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Feb. 23, 2003

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The Ohio State women’s basketball team (18-8; 9-6 Big Ten) beat No. 10/11 Purdue (21-5; 10-4 Big Ten), 56-51, today in front of a season-high 7,003 people at Value City Arena. After leading by as many as ten points in the second half, Ohio State depended on senior DiDi Reynolds to knock down two free throws with 18 second left to help seal the victory. Sophomore Caity Matter, who also hit a pair of shots from the free-throw line with two ticks left, led the Buckeye with 19 points, including three shots from behind the 3-point line, which brought her season total to 86 and tied the record for most treys in a season by a Buckeye.

The Buckeyes were up 34-24, the biggest lead for either squad this afternoon, with 13:54 remaining, but the Boilermakers went on a 6-0 scoring run to pull the game to within four points (34-40) after a Shereka Wright layup with 10:48 to go. Matter hit a 3-pointer on the next possession and Wright answered once again, before senior D’wan Shackleford made a shot in the paint to stretch the Ohio State lead to seven points (39-32) with just under nine minutes left in the game. Purdue held Ohio State to two Courtney Coleman free throws over the next three-minutes-and-three-second and pulled to within one point (41-40) at the 6:20 mark off an Emily Heikes’ shot from downtown.

A Matter jumper ended the Buckeyes’ field-goal drought and put Ohio State up 43-40 with 5:53 to play. Over the next five minutes, the Buckeyes maintained a modest lead by hitting free throws (7-11), yet once again remained without a field goal during that time. Purdue’s Wright hit as shot with 1:01 left to tie the game for the fourth time at 50. However, freshman Kim Wilburn came off a screen to nail a baseline jumper and the Buckeyes took a 52-50 lead with 35 seconds left. Wright went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe, which left Ohio State ahead, 52-51, with 20 second remaining. Reynolds was then sent to the line and drained two shots to give the Buckeyes a three-point cushion (54-51) with 18 seconds left. Purdue could not convert on the offensive end and sent Matter to the line to secure a 56-51 Buckeye victory. The first half was a back-and-forth battle with three ties and five lead changes, however Ohio State went on an 8-2 run off two consecutive Wilburn shots and two back-to-back Matter jumpers to close the half and take a 24-20 halftime lead.

Ohio State turned the ball over a season-low 11 times, but forced 20 Purdue turnovers and ultimately scored 21 points compared to Purdue’s four points off turnovers.

Besides Matter’s 19 points, Wilburn, Shackelford and Coleman rounded out the Buckeyes’ offensive force by netting 12,10 and nine points, respectively. Coleman collected eight caroms and Reynolds pulled down six rebounds (four offensive) to control the boards for Ohio State. Wilburn also earned six steals, three assists and four rebounds today. Junior LaToya Turner played 20 minutes vs. Purdue after suffering a broken arm during the Feb. 6 Minnesota matchup.

The Buckeyes end their regular season by playing host to Michigan at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in St. John Arena. The game will honor departing seniors Coleman, Reynolds and Shackleford and will commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the 1993 Final Four team.