THREE LAND
The Big Ten’s best 3-point shooting team is not only leaning on Caity Matter, who tied the record for career treys (218) at Oregon Dec. 18. Michelle Muñoz is ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten with a .733 (11-of-15) average from outside the 3-point line. Matter is close behind with a No. 4 ranking of .447 (21-47). Matter’s 1.9 treys per game is fifth among Big Ten leaders.

As a team, the Buckeyes hold the second spot among league rankings with 6.6 treys made per game behind Michigan State’s 6.7 average.

BLANTON COMFY IN THREE TERRITORY
As a rookie, sophomore Stephanie Blanton made only four treys last season. She is now 9-for-17 on the year.

BUCKEYES CARING FOR THE ROCK
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten with a +5.3 turnover margin and a 1.48 assist-to-turnover ratio. The second-ranked Big Ten squad for turnover margin is Michigan State, who has a mark of +3.6. Ohio State is one of only four teams in the conference to have a positive turnover margin.

The Ohio State squad is ranked high for a reason – especially when two players hold the top two spots among the Big Ten leaders. Caity Matter and Ashley Allen are No. 1 and No. 2 in the league with 2.77 and 2.28 assist-to-turnover ratios, respectively.

FOSTER’S LITTLE HELPERS
The Buckeyes are ranked first in the Big Ten with 19.8 assists per game vs. opponents’ 8.1 dishes per outing. Leading the way is Kim Wilburn and Caity Matter, who have 3.7 and 3.3 assists-per-game averages, respectively. Wilburn is No. 8 and Matter is No. 13 in the Big Ten.

Of note, Matter averaged 1.97 assists last year and entered the season with a 1.67 career assists average.

DAVENPORT TOPS FOR BLOCKS
Jessica Davenport is leading the Big Ten with 3.36 blocked shots per game. The No. 2-ranked player (Minnesota’s Janel McCarville) is averaging 2.4 blocks per outing. Jessica 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.

Davenport’s eight blocked shots added to the team’s season-high performance at Dayton Dec. 4 with 11 swatted shots total.

A TRIO OF SCORING POWER
Jessica Davenport, Caity Matter and Brandie Hoskins are leading the team with 17.5, 14.9 and 11.4 points per game, respectively. Davenport has scored double figures in every game this season, Matter has scored double digits in 9-of-11 games this year and Hoskins has tallied double digits in 7-of-10 games played, including the last four in a row. Davenport’s 17.5 points is No. 6 in the league, while Matter and Hoskins come in at No. 16 and 23 in the Big Ten.

DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE
While Ohio State is the Big Ten’s most impressive offensive performer, the Buckeyes are not slacking on defense. The squad is No. 1 and No. 3 in scoring defense (48.3 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.328; 186-567), respectively.

DAVENPORT BIG ON THE BOARDS
Jessica Davenport is leading her team and ranked No. 7 in the Big Ten with 7.6 rebounds per outing.

FOULING LOW FOR OSU
The Buckeyes, who led the country last season in fewest fouls per outing, are ranked among the Top 5 in the country for fewest fouls per game with 13.7 a contest.

BENCH HELP
The Buckeyes’ bench is getting utilized this year and the help is proving its worth. Ohio State players coming off the bench are averaging 26.6 points per game (293 total) vs. opponents’ 12.8 point per contest (141 total) from the reserves. Notre Dame is the only school to outscore the Buckeye bench. The Fighting Irish had eight points vs. Ohio State’s seven points from non-starters. Nebraska was close with a 13-12 mark in favor of the Buckeyes.

SCORING INSIDE
Ohio State is outscoring opponents in the paint by an average of 37.1 to 15.1 points per game (408-166). Of note, the Buckeyes scored 50 points in the paint vs. Bradley’s eight scores inside the lane Nov. 28 and 34 points in the lane vs. Ohio’s two scores inside. The only team to contend in the lane vs. the Buckeyes was Notre Dame, who beat Ohio State. The Fighting Irish scored 28 points inside vs. Ohio State’s 30 in the lane.

MINUTES SHARED THROUGHOUT
In the first ten games of the season, every Buckeye available to play clocked minutes in every outing. In game eleven at Oregon Dec. 18, only one player did not clock minutes. Alice Jamen made her college debut in the game at Dayton Dec. 4. Jamen had been sidelined because of an injury. She has played in every game since.

Ten of 13 Buckeyes cleared to play are averaging more than 10.0 minutes per game and only four players – Jessica Davenport, Caity Matter, Brandie Hoskins and Kim Wilburn – are clocking more than 20.0 minutes per outing. The most PT for any Ohio State player is 26.8 minutes an outing (Davenport).

LOOKING UP ON THE ROAD
After dropping a 66-62 game at Notre Dame Nov. 20, the Buckeyes responded in a big way during their second road trip of the season. Ohio State pounded Ohio, 107-37, in Athens Dec. 1 and beat Dayton, 75-42, in UD Arena Dec. 4. Most recently, the Buckeyes tallied a 70-57 victory at Penn and a 73-58 win at Oregon Dec. 18 and have improved to 4-1 on the road this year.

STEALING THE SHOW
Ohio State is No. 4 in the Big Ten with 10.1 steals per game. The Buckeyes are led by Kim Wilburn, who is averaging 2.5 steals per outing and ranked No. 4 in the league.

SLICING SEASON HIGHS
Against Nebraska Dec. 11, Jessica Davenport and Caity Matter hit season-high marks of 26, and 25 points, respectively. Davenport’s previous season-high was 23 points vs. Notre Dame Nov. 20. Matter’s high was 20 scores vs. Arizona Nov. 17.

Brandie Hoskins had a season record with seven assists. She previously accumulated six helpers vs. the Wildcats Nov. 17. Davenport’s 12 field goals was a new season-high and her 14 attempts from the field tied her previous season-best mark (set vs. Yale Nov. 27). Prior to the Nebraska outing, the most field goals for Davenport this year was eight against Yale and Bradley in back-to-back Buckeye Classic games Nov. 27 and 28.

COMING BACK IN THE SECOND
The Buckeyes, who entered the Dec. 11 Nebraska game as the Big Ten’s top shooting squad from 3-point land, were held to only .250 (2-of-8) in the first half from downtown, but turned it around in the second half by hitting all five treys attempted. OSU finished with a .538 (7-of-13) mark for the game from 3-point land. Ohio State has shot 50 percent or better from beyond the arc in six-of-nine games this year.

+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).

SEASON-HIGH REBOUNDS AND FG’S
Ohio State tallied a season-high 45 rebounds in the Ohio contest Dec. 1. The Buckeyes beat their previous season-high mark of 38, which was set vs. Bowling Green (Nov. 12) and vs. St. Joseph’s (Nov. 14).

The Buckeyes also recorded season highs with 40 field goals and a 67.8 field-goal percentage vs. the Bobcats. The previous bests were 35 shots made against Bowling Green (Nov. 12) and a .574 (35-of-61) percentage against the Falcons.

HOWE AND RILEY HIT HIGHS
Stephanie Blanton tied her career-high of 12 points vs. Ohio Dec. 1 and senior Beth Howe and rookie Tamarah Riley each had personal-best nights vs. the Bobcats. Howe’s 12 points beat her previous record of 10 vs Purdue in the Big Ten tournament March 7, 2004. Riley’s 18 points beat her previous best of 12 vs. Yale Nov. 27.

ALLEN BACK IN THE STARTING MIX
Senior guard Ashley Allen made her fourth consecutive start of the season at Dayton Dec. 4. 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. She is averaging 5.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and only 1.4 turnovers per game. Allen had a season-best and Buckeye-high five assists vs. Bradley Nov. 28 and broke the mark at Ohio Dec. 1 and at Oregon Dec. 18 with a team-best six assists in each game.

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.

BUCKEYE CLASSIC WRAP-UP
Ohio State won the 2004 Buckeye Classic by beating Yale, 80-43, Nov. 27 and rolling past Bradley, 86-52, Nov. 28. In the consolation game, Detroit beat Yale, 69-56.

After a slow offensive showing by both Ohio State and Yale to begin the game, the Buckeyes used a 10-2 scoring run in the middle of the first to take a 22-8 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. Yale cut the lead to 11 (27-16) with 5:39 to play off a jumper by Erica Davis, but the Buckeyes answered with six consecutive points to stretch the advantage to 33-16 at the 3:10 mark. Ohio State finished the half strong and took an 18-point lead, 39-21, into halftime.

The Buckeyes continued to pound away at the Bulldogs in the second half as they outscored Yale 22-4 in the first 8:48 to give OSU a 61-25 advantage. The most the Buckeyes led by was 39 points in the final minute when Tamarah Riley, who scored a career-high 12 points, sank a free-throw to put her team up 80-41.

The Buckeyes shot .561 (32-of-57) from the field compared to Yale’s .360 (18-of-50) average. Ohio State tallied 27 assists to the Bulldogs’ nine and 14 steals vs. Yale’s seven. Yale was held to just .125 (1-of-8) from 3-point territory, while the Buckeyes sank .385 (5-of-13) of their shots from downtown.

Four Ohio State players scored in double digits. Davenport led both teams with 18 points, followed by Riley’s 12, Brandie Hoskins’ 11 scores and Michelle Muñoz’ 10 points. Davenport was the game’s high rebounder with nine caroms. Kim Wilburn had a game-best eight assists.

Yale was led by Davis, who scored 14 points.

On Nov. 28, Bradley was competitive in the first half as both squads traded leads eight times and saw five ties in the first 10 minutes. The Braves’ biggest advantage was a 3-point lead when Devyn Flanagan hit a 3-pointer and sent BU up, 17-14 with 12:37 left in the first. The Buckeyes went on an 18-5 scoring run to take a 10-point lead, 32-22, with 4:41 until halftime. Bradley did not back down and was able to pull the game to within seven twice more before the half, but Ohio state took a 41-32 lead into the midway mark.

It was all Ohio State in the second half as the Buckeye shot .625 (15-of-24) from the field and stepped up their defensive effort to hold Bradley to only 20 second-half points vs. OSU’s 45. After shooting .458 (11-of-24) from the field and a whopping .800 (8-of-10) from the 3-point line in the first half, Bradley only made .217 (5-of-23) of their shots and 2-of-6 treys in the second half. Ohio State went 6-for-11 (.545) from downtown for the game.

BUCKEYE CLASSIC NOTES
The Ohio State vs. Bradley game 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.

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. Notably, Davenport faced Shawntinice Polk of Arizona Nov. 17 and will face Katie Feenstra of Liberty, as well as Minnesota’s Janel McCarville – all three of whom were in the Top 5.

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.

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.