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Jan. 6, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9/9 Ohio State women’s basketball team (13-2; 2-1 Big Ten) upset No. 6/6 Michigan State (12-2; 1-1 Big Ten), 68-54, Thursday at Value City Arena. The Spartans are the highest-ranked opponent the Buckeyes have beaten under the direction of head coach Jim Foster.

After trailing by eight points in the second half, the Buckeyes held Michigan State scoreless for a seven minute stretch to close the game and secure the conference win.

Michigan State opened the second half by taking a quick 39-32 lead and extended their lead to eight points, 42-34, off a three-point play by Liz Shimek at 15:34. Caity Matter drained her first 3-pointer of the game at 14:36 and brought Ohio State to within five before Stephanie Blanton pulled down a defensive rebound and Brandie Hoskins converted on the other end to pull it to 42-39.

MSU extended its lead to six points, but Matter hit yet another trey to bring it to 47-44 at 10:49. A Blanton put-back made it a one-point game and Ashley Allen converted a three-point play to put the Buckeyes up 49-47 with 8:09 to play. Spartan Shimek hit a jumper and tied the game at 49 with 7:45 left to play, but that would be the last field goal for MSU until the final 28 seconds.

The Buckeyes closed the game with a 19-3 scoring run for their second conference victory of the year.

Ohio State trailed 5-2 to open the game, but the Buckeyes went on a 7-0 run to take a 9-5 lead. Blanton nailed a jumper and converted a no-look pass from Matter into a layup for four consecutive scores in the run. MSU scored one field goal, but Jessica Davenport and Kim Wilburn hit back-to-back buckets to give the Buckeyes a six-point lead at 12:08.

Spartan Kristin Haynie nailed a trey to pull her team to within two points with just under nine to play in the half. MSU’s Lindsay Bowen hit a shot in the lane to knot the game at 18 at 7:30. Kelli Roehrig continued the Spartan scoring run with a bucket inside that gave MSU a 20-18 advantage, but Ohio State’s Hoskins tied the game again. Roehrig went 1-for-2 from the free-throw line and Haynie hit both shots from the charity stripe to put the Spartans up 23-20 with less than five minutes in the half.

Hoskins converted a three-point play, which tied the game for the third time. Blanton pulled down an offensive rebound and scored to give Ohio State the lead, 25-23, but MSU’s Rene Haynes drained a shot from downtown for a 26-25 edge over the Buckeyes at 2:25. Buckeye rookie Marscilla Packer matched Haynes shot and sent her team up 28-26 at 1:58. Spartan Liz Shimek drove to the bucket to tie the game at 28 heading into the break.

Four players reached double-figure scoring for the Buckeyes, led by Hoskins’ 17 points. Davenport added 14, Matter scored 12 and Blanton tallied 10. Davenport and Blanton were the squad’s leading rebounders with nine and eight caroms, respectively. Davenport also recorded five blocked shots and a career-high four steals. Wilburn ended the game with a game-high five assists.

Michigan State’s Shimek and Haynie each had a double-double. Shimek scored 17 points and brought down 10 boards, while Haynie tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Buckeyes play host to Liberty (7-4; 0-0 Big South) at 2 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena.