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Feb. 22, 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s basketball team (17-8; 9-5 Big Ten) beat Illinois (10-15; 4-10 Big Ten), 76-57, Sunday afternoon in Value City Arena. Junior shooting guard Caity Matter led all scorers with 25 points (10-of-18), while senior LaToya Turner scored 19 points and freshman Jessica Davenport added 12 points. Turner and Davenport led the effort on the boards by pulling down eight and six rebounds, respectively.

After Ohio State led by as many as 12 points in the first half, the closest Illinois got in the second half was nine points, 36-27, at 19:09. The Buckeyes, who opened the game with a 13-3 run, responded with a second 13-3 scoring advantage to establish a 19-point lead, 49-30, with 15:49 left. The Buckeyes took as large as a 23-point advantage twice in the second half as head coach Jim Foster’s team hovered around a 20-point lead to close the game.

A series of runs characterized the first half of play. The Buckeyes took an early 13-3 lead, but Illinois outscored the Buckeyes 6-0 and pulled within four, 13-9, at 12:58. Davenport (Columbus, Ohio/Columbus Independence) converted on two consecutive layups and sophomore Kim Wilburn (Southfield, Mich./Detroit Country Day) sank a free throw to give the Buckeyes a seven-point lead, 18-11, with 10:27 left until halftime. Illinois’ Angelina Williams and Tiffanie Guthrie hit two jumpers, which brought the Fighting Illini within three points, 18-15, with 8:45 left. A 9-0 run by Ohio State during the next three minutes established a 27-15 Buckeye advantage, but Illinois would not back down and pulled the game to within five points off a Cindy Dallas Jumper with 3:02 left. Matter (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) and Turner (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington) combined for five points and quickly put OSU up 10, 34-24, with 1:03 remaining. Illinois’ Williams converted 1-of-2 free throws with three ticks left, which sent Ohio State into the locker room with a 34-25 lead.

As a team, Ohio State dished 20 assists compared to Illinois’ 11, shot .518 (29-of-56) from the field and .789 (15-of-19) from the charity stripe. Brandie Hoskins (Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne) scored eight points, Stephanie Blanton (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster), Beth Howe (Jackson, Ohio/Jackson) tallied four points and Wilburn netted three points. Hoskins, Matter and Wilburn grabbed five rebounds each.

Ohio State will take to the road to close out the regular season when they face No. 11/12 Minnesota at 8 p.m. EST Thursday in Minneapolis and Wisconsin at 8 p.m. EST Sunday in Madison, Wis.