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Nov 23, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 16/17 Ohio State women’s basketball team (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) beat Florida A&M (0-0, 0-0 MEAC), 71-56, Sunday afternoon. The win extended the current Ohio State home winning streak, which began with two wins at the end of the 2001-02 season, to 18 consecutive victories in Columbus. Freshman Jessica Davenport (Columbus, Ohio/Independence) earned a double-double with 23 points (7-of-11 FG; 9-of-14 FT), which led all scorers, and 12 rebounds. Davenport also blocked four shots and for the second time in as many games was the only player for either squad to block at least one shot. Caity Matter (Jr.; Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) also added 21 points (8-of-16 FG; 5-of-12 3FG) and Brandie Hoskins (Fr.; Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne) tallied 10 scores (5-of-7) to aid the Buckeye effort.

Ohio State and Florida A&M traded buckets in the first minute to tie the game at two, but it took just over four minutes for either team to score again. Florida A&M’s Tene’ Miller nailed a 3-pointer at 15:50 to break the scoring drought and send the Lady Rattlers up 5-2. Ohio State and Florida A&M continued to hover around a less than six-point difference (three lead changes and two ties) between the two teams during the next six minutes. The Buckeyes used a 14-4 scoring run, which included three treys by Matter, to close out the first half and secure a 16-point lead (33-17) at the midway mark.

Florida A&M’s Dierdre Tyus opened the second half with a 3-pointer, which brought her team to within 13, but that differential would prove to be the closest the Lady Rattlers would get to the Buckeyes for the remainder of the contest. A Davenport layup at the 17:23 mark began a 16-7 scoring run in favor of Ohio State, which gave the Buckeyes their largest lead of the game – a 26-point advantage (55-29) – with 11:31 to play. Florida A&M’s Yolanda Dixon snapped a 3:31 scoring drought by the Lady Rattlers with a free throw at 10:35 (55-30) and led a 14-3 scoring run with an additional jumper, three 3-pointers and a Kim Watson layup, to pull the game to within 15 points (58-43). Ohio State maintained its double-digit lead in the final minutes, using two 3-pointers by Matter sandwiched around a fast-break Stephanie Blanton (Fr.; Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) layup assisted by Matter, and secured the victory for second-year head coach Jim Foster.

Blanton, sophomore Michelle Mu±oz (Mason, Ohio/University of Tennessee) and sophomore Kim Wilburn (Southfield, Mich./Detroit Country Day) scored seven, five and four points, respectively. Notably, Blanton pulled down 11 rebounds and tallied four assists and Wilburn distributed five assists. Additionally, junior guard Beth Howe (Jackson, Ohio/Jackson) earned a career-best three steals and Ashley Allen (Jr.; Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis) played her first minutes since suffering a season-ending injury at Illinois last February. She garnered four assists.

Florida A&M was led by Dixon, who scored 19 points, and Watson, who grabbed nine caroms.

The Buckeyes return to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 25 as they play host to UNC Wilmington in Value City Arena.