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COLUMBUS, Ohio After coming off a road victory at UIC, the No. 14 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team will host No. 13 Missouri, No. 15 Illinois and Michigan State in St. John Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Buckeyes (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) hold a team average score of 194.742, which ranks them first in the Big Ten.

Live stats and live video will be shown on OhioStateBuckeyes.com for fans to follow the meet. The Buckeyes’ will also welcome the Big Ten Network Saturday in their first television appearance of the season. Fans can watch the action in a delayed airing on Big Ten Network at 2 p.m. Feb. 7.

OSU AT TOP OF THE BIG TEN
With a team average of 194.742, Ohio State ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten Conference. With a first place ranking in the Big Ten the Buckeyes have accomplished a feat unmatched by recent squads. This is the first time in over a decade Ohio State has stood at the top of its conference standings. The squad also ranks first on floor in the conference with a team average of 48.750. On beam and bars, Ohio State is third in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes rank fourth among conference competition on vault.

CLIMBING THE RANKINGS
The Buckeyes rank No. 14 nationally with a 194.742 average. In the central region, Ohio State ranks fourth as  team. On floor, Ohio State holds a 48.750 to rank third in the central region and No. 14 nationally. The squad also ranks third in the region on beam and bars. With a 48.733 average on beam, the Buckeyes move to the No. 15 spot nationally. They rank No. 13 on bars in the nation with a 48.775 average. The squad holds a 48.483 average on vault to place seventh in the region. 

FRESHMAN STAND OUTS
The freshman class leads Ohio State in three events including the all-around, floor and beam. Taylor Jones ranks first in the all-around and on floor.  She averages a 38.900 in the all-around which ranks ninth in the Big Ten, No. 10 in the central region and No. 48 nationally. On floor, Jones averages a 9.817 to rank fifth in the conference. She is tied for No. 9 in the central region and tied for the No. 44 position nationally on floor. On vault, Jones is tied for No. 19 in the Big Ten and is tied for No. 31 in the region with a 9.733 average. She ranks second on vault for the Buckeyes.

Krissi Woodward led Ohio State on beam last week with a 9.825, in her first collegiate meet. The 9.825 ranks second in the Big Ten, fifth in the region and is tied for No. 28 in the nation. Nicole Krauter follows Woodward on beam with an average of 9.792 to rank fifth in the Big Ten and No. 11 in the central region. Krauter is among the Top 3 for Ohio State on vault with a 9.675 average.

Casey Williamson ranks second for the Buckeyes on floor. She holds a 9.762 average to rank No. 14 in the Big Ten and No. 17 in the central region. She also holds the No. 3 spot for Ohio State on bars with a 9.70 to rank No. 22 in the conference and No. 27 in the region.

BUCKEYES LEADING THE WAY
Sophomore Rebecca Best leads Ohio State on vault with a 9.792 average. She is tied for sixth in the Big Ten and ranks No. 15 in the region on vault. In the all-around, Best is second for the squad after winning the title last week at UIC. She holds a 38.825 average after three meets to rank No. 11 in both the region and the conference. Junior Hillary Dow ranks third for Ohio State in the all-around with a 38.675 season average. She ranks No. 13 in the conference and No. 14 in the region. Dow holds the second place position for Ohio State on bars with a 9.750 average. She is tied for No. 15 in the Big Ten and only one spot back in the region.

On bars, senior Alyssa Meyer holds a 9.80 average and the top sport for the Buckeyes. She ranks seventh in the Big Ten and is tied for No. 8 in the region. Senior Kiki Holman rounds out the Top 3 for Ohio State on beam. She is tied for No. 12 in the conference and is No. 17 in the region with a 9.758 average.

LAST WEEK: OSU WINS AT UIC
With an all-around win and two individual event wins, Best led the No. 15 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team to a 194.850-192.050 win last Saturday. Best won the all-around with a season-high 39.150, while placing first on vault and bars. She tied her career high in both events with a 9.850 on vault and a 9.80 on bars. Meyer tied Best on bars with a first-place 9.80.

The Buckeyes recorded season-high scores in three of their four events including vault, beam and floor. The squad posted a 48.575 on vault, a 48.950 on beam and a 48.675 on floor. They added a 48.650 on bars.

The freshman class shined on the road to help lead Ohio State. Jones won the floor with a career-best 9.850 and posted a career-high 9.800 on vault. Woodward, in her first collegiate meet, and Krauter led the Buckeyes on beam with a 9.825. 

A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
No. 13 Missouri holds a team average of 194.842 and is led by senior Adrianne Perry, who has appeared in the national championships each of her first three seasons with Missouri. Last week, Perry took home the all-around crown against Nebraska with a score of 39.350. Missouri has won its opening two meets, both on the road, but fell last week at home to Nebraska. The Tigers are coached by Rob Drass who is in his ninth season as head coach.

No. 15 Illinois returned 11 letterwinners and lost only two from their 2008 squad that finished ranked No. 15 in the nation. In 2009, the Illini hold a team average of 194.617 to fall just behind the Buckeyes in the national standings. Illinois holds a 3-2 record this season. Junior Sarah Schmidt was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week last week after winning two individual titles to help upset Penn State. The Illini is led by Bob Starkell who is in his 10th season as head coach.

Michigan State ranks No. 26 nationally with a 193.567.The squad holds a 3-4 record this season after returning 10 letterwinners and losing only one from its 2008 squad. Last season, the Spartans finished tied with Ohio State in the final national rankings.  Michigan State is led by Kathie Klages. She is in her 20th season with the Spartans and holds a 298-159-3 all-time record.

HISTORY OF THE MATCH-UP
The Buckeyes lead the Tigers 5-1 in the all-time series. The squads last met in Missouri Feb. 29, 2008 in a quad-meet. Michigan won the meet followed by Missouri and then Ohio State. Missouri posted a 195.275, while Ohio State scored a 193.725. The Buckeyes last welcomed Missouri to St. John Arena in 2000 where the Tigers fell 193.175-189.325.

Ohio State traveled to Illinois last season to capture a road victory with a final score of 193.450-193.125. The Illini last ventured to Columbus March 4, 2006. The Buckeyes again led the way with a 193.375-192.875 win. Illinois leads the all-time series 13-9, though Ohio State has won six of the last eight meetings.

Michigan State leads the all-time series with Ohio State 13-9. The last meeting for the squads took place in East Lansing, Mich., in a tri-meet with Illinois-Chicago.  Ohio State took first with a score of 194.850, host Michigan State took second (194.425) and UIC placed third. The Buckeyes fell to the Spartans Jan. 21, 2006 in St. John Arena 193.065-192.400.

BUCKEYES ON BIG TEN NETWORK
Ohio State welcomes the Big Ten Network to St. John Arena twice, while having four total meets aired on the network. Fans can watch Ohio State as they host Iowa Feb. 7 in a delayed airing one week later at 7 p.m. Feb. 14. The meet at Penn State with Alabama March 1 will be aired on Big Ten Network at noon March 8. The Big Ten Championships hosted by Illinois at 3 p.m. March 21. will be shown live by Big Ten Network.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes welcome Big Ten competitor Iowa in St. John Arena at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 before they head back to the road for three-consecutive weeks. 

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