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Feb. 11, 2004

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THE TIP
The Ohio State women’s basketball team (13-8; 5-5 Big Ten) play host to No. 10/10 Minnesota (18-3; 7-3 Big Ten) at 7 p.m. EST Thursday in Value City Arena (19,200). The game will be televised throughout the state on Ohio News Network with Arica Robbins and Toni Roesch and can be heard on WOSU 820 AM with Marty Bannister and Alysiah Bond.

This is the first regular-season meeting of the year between Ohio State and Minnesota. They will tip off at 8 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 26, in Minneapolis. Ohio State leads the all-time series with the Golden Gophers, 38-7, and last year the teams split with each squad protecting its home court.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA
No. 10 Minnesota is 18-3 overall and 7-3 in Big Ten competition and is coming off a huge 74-56 win over No. 8 Penn State in Minneapolis. Led by two-time All-American Lindsay Whalen, the Golden Gophers opened the season with 15 consecutive wins before losing three straight at No. 5/6 Purdue (65-56) at No. 5/6 Penn State (75-56) and at No. 18/20 Michigan State (72-69). Since then, Minnesota has put together three consecutive victories.

Whalen is the team’s leading scorer with 21.4 points per game, followed by junior center Janel McCarville, who tallies 15.3 points an outing. McCarville is the power on the boards for Minnesota as she boasts a Big Ten-best 10.2 rebounds-per-game average. Whalen is the team’s second-leading rebounder with 5.1 caroms a contest. Among league leaders, McCarville’s .608 stroke is No. 2 behind Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport’s .647 average and Whalen is ranked No. 6 with a .556 mark from the field. Whalen also comes in at No. 4 in assists (5.0), No. 7 in steals (2.0) and No. 3 in 3-point field-goal percentage (.429), while McCarville is the Big Ten’s second-best shot blocker with 2.29 rejections a game. Notably, McCarville’s 2.6 swipes an outing is the best on her team and is ranked fifth in the league. As a team, the Golden Gophers are nearly even with the Buckeyes for the top spot in the Big Ten for field-goal percentage; the Buckeyes shoot .507 and Minnesota owns a .504 stroke. Minnesota is ranked No. 1 in scoring offense (74.4), scoring margin (+17.9) and rebounding margin (+7.3).

MINNESOTA’S PAM BORTON
Second-year Golden Gopher head coach Pam Borton, a Fayette, Ohio, native, wasted no time in her first season in Minneapolis as she guided the Minnesota program to a 25-6 record and its first Sweet 16 appearance. Prior to joining the ranks at Minnesota, Borton spent five years at Boston College as an assistant coach. She was promoted to associate head coach her final two seasons with the Eagles. She served as BC’s recruiting coordinator and helped the Eagles to a 102-51 record, including NCAA Tournament berths in 1999, 2000 and 2002. Borton was the head coach at the University of Vermont from 1993-97 before moving to Boston. In her four years at Vermont, she led the Catamounts to a 69-46 (.667) record, a North Atlantic Conference championship, and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1994

LAST TIME OUT AT NO. 5/6 PURDUE
The Ohio State women’s basketball team (13-8, 5-5 Big Ten) lost to No. 5/6 Purdue (19-2, 8-1), 57-54, Sunday at Mackey Arena. Senior LaToya Tuner led the Buckeyes with 13 points and 10 rebounds for her 10th career double-double. Caity Matter recorded 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Jessica Davenport added 10 points and six boards.

The Boilermakers led 56-50 after a layup by Brandie Hoskins cut the led to six with 1:22 left in the game. Purdue’s Erica Valek stepped to the free throw line and missed her first attempt at 1:02. Sophomore Kim Wilburn grabbed the rebound and started a fast break that ended with a Davenport bucket to cut the lead to four, 56-52, with 49 seconds left on the clock.

On the next Boilermaker possession, Wilburn forced a steal that was picked up by Hoskins who was then fouled by Valek with 32 seconds remaining. Hoskins connected on both free throws and the Buckeyes trailed by just two, 56-54. With 16.4 ticks left, Matter fouled Purdue’s Shereka Wright and sent her to the foul line. Wright made her first attempt but the second hit the rim and went out-of-bounds and the Buckeyes got the ball back with 14.6 seconds left in the game. After an Ohio State timeout, Matter inbounded the ball to Wilburn, who threw up a last-second 3-pointer that banged off the front of the rim as time expired.

In the first half, Valek hit a 3-pointer that tied the game 7-7 at 15:58. Ohio State then went on a 15-7 run over the next seven minutes and took a 22-14 lead with 8:04 to go in the half. The Boilermakers responded with a score by Emily Heikes at 7:45 and went on a 12-2 run of their own to close the half with a 26-24 advantage. Purdue continued the run at the start of the second half, outscoring Ohio State 16-11 in the opening 10 minutes of the final period. Another Valek 3-pointer at the 7:48 mark gave the Boilermakers a 13-point lead, their largest of the game.

Ohio State finished with a season-high nine blocks including a career-high three swats from Wilburn and a two from Matter, another career high. Wilburn also tied a season-high with seven steals and finished with seven points. Hoskins recorded eight points and added two steals.

Wright became the 10th player in Big Ten history to reach 2,000 career points when she connected on a bucket with 10:24 left in the game. She finished with 19 points. Valek netted 17 and Lindsey Hicks added nine points and five boards.

TOPS IN THE COUNTRY
Ohio State is the country’s best-shooting team with a .507 mark from the field. The Buckeyes have shot .500 or better in 11-of-21 games this year. Ohio State is 9-2 this season when it shoots .500 or more and 4-6 when it shoots less than .500. Freshman Jessica Davenport, who is playing 25.6 minutes a game and has started in 12 games as a Buckeye – including the last seven, three of which were 40-minute outings – is scoring 12.4 points per game and is leading the Big Ten in all games with a .647 stroke from the field. Her average would be ranked No. 3 in the country, but the minimum requirement is 5.0 made field goals per game and Davenport is averaging 4.7 makes per outing. Veteran LaToya Turner is ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 18 in the nation with a .569 average.

FULL DAYS WORK
Sophomore Kim Wilburn and freshman Jessica Davenport clocked 40 minutes at then-No. 5/6 Purdue Feb. 8. It was Wilburn’s fourth 40-minute outing of the season – the first was at Nebraska, the second was at Illinois and the third was at Michigan – and the ninth of her career. Wilburn, who is averaging a Buckeye-best 32.1 minutes an outing, led the team last season as a freshman with 34.8 minutes per game, including five 40-minute contests, three of which came in the final four games of the year. Davenport played 40 minutes in the two opening games of the Big Ten season vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State and vs. then-7/8 Purdue and also clocked a full game at then-No. 5/6 Purdue.

TURNER’S 10TH
Senior center LaToya Turner earned her third season and 10th career double-double at Purdue with 13 points and 10 rebounds in Mackey Arena. Turner is averaging 12.3 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game. Turner is ranked No. 19 on Ohio State’s rebounding list and No. 22 on the points list.

BLOCKS GALORE
Ohio State set a season-high mark with nine blocked shots at Purdue last Sunday. Kim Wilburn led the way with a career-best three rejections, while freshman Jessica Davenport, junior Caity Matter and senior LaToya Turner swatted two shots apiece vs. the Boilermakers. For the year, the Buckeyes have 84 blocked shots compared to opponents’ 32. Purdue did not block a shot all afternoon vs. Ohio State.

Ohio State is led by Turner and rookie Davenport, who stand at 6-feet-3-inches and 6-feet-5-inches, respectively. Among league leaders, Davenport holds the No. 3 spot with 2.00 swatted shots per game and Turner is No. 5 with 1.88 blocks per outing. The pair has combined for 74 of Ohio State’s 84 blocked shots and Davenport is on pace to break Mary Sivak’s record of 51 blocked shots as a freshman. Currently, she has racked up 42 blocks as a Buckeye. Davenport has blocked at least one shot in 18-of-21 games and veteran Turner is ranked second among OSU career block leaders. Ohio State has held six teams to zero blocks this season.

Both Turner and Davenport have had a five-block game this season and with those marks, both student-athletes tied the Value City Arena record for an Ohio State player. The record is held by none other than Turner, who swatted five attempts vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay Dec. 10, 2000.

LUCKY SEVEN
Sophomore point guard Kim Wilburn forced seven steals, including two in the final 1:25 of the game to bring the Buckeyes back to within two points of Purdue after trailing by 13 earlier in the game. Seven swipes ties Wilburn’s career high mark, which she set at Indiana and vs. Iowa last season.

TURNER IN THE CLUB
No. 32 senior center LaToya Turner added to the historic Buckeye win at Iowa last Thursday night when she hit a layup with 2:34 left in the first half and became the 22nd member of Ohio State’s 1,000-point club. Turner has racked up a total of 1,019 career points to date.

THREE MORE IN A ROW
The then-No. 5/6 Purdue game began the Buckeyes’ second three-game swing against three consecutive Top 25 opponents this season. Ohio State plays host to No. 10/10 Minnesota at home and then travel to take on the Spartans of No. 15/17 Michigan State.

The first three-game Top 25 swing began Jan. 15 vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State in Value City Arena. MSU beat the Buckeyes, 55-47. The Spartan win snapped Ohio State’s 24-game consecutive home winning streak, which ranked second in the country at the time. One week after the contest vs. MSU, then-No. 7/8 Purdue came to VCA and beat the Buckeyes, 74-68. Ohio State faced then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25 and fell 70-64.

After a 57-54 loss at then-No. 5/6 Purdue last Sunday, Ohio State is 1-4 vs. the Top 25. They beat then-No. 21/23 UC Santa Barbara, 73-59, Dec. 28 at The Thunderdome in Santa Barbara, Calif.

ON FIRE AT IOWA
Junior shooting guard Caity Matter was on fire from downtown at Iowa last Thursday night. After being held to one vs. Michigan State, one vs. Purdue, none vs. Penn State, two vs. Michigan, and one vs. Indiana, Matter, the Big Ten’s No. 2 ranked player with 2.5 makes from downtown a game, sank 4-of-12 shots from outside the arc at Iowa and led the team with 24 points.

LEADING THE WAY
Caity Matter has been the leading scorer for Ohio State in nine games this year and is averaging a team-best 14.0 points per outing. Matter has also been the scoring leader for both squads in five games – most recently in the Northwestern victory (77-35) Jan. 11.

COUNT ON TURNER
Senior LaToya Turner has been consistent this season and has scored in double figures every game she has played in except two – 13 vs. IUPUI, 16 vs. Nebraska, 10 vs. Wright State, 10 vs. Penn, 16 vs. UCSB, 14 vs. Wisconsin, 15 vs. Rutgers, 12 at Illinois, 13 at Northwestern, 11 vs. Purdue, 15 vs. Penn State, 10 at Michigan, 19 vs. Indiana, 11 at Iowa and 13 at Purdue.

Turner returned to the lineup against IUPUI Dec. 1 after missing the first three games of the year because of an injury suffered in preseason and missed the game vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 because of a concussion suffered in practice. The 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Turner is averaging 12.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per outing.

FIVE TO THIRD
Junior Caity Matter’s 3-pointer with 4:38 remaining in the first half of the Indiana game (Feb. 1) tied her for fourth place on the Ohio State all-time 3-point field goals made list. Matter has accumulated 176 total treys in 70 games as a Buckeye and stands alone at No. 4 after the Iowa game. Matter is five makes from tying Jamie Lewis’ record of 181 3-pointers in 117 total games.

THREE REBOUNDS TIL NO. 18
Senior LaToya Turner collected five boards vs. then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25 and upper her then-career total to 500 boards. Turner is now ranked No. 19 on the all-time career Buckeye leaders list with 526 total caroms and needs three more rebounds to take over the No. 18 spot.

THREE DOUBLES THIS YEAR
LaToya Turner has three double-doubles to her name this season and 10 for her career. Her third double-double was a 13-point, 10-rebound effort at then-No. 5/6 Purdue Feb. 8. Turner earned her second season double-double vs. UCSB with 16 points and 11 boards and her first double-double of the season was against Penn Dec. 21 with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

ALMOST 19 YEARS TO THE DAY
It was almost 19 years to the day that the current Buckeye basketball team made history and beat the Hawkeyes at Iowa, 93-82, Thursday night. No Ohio State team – not even the 1993 Final Four squad – had left Iowa City with a win since a 56-47 victory Feb. 3, 1985. It took 16 tries, but the Buckeyes broke the pattern Thursday and were victorious in Carver-Hawkeye Arena – only the fourth such win of its kind in Buckeye program history.

SIX IS A FIRST
It is no secret Ohio State has been relying on a myriad of players to score this season. And for the Buckeyes, that seems to be the best formula. In games when four or more players score in double digits, Ohio State is 6-0. When three players score in double digits, OSU is 5-4 and if two or fewer Buckeyes score 10 or more points, Jim Foster’s group is 2-4.

For the first time this season, six Ohio State players scored double digits in the squad’s 93-82 victory at Iowa Thursday. Junior Caity Matter led the OSU scoring effort with 24 points, followed by Kim Wilburn, rookie Brandie Hoskins, sophomore Michelle Muoz, LaToya Turner and freshman Jessica Davenport who scored 16, 15, 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.

During the championship game of the Buckeye Classic vs. Penn Dec. 21, five Ohio State players scored in double digits for the first time this season. Hoskins netted 22, Davenport swished 20, Matter scored 12 and Turner and Wilburn each sank 10.

Four times this season two or fewer players scored in double digits for the Buckeyes – against Illinois (L), Rutgers (L), UNC Wilmington (W), St. John’s (W), UCLA (L) and Michigan State (L).

FIRST WIN WHEN DOWN AT HALF
Entering the Iowa game, the Buckeyes had dropped all seven games when they were trailing at halftime. Despite a 40-36 advantage in favor of the host Hawkeyes, Ohio State was able to use an 11-0 run and consistent shooting from the free-throw line to earn the first victory of the season when down at half. After a 57-54 loss at Purdue, in which the Boilermakers led 26-24 at half, the Buckeyes are now 1-8 when trailing at the midway mark.

THE BENCH IS KEY
Ohio State is relying on the bench this season in a big way. Nine-of-10 available players for head coach Jim Foster are averaging over 10 minutes per game and the Buckeyes have outscored opponents 378-204 with bench points.

CLUTCH FT’S DOWN THE LINE
The Buckeyes were shooting .627 from the charity stripe when they walked into Carver-Hawkeye Arena Feb. 5. After a 6-of-8 first-half performance, the Buckeyes out-did themselves and made 87 percent (13-of-15) in the second half, including a 6-of-6 stroke in the final minute-and-a-half vs. Iowa. Kim Wilburn, Candace Dark and Michelle Muoz sank two free throws each the last 1:31 and secured the fourth-ever win for a Buckeye team at Iowa. For the contest, Jim Foster’s squad was .826 from the line.

TONING DOWN THE TURNOVERS
Ohio State turned the ball over a season-low 10 times, including only three in the second half, at Iowa Feb. 5. The Buckeyes also tallied a season-low 10 turnovers vs. Wisconsin Jan. 2 to open up conference play.

BREAKING BAD HABITS
The 71-65 win over Indiana Feb. 1 broke the Buckeyes’ five-game losing streak to the Hoosiers. Since Kathi Bennett took over at the helm of the IU program in 2000, she was an undefeated 5-0 vs. the Buckeyes, including coming back from a 10-point deficit to capture a 54-50 win last year in Bloomington. However, Ohio State used a 24-6 scoring run to close the first half and earn the win over IU in Columbus Sunday.

RELYING ON THE POSTS
Since LaToya Turner returned to the lineup after missing the Jan. 15 Michigan State game in Columbus due to a concussion suffered earlier that week in practice, she and rookie Jessica Davenport have made quite an impact offensively for the Buckeyes. The previous six games, Davenport and Turner have combined for 172 of the squad’s 400 total points and the pair is a combined 71-for-125 from the field the past six outings.

FRESH FEBRUARY
Ohio State ended a three-game losing streak with a 51-49 win at Michigan Jan. 29 and capped a 2-5 record for the month. Last season, the opposite was true for Jim Foster’s squad, as the team posted a 6-2 mark in January and went on to tally an even 4-4 record in February. Ohio State is 2-1 for the month.

11 STEALS FROM NO. 17
Six-foot-3-inch senior center LaToya Turner is not limited to rebounds and points. She tallied two steals vs. Indiana (Feb. 1) and now is ranked No. 18 on the all-time steals list with 119 Turner needs 11 swipes to take over the No. 17 spot among OSU record holders.

RECORDS AT THE CHARITY STRIPE
Two Buckeyes had record nights from the free-throw line vs. Indiana (Feb. 1). Freshman Jessica Davenport had career highs with 10 free throws made and 16 free throws attempted. Both marks are Value City Arena records for an OSU player. Sophomore Kim Wilburn sank a personal-best eight free throws. Her pervious high was four free throws, which she set twice – most recently vs. Michigan State last year in the Big Ten tournament.

STEPPIN UP THE “D”
Ohio State holds opponents to only 56.1 points per game and is ranked second in the Big Ten and No. 18 in the country.

ANOTHER FIVE-BLOCK GAME
Jessica Davenport blocked five shots vs. Indiana (Feb. 1) and has now blocked at least one shot in 18-of-21 games this season. Five rejections ties her career-high mark, which she set vs. Michigan State Jan. 15, and once again ties the Value City Arena record for an Ohio State player, which was set by senior LaToya Turner vs. UW-Green Bay Dec. 10, 2000. Turner tied her own mark in her first game back this season with five blocked shots vs. IUPUI Dec. 1.

REBOUNDING AS A TEAM
Senior LaToya Turner and freshman Jessica Davenport are averaging 6.3 and 5.3 rebounds per game, respectively, for the Buckeyes this season. Besides those two, four players are averaging at least 3.0 rebounds per game for head coach Jim Foster.

ATTENDANCE RISING
The home attendance for Ohio State has been steadily increasing in recent games. The Jan. 25 Penn State game drew a then-season-high mark of 4,914 at home and the mark was upped the next game in Columbus with 5,328 people coming to see the Buckeyes play Indiana Super Bowl Sunday. For the season, the Buckeyes are averaging 2,811 people at home games and 3,010 for all contests.

MATTER’S FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE
After a few games when she was held below her scoring average, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer Caity Matter rebounded in a big way at Michigan Jan. 29. Matter pulled down a personal-best 10 boards and scored 15 points in a 51-49 victory over the Wolverines, not to mention being credited with the assist on LaToya Turner’s final bucket to cap the Buckeye victory in Ann Arbor.

REVERSING THE TRENDS
Not only was the 51-49 Michigan win a big step for the Buckeyes, who hade struggled on the road with a 3-4 mark outside of Columbus up until that game, but the victory over the Wolverines was the first win of the season when the margin is less than five points. Jim Foster’s squad had dropped three games (at Nebraska, 60-55, at Rutgers, 56-53, and at Illinois, 52-51) that were all decided by five or fewer points earlier in the season. Additionally, the Buckeyes’ road win in Ann Arbor was the first win in six games this season when scoring 59 points or less.

CRASHING A KEY
Crashing the boards is key for the Ohio State Buckeyes, who are averaging 33.6 rebounds per game compared to opponents’ 32.8 caroms a contest. When the Buckeyes outrebound teams, Ohio State is 9-1 and when opponents edge the Buckeyes, Jim Foster’s squad drops to 4-7.

SHARING THE ROCK
As a team, the Buckeyes are leading the conference and are ranked No. 11 in the country with an 18.1 assists-per-outing mark. Ohio State is led by sophomore point guard Kim Wilburn, who is No. 3 with 5.43 dishes per game and freshman Brandie Hoskins, who is No. 8 with 3.57 assists per Big Ten outing.

AND TAKING CARE OF THE ROCK
Not only are Buckeyes willing to hit an open player with a No. 1 ranking in the Big Ten (18.1 assists per game), but the team is taking care of the ball as well. Ohio State is ranked second in the Big Ten with a 1.14 assist-to-turnover ratio. That figures is thanks primarily to sophomore Kim Wilburn, whose 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio is ranked fourth among league leaders, and freshman Brandie Hoskins, who aids the effort with a No. 5 1.7 ratio in the conference.

HUSTLING HOWE
Junior Beth Howe tallied a season-high four assists and no turnovers in 14 minutes during the first half of play vs. Indiana. She ended the day with five assists and two steals in 24 minutes of action. Howe has been contributing in a big way recently – especially at the end of the matchup with then-No. 7/8 Purdue Jan. 22 and vs. then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25. She played 11 minutes, was 2-for-2, grabbed three rebounds and one steal while bringing the Buckeyes to within striking distance of the Boilermakers after trailing by as many as 19 points earlier in the game. A native of Jackson, Ohio, Howe scored a personal-high nine points vs. the Nittany Lions. Her previous best was eight vs. UC Santa Barbara Nov. 29, 2001.

TURNER RETURNS TO THE LINEUP
Senior center LaToya Turner returned to the lineup vs. then-No. 7/8 Purdue Jan. 22 after missing the squad’s game vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 in Value City Arena. Turner was sidelined because of a concussion suffered earlier last week in practice. Against the Boilermakers, Turner scored 11 points, dished a personal-best six assists, had only one turnover and three rebounds in 37 minutes. Turner also missed the first three games of the season due to an injury suffered in preseason practice.

DAVENPORT MATCHING COLEMAN
Each time Jessica Davenport has tallied a double-double this year, she has moved her name into the Value City Arena record books for Ohio State individual high marks. In her first double-double vs. Florida A&M Nov. 23 (23 points, 12 boards), Davenport’s 14 free throw attempts vs. Florida A&M tied an Ohio State VCA record set by former Buckeye Courtney Coleman vs. Indiana Jan. 31, 2002. (She upped the mark with 16 free-throw attempts vs. Indiana Feb. 1.)

In her second and third double-doubles vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 (16 points; 15 rebounds) and vs. then-No. 7/8 Purdue Jan. 22 (27 points, 15 rebounds), Davenport gathered 15 rebounds each game and tied the Value City Arena record for a Buckeye best, which also is held by Coleman, who collected 15 caroms twice during her career in VCA.

SEEING DOUBLE
Rookie Jessica Davenport tallied her second consecutive double-double (third career) with a career-high 27 points and 15 rebounds, which ties her personal-best mark, vs. then-No. 7/8 Purdue Jan. 22. Her second double-double of the season came against then-No. 23/25 Michigan State when she tallied 16 points, 12 of which were scored in the second half, and 15 rebounds Jan.15 in Value City Arena. Her first double-double as a Buckeye was vs. Florida A&M when she scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots off a 7-of-11 day from the field and an 9-of-14 stroke from the charity stripe.

TOUGH BIG TEN
The Big Ten conference is no joke – competition will be tight and every win counts. The conference is ranked No. 1 in the latest RPI poll and four Big Ten teams are ranked in the Top 25, including three in the Top 10.

THREES IN 41-OF-44
Junior shooting guard Caity Matter has made a 3-pointer in 41-of-44 games, dating back to Dec. 20, 2002 vs. Youngstown State. The only games she has not hit a trey was at Illinois Jan. 8, vs. then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25 and at then-No. 5/6 Purdue Feb. 8. Until the game in Champaign, Ill., she had hit a trey in 36 consecutive games. Matter’s 2.48 treys per game average is No. 2 in the Big Ten.

DARK PRODUCING
Ohio State sophomore Candace Dark earned her first collegiate start at Illinois Jan. 8. The shooting guard form Kingman, Ind., scored eight points off a 3-of-5 night from the field (2-of-4 from 3PT) and had two rebounds, one steal and one assist in 16 minutes of action. Dark has made quite an impact recently for Ohio State. As a freshman, Dark only played in 16 games and averaged 0.5 points per game. She is currently notching 13.0 minutes and scoring 3.8 points an outing. She tallied a career-best 12 points in 14 minutes during the Buckeyes’ win over then-No. 21/23 UCSB Dec. 28. Dark was 4-for-7 from the field, 2-for-5 from downtown and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

COLUMBUS STREAK COMES TO A HALT
Ohio State was ranked second in the country with 24 games for the longest home winning streak in the country behind Texas’ 27 wins in Austin prior to facing then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 in Value City Arena. The Spartans won 55-47 and snapped the Buckeyes’ streak. The 24-game Buckeye win streak dated back to the final two games of the 2001-02 season and ranks second in Ohio State women’s basketball history. The longest home winning streak is 26 games, which began in January of the 1987 season and lasted until December of 1988. Under Jim Foster, Ohio State is 23-3 in Columbus dating back to the beginning of the 2002-03 season.

SCORING BIG BETTERS BUCKEYES
Scoring and scoring big has helped the Buckeyes this season. When Ohio State scores 60 or more points, Jim Foster’s team is 11-2, however when they are held to 59 points or fewer, they are 1-6. In five of the team’s losses, OSU scored between 51 and 56 points (51 at Illinois; 53 vs. Rutgers; 55 vs. Nebraska; 56 vs. UCLA; 54 at Purdue) and vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State the Buckeyes were held to 47. Ohio State has scored 80 or more points five times this season – 96 vs. IUPUI, 95 points vs. Penn, 93 at Iowa, 88 vs. Wright State and 83 vs. Ohio.

5-6 WILBURN PULLING HER OWN
The Buckeyes are asking everyone to crash the boards hard this season. Sophomore Kim Wilburn, who stands at 5-feet-6-inches and is the second shortest Buckeye in front of 5-feet-4-inch Tanya McClure, has been pulling her weight when it comes to the boards. Wilburn notched season-best marks of seven rebounds against both Wisconsin Jan. 2 and at Rutgers Jan. 4 and collected six rebounds at Illinois and at Michigan. She is averaging 3.8 rebounds on the season.

ALLEN OUT AGAIN
Ohio State women’s basketball player Ashley Allen suffered a knee injury in the Dec. 20 game vs. St. John’s and will not return for the remainder of the season. Allen, who missed the opening game vs. Ohio and returned to the court vs. Florida A&M after suffering a similar injury last January at Illinois, was averaging 5.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and was shooting .417 from the field and .500 from 3-point land.

UCSB WINNING STREAK ENDED
Ohio State’s 73-59 victory at then-No. 21/23 UCSB Dec. 28 snapped the Gauchos’ 27 consecutive game winning streak at home, a mark that ranked second in the country behind Connecticut’s 63 wins in Storrs, Conn. as of Dec. 28.

Additionally, the Buckeyes shot .529 for the game, including a .654 stroke in the second half. Prior to the contest, UCSB had held the last 111 opponents to less than .500 shooting dating back to the final game of the 1999-00 season.

MVP’S ALL AROUND
While freshman Brandie Hoskins was named the MVP of The 2003 Wonder/Hostess Buckeye Classic, look no further than the current Ohio State bench for the last MVP of the event. Student assistant and two-time Ohio State All-American Katie Smith was named the most valuable player of the 1994 Buckeye Classic.

BULLS EYE FOR DAVENPORT
Freshman Jessica Davenport has already placed herself among the Top 10 twice for single-game shooting accuracy (minimum 10 attempts). She was 11-for-13 from the field vs. Wright State and her .846 percentage (11-of-13) from the field is tied for 10th all-time for a single-game mark from the field for a Buckeye. Two games later, Davenport scored 20 points off a 9-of-10 night from the field. Her 9-of-10 accuracy is tied for third place among Buckeye single-game leaders. Additionally, her 8-for-10 stroke vs. then-No. 7/8 Penn State is tied for 16th on the all-time list.

BUCKEYES SET STROKE RECORD
The Buckeyes’ .720 effort (36-of-50) from the field vs. Wright State is an all-time high percentage for an Ohio State team in a single game. The next closest mark was a .689 stroke (42-of-61) vs. Central Michigan Dec. 21, 1985. For the season, Ohio State’s next closest shooting prior to the record-setting performance vs. the Raiders was a .632 stroke vs. Penn Dec. 21.

MATTER SETS OSU SINGLE-GAME TREY RECORD VS. IUPUI
Junior shooting guard Caity Matter earned a single-game record with eight 3-pointers made vs. IUPUI Dec. 1. The previous record of seven was set by former two-time All-American and current student assistant Katie Smith vs. Northwestern Jan. 15, 1995. Matter tied the mark with seven makes from downtown Jan. 16, 2003 at Wisconsin.

RECORDS VANISHING AT THE VCA
Ohio State’s 14 3-pointers drained as a team against IUPUI Dec. 1 is a Buckeye Value City Arena record for makes from 3-point land. Foster’s squad rewrote the previous record of 10 during the game vs. UNC Wilmington Nov. 25 with 12 3-pointers nailed as a team.

After opening with .385 and .375 mark from behind the arc vs. Ohio and Florida A&M, respectively, Ohio State shot a season-best .667 (12-of-18) from 3-point land vs. UNCW Nov. 25. That mark gave Ohio State a Buckeye record for 3-point percentage in Value City Arena. The previous record was earned when the Buckeyes shot .615 from behind the arc vs. Pittsburgh Dec. 2, 1998. That 3-point percentage mark has stood since the first year the VCA was used as the home of Ohio State women’s basketball. Ohio State continued the hot shooting from downtown with a .609 (14-for-23) stroke against IUPUI Dec. 1. As a team the Buckeyes are shooting a league-best .529 from the 3-point line.

Freshman Jessica Davenport tied a Value City Arena record (set by Courtney Coleman Jan. 31, 2002) with 14 trips to the free-throw line vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 23).

MATTER AND WILBURN INVITED TO U.S. TRIALS
Junior Caity Matter and sophomore Kim Wilburn were invited to the 2003 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Trials last spring at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Buckeye pair was two of 60 athletes from around the country asked to try-out. Matter was selected to join the Young Women Team, which was coached by Jim Foster. The squad went on to tally a 7-1 record and capture the gold medal at the inaugural FIBA World Championships for Young Women in Sibenik, Croatia last summer.

FOSTER AND MATTER HONORED BY USA BASKETBALL
Jim Foster, head coach of the 2003 USA Basketball World Championship For Young Women Team last summer, was named the 2003 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year by the USA Basketball Executive Committee. Junior shooting guard Caity Matter, who was selected to the Young Women Team from the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Trials last spring, earned a spot as part of the 2003 USA Basketball Team of the Year, which also was selected by the USA Basketball Executive Committee. Both Foster and Matter (as part of the team) have been nominated by USA Basketball for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Developmental Coach of the Year and Team of the Year awards, respectively, which will be announced by the USOC at a later date.

Foster’s squad finished with a 7-1 record and collected the inaugural FIBA World Championship For Young Women gold medal in Sibenik, Croatia, last summer.

NEW FACES ON STAFF
WNBA Minnesota Lynx forward Tamika Williams and Erin Wright were named assistant coach and director of basketball operations, respectively, for the Ohio State women’s basketball program over the summer. A student assistant for the Buckeyes last season, Williams’ primary duties will include on-the-floor coaching and recruiting responsibilities and Wright, who served as the director of basketball operations for two seasons at Vanderbilt under Foster, will be managing the day-to-day operations of Buckeye basketball, including travel, camp and schedule coordination.

SMITH NAMED TO 2004 USA BASKETBALL SENIOR NATIONAL TEAM
Katie Smith, a student assistant in the Ohio State women’s basketball office and a former two-time All-American at OSU, is one of the first seven members named to the 2004 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team. Smith will be part of the team that is expected to represent the U.S. at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. 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.

THE VOICES OF THE BUCKEYES
Tune to WOSU 820 AM for complete coverage of all Buckeye basketball games this season. Marty Bannister will replace Herb Howenstine, who moved to Texas last summer, as the play-by-play announcer. Color commentary duties will be shared by a trio of former Ohio State players in Alysiah Bond (1992-95), Toni Roesch (1983-86) and Kristin Watt (1982-85).

MEET THE FRESHMEN
Freshmen Stephanie Blanton, Jessica Davenport and Brandie Hoskins will be sporting Scarlet and Gray this year. Stephanie Blanton, the 2003 Dispatch/Agonis Club Co-Player of the Year, averaged 23.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks at Lancaster (Ohio) High School. Davenport, a 2003 McDonald’s All-American, averaged 17.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.1 blocks, 2.3 assists and shot 64 percent from the field last year at Independence (Columbus) High School. Hoskins, the 2003 Division II All-Ohio Player of the Year, tallied an average of 15.9 points and 6.0 rebounds at Chaminade-Julienne.

WAITING IN THE WINGS
Tia Battle, a junior transfer from Vanderbilt University, also will join the Ohio State women’s basketball team this season. A six-foot guard/forward from Plymouth, Minn., she spent two seasons with the Commodores and started in 16-of-30 games, averaging 5.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 18.5 minutes per game last year. A 2001 Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year and 2000 NIKE All-American, Battle also was a three-time Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-America selection. Battle will sit out the 2003-04 campaign per NCAA transfer requirements, but will have two years of eligibility remaining when she begins competing with the Buckeyes next season.

HISTORIC ST. JOHN ARENA
Ohio State and St. John Arena will play host to the 2004 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship First and Second Round Games March 20 and 22. Tickets for all women’s basketball games and for all other Ohio State athletics events can be purchased at www.hangonsloopy.com or by calling 1-800-GOBUCKS.

Two times during the 2002-03 regular season the Buckeyes hosted games in historic St. John Arena and the tradition will continue this season. The Dec. 18 contest against Wright State, which the Buckeyes won 88-45, was in St. John Arena and the Feb. 19 Northwestern game will also be held in the former long-time home of Buckeye hoops.

Last season, Ohio State faced then-No. 17/18 Texas Jan. 5 and Big Ten foe Michigan Feb. 27 in St. John. Ohio State beat the Longhorns, 70-66, and wrapped up the regular-season portion of their schedule with a 70-55 victory over the Wolverines.