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Dec. 7, 2001

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The Tip
Ohio State is traveling to South Orange, N.J., this weekend for a 1 p.m. matchup Saturday at Seton Hall. The Buckeyes are returning to action following a five-day break and 71-57 win over Duquesne Dec. 2. Touting an overall record of 2-3, the squad won’t have much time to regroup before tipping off a three-game homestand Monday vs. Eastern Michigan.

Head Coach Beth Burns
Head coach Beth Burns is marking her 13th career season, her fifth at Ohio State, after steering one of the most amazing comebacks in women’s basketball last year. Rebuilding a squad decimated by injuries with encouragement and perseverance, Burns led the program to its second postseason title — the 2001 WNIT Championship and the squad’s best finish in eight seasons at 22-11.

The Buckeyes excelled academically as well with four Buckeyes earning Academic All-Big Ten honors and six tabbed as OSU Scholar-Athletes.

Burns took over the program in April 1997, leaving a successful, well-respected career at San Diego State where she was three times selected the WAC Coach of the Year (1994, `95, `97). She has earned a record of 68-53(.562) as a Buckeye and is 219-137 (.617) over her career.

Burns Against Seton Hall
Head coach Beth Burns has established a .500 record against Seton Hall. While the mentor at San Diego State, the Pirates topped the Aztecs 71-61 during the 1991-92 season. The scored was evened last year with Ohio State’s 76-38 victory in Value City Arena.

Burns Against The Eagles
Head coach Beth Burns already has one win in the record book vs. Eastern Michigan. While at San Diego State, Burns’ squad topped EMU 73-59 during the 1990-91 season.

Ohio State Vs. Seton Hall
Ohio State and Seton Hall met for the first time last season in Columbus. The Buckeyes ran away from the Pirates registering a 76-38 win. The outcome also marked the 200th career victory for head coach Beth Burns.

11-29-00 W, 76-38 Home

OSU Vs. The Big East
Although the Buckeyes and Pirates are meeting for just the second time, Ohio State is no stranger to the Big East Conference, compiling a 41-5 record against the 13-member league.

Boston College 5-1 Connecticut 0-0 Georgetown 0-0 Miami 2-0 Notre Dame 1-0 Pittsburgh 10-2 Providence 2-0 Rutgers 3-2 Seton Hall 1-0 St. John’s 1-0 Syracuse 8-0 Villanova 0-0 West Virginia 8-0 41-5

Seton Hall At A Glance
Seton Hall is off to a solid start at 5-2 overall but is coming off a 59-56 conference-opening loss to Syracuse Wednesday night. The Pirates, 16-12 overall last year, are led by longtime coach and alumnae Phyllis Mangina (235-229) who is in her 17th season at the helm. Three starters return for Mangina, including 6-2 forward Leslie Ardon who is averaging a team-leading 15.5 points per game and adding 7.0 rpg. Forward Charlene Thomas, 6-2, is the Pirates’ top rebounder (8.7 rpg.) and second-leading scorer (13.7 ppg.).

Last Time With Seton Hall
Nov. 29, 2000
Ohio State 76, Seton Hall 38

The Ohio State Buckeyes rolled to their fourth consecutive win of the season, dismissing the Seton Hall Pirates 76-38 in Value City Arena. The victory equals the program’s best start under head coach Beth Burns, who marked her 200th career victory.

Sophomore center LaToya Turner paced nine Buckeyes in the scoring column with 18 points.

The Buckeyes jumped out to an early 13-4 lead on the strength of six Turner points and a trey from freshman guard Caity Matter. Seton Hall (2-2) stormed back to tie the score at 13 with 8:47 remaining.

Turner again answered the Pirate rally with a three-point play that triggered an explosive 21-5 Buckeye run in the remaining 8:17, while OSU held Seton Hall without a field goal for over eight minutes. Ohio State enjoyed a commanding 34-18 halftime lead.

Seven seconds into the final stanza, Matter hit her second trey of the game, setting the stage for a 42-20 half, highlighted by seven consecutive and unanswered points by Shenk at the midway point.

Ohio State shot 50 percent from the floor and held its opponent to a 28.6 percent effort. The Buckeyes again had their way in the paint, recording 44 points to Seton Hall’s 18. The visitors also were plagued by 33 turnovers.

Seton Hall 18-20 – 38 OHIO STATE 34-42 – 76

fg 3-pt. ft rb Seton Hall m-a m-a m-a o-t a s tp min Ardon 3-5 0-1 3-3 4-7 3 1 9 30 Thomas 1-6 0-0 0-0 3-8 0 0 2 25 Murray 3-5 0-0 4-4 0-4 1 1 10 26 Lindqvist 2-9 0-2 4-6 2-2 1 0 8 34 Moreno 1-11 0-1 2-2 2-3 3 2 4 31 Burgess 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 5 Townsend 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 7 Phillip 1-2 0-0 1-2 0-2 0 0 3 11 Smith 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 21 Jefferson 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 10 Totals 12-42 0-4 14-17 13-32 8 4 38 200 Pct. .286 .000 .824

fg 3-pt. ft rb Ohio State m-a m-a m-a o-t a s tp min Coleman 3-5 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 1 6 19 Turner 8-13 0-0 2-5 4-8 3 5 18 26 Brown 6-9 0-0 2-5 1-1 3 3 14 28 Lewis 1-4 1-4 2-2 1-2 10 2 5 27 Matter 2-4 2-4 2-2 2-3 2 0 8 23 Savage 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 0 2 13 Shenk 5-13 2-7 0-0 0-2 2 1 12 21 Stanhope 0-3 0-2 0-0 0-2 2 0 0 6 Reynolds 2-3 1-2 0-0 2-4 2 1 5 15 Shackleford 2-4 0-0 2-4 1-2 0 1 6 14 Haynam 0-1 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 8 Totals 30-60 6-19 10-18 16-31 25 14 76 200 Pct. .500 .316 .556

Blocks: Ohio State, 4 (Turner), Seton Hall 2 (Ardon, Phillip, 1). Personal Fouls: Ohio State, 16, Seton Hall, 18. Turnovers: Ohio State, 17 (Matter, 5), Seton Hall, 35 (Ardon, 9). Deadball Rebounds: Ohio State, 3, Seton Hall, 5. Officials: J. Morningstar, B. Smith, W. Titus. Attendance: 5,950. Records: Ohio State 4-0, Seton Hall 2-2.

Ohio State Vs. Eastern Michigan
Ohio State and Eastern Michigan are meeting for just the second time. The two programs last played in 1991 in Columbus with the Buckeyes edging the Eagles, 80-74, in the opening round of the Buckeye Classic.

11-23-91 W, 80-74 Home

Ohio State Vs. The MAC
Eastern Michigan belongs to the 13-member Mid-American Conference. The Eagles are the second representative from the MAC to visit Value City Arena this season, following Ohio’s appearance in the Buckeyes’ season-opener Nov. 18. Ohio State enjoys a 101-15 record against the league.

Mid-American Conference Akron 6-0 Ball State 5-2 Bowling Green 22-3 Buffalo 0-0 Central Michigan 4-1 Eastern Michigan 1-0 Kent 11-3 Marshall 10-1 Miami 12-5 Northern Illinois 2-0 Ohio 19-0 Toledo 2-0 Western Michigan 7-0 101-15

A Look At Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan is led by fourth year head coach Suzy Merchant ( 51-40). The Eagles are 5-1 on the year and competing in the midst of an eight-game stretch on the road. Four starters return from a 16-12 squad last year. Senior guard Stephanie Smiley, a First Team All-Mid-American Conference choice last year, headlines the roster. Smiley, 5-10, is an all-around performer, averaging 16.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. Eastern Michigan comes to Columbus following a seven-day break and 51-45 win over Chicago State (Dec. 3) .

Last Time Out For Ohio State
Junior DiDi Reynolds (Portage, Ohio/Hopewell Loudon) led three other teammates in double-figure scoring with a game-high 17 points as Ohio State defeated visiting Duquesne Dec. 2 in Value City Arena. With the victory, the Buckeyes erase a three-game slide and improve to 2-3 on the year.

Reynolds paced all scorers at halftime with 12 points off 4-of-6 (.667) shooting from the three-point arc. Courtney Coleman (Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Hughes) posted her first double-double of the season, the seventh of her career, with 16 points and 11 rebounds. D’wan Shackleford (Jr., Newark, Ohio/Newark) and Tomeka Brown (Sr., Columbus, Ohio/Marion Franklin) finished with 15 points each. Guard Candace Futrell led Duquesne with 16 points.

The Buckeyes led through much of the game, fighting back Duke runs in both the first and second halves. Duquesne, with a 9-1 rally, pulled within two points in the first half, 23-21, with 3:07 remaining and erased an early 14-point lead in the second half to six with five minutes left on the clock. Duquesne trailed 39-25 at halftime.

Ohio State, which shot a dismal 32 percent from the floor Thursday night vs. UC-Santa Barbara, recovered with a 45.6 mark of success against Duquesne. The Buckeyes were even more damaging on the boards beating the Dukes by a 41-25 margin, 20-6 on the offensive glass. (See Boxscore on Page 9).

Seeing Double
Junior forward Courtney Coleman extended her string of consecutive games in double-figure scoring to 11 with 16 points vs. Duquesne (Dec. 2). Adding 11 rebounds to the effort, Coleman marked her first double-double of the season and the seventh of her career.

Coleman’s Career Doubles

Opponent Date Pts./Rebs Duquesne 12-2-01 16/11 Western Ky. 3-20-01 12/10 DePaul 3-18-01 18/10 Purdue 3-02-01 20/14 Minnesota 2-15-01 22/10 Penn State 2-01-01 17/13 UCLA 12-21-01 18/10

Bull’s-Eye
Junior forward DiDi Reynolds ranks fourth in the Big Ten in three-point field goals made per game, averaging 2.4. Against Duquesne (Dec. 2), the Portage, Ohio, native equaled her career best for treys in a game, connecting on 4-of-9 attempts.

OSU 4-1 On The Boards
Ohio State touts a record of 4-1 in the rebounding column, having out-muscled four of its last five opponents. The Buckeyes enjoy a rebounding margin of +10.4, a mark which ranks first in the Big Ten. On the offensive glass, OSU’s team advantage was 93-58.

A Solid Start
Ohio State freshman guard Beth Howe recorded a season-high eight points in her first collegiate start Nov. 29 vs. UC-Santa Barbara. Howe added two steals, one assist and one rebound to the effort, while committing only two turnovers in nearly 30 minutes of action.

Teamwork
The concept of teamwork has taken on a whole new meaning for the Buckeyes. With the absence of the Buckeyes’ career assists leader (Jamie Lewis) this season, steering the offense has become a uniform effort. Guard Tomeka Brown leads the squad with 16 (3.2 apg.). Forward DiDi Reynolds and guard Ashley Allen have distributed 15 and 14, respectively.

Scoring Muscle
Three Buckeyes rank among the Top 30 scorers in the Big Ten Conference. Forward Courtney Coleman ranks 12th, averaging 14.6 ppg., and leads the league in field goal percentage, shooting 70.7 percent from the floor. Forward DiDi Reynolds’ 12.4 ppg. ranks 20th and guard Tomeka Brown falls in at No. 29, averaging a career best 10.2 ppg.

Injury Roster Adds Two
Junior center LaToya Turner (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington) and freshman center Brandee Gibbs (Hanover, Minn./Orono) have been sidelined for theSeton Hall game. Turner actually has been out of the lineup for the the last two games pending the outcome of arthroscopic surgery Tuesday on her left knee. Turner apparently sustained contact to the knee during the UC-Santa Barbara game Nov. 29. Gibbs has been experiencing pain in her left foot and will be re-evaluated Monday.

They join two more Buckeyes who are working their way back to the playing roster. Co-captain Tanya McClure underwent left lateral ankle reconstruction Oct. 17. Sophomore guard Caity Matter fractured the third metatarsal in her left foot Nov. 11 in practice. At the time of their injuries, each was anticipated back in six to eight weeks.

Ahead of the Pack
The fact that junior forward Courtney Coleman leads the league in field goal percentage at 70.7 percent (29-of-41) should come as no surprise. Last season, the Second Team All-Big Ten choice ranked 11th nationally in field goal percentage, showcasing a 58 percent clip.

Brown Lends Hand In Undefeated Run
Senior Tomeka Brown enjoyed an undefeated run this past summer as a member of the Big Ten Foreign Tour Team. The squad, playing in Switzerland and France, marched through five games posting a scoring margin of 38.4 points. Brown averaged 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in the run.

Academic Accolades
The 2001 season proved to be just as successful academically for the Buckeyes. For the second year in a row, senior guard Lauren Shenk was named to the Verizon District IV Academic All-America team. Majoring in molecular genetics, Shenk maintains a 3.9 GPA as a three-year starter.

Shenk along with teammates Courtney Bale, Mandy Stanhope and Dana Stearns earned Academic All-Big Ten laurels and joined sophomores Caity Matter (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) and Emily Haynam (Westerville, Ohio/South) in earning OSU Scholar-Athlete honors.

2001 Newcomers
Freshman guard Ashley Allen (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis) headlines the four-member class of newcomers. Allen, advertised as one of the Top 21 Newcomers of Impact by womenscollegehoops.com, averaged 15.3 ppg. last year for two-time state champion Ben Davis. Allen joins All-Ohio standouts forward Charisse Crews (Urbancrest, Ohio/Grove City) and guard Beth Howe (Jackson, Ohio/Jackson), and First Team All-Minnesota honoree center Brandee Gibbs (Hanover, Minn./Orono).

On Tap For The Buckeyes
The competition doesn’t get any easier for the Buckeyes in 2001-02 with 10 squads, enjoying postseason action last season, gracing the schedule.

NCAA national runner-up Purdue and Elite Eight participant Xavier top the schedule. The slate also features 2001 NCAA participants UC-Santa Barbara, Colorado State, Louisville, Virginia, Iowa, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin. Arizona, Indiana and Illinois were members of the 2001 WNIT field.

Here We Go Again
The 2002 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament returns to Indianapolis, Ind., and Conseco Fieldhouse in February after a one-year absence. The 2001 tourney was hosted by the city of Grand Rapids, Mich. Indianapolis had served as host for the previous six seasons.

Burns Signs Top Guards
Head coach Beth Burns has enlisted two talented guards to the 2002 roster, signing

Candace Dark and Kim Wilburn to national letters of intent in November.

Dark, 5-11, and Wilburn, 5-6, are both finalists for the coveted “Ms. Basketball” title in their respective states of Indiana and Michigan.

Dark heralds from Fountain Central in Veedersburg. Averaging 21.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, five steals and five assists in her junior campaign, Dark guided her squad to its first Class 2A Sectional and Regional championships and a 21-4 finish.

Wilburn is a known product out of Detroit Country Day in Beverly Hills, Michigan. She steered Country Day to two Class B state championship titles in 1998 and 1999, and runner-up finishes in her final two campaigns.

As a junior, Wilburn averaged 15.0 points, 6.0 assists and 5.2 steals per game. 2001 Season Recap

No skeptic and few fans would have ever thought it possible with injuries permeating the 2000-01 roster. But with teamwork and perseverance, the Buckeyes regrouped to stage one of the most courageous comebacks to a season that ended with the 2001 Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) Championship being returned to Columbus.

The Buckeyes rolled through the non-conference season without a hitch. Their 10-0 march was the best start to a season since 1973 and included the 2000 Great Alaska Shootout Championship title and Coach Beth Burns claiming her 200th career victory Nov. 29 vs. Seton Hall.

By Jan. 5, two starters were already lost for the Big Ten season in sophomore center LaToya Turner, the 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and freshman guard Caity Matter. Injuries eliminated another four reserves, streamlining the roster to six players for a Jan. 17 matchup with Iowa.

In the interim, Coach Burns went into a mid-season recruiting mode, this time looking for current student-athletes to at least lend a hand in practices. Two fellow Buckeyes — soccer goalkeeper Amber Barnes and volleyball middle blocker Dana Stearns — answered the call, suiting up for the second half of their senior campaigns.

The Buckeyes went on to post a 6-10 record in the league, losing four games by three points or less for a 16-10 regular-season finish.

OSU, fortunate to get the return of three players for the postseason, bowed out in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament to No. 1 seed Purdue, keeping its hopes alive for the program’s first WNIT invite.

Ohio State, indeed, was one of eight teams in the league invited to a postseason dance.

Hosting in-state rival Cincinnati in the opening round, the Buckeyes advanced to the second round with one of the most memorable finishes in recent years. Down by as many as eight points with two minutes to play, the team fought its way back, gaining a 94-foot opportunity for the go-ahead basket with 3.1 seconds on the clock.

Forward Emily Haynam, from the visitor’s baseline, propelled the basketball beyond half-court where guard Caity Matter launched an unsuccessful 3-point shot that rimmed left. Guard Tomeka Brown, with a never say die, mid-air effort, kept the ball in play with a behind-the-back shot that dropped just before the game-ending buzzer, allowing the Buckeyes a 61-60 victory.

Posting wins vs. DePaul, Western Kentucky and James Madison, the Buckeyes advanced to the championship game with a meeting in Albuquerque vs. New Mexico. The matchup was the third-fastest sellout in The Pit, and before a capacity crowd of 18,018 on hand, the Buckeyes ended the run in the same spectacular fashion in which it began.

Guard Jamie Lewis brought the Buckeyes into title contention, drilling back-to-back triples with 1:42 to play, hanging on for a 62-61 victory and 22-11 season finish.

What The Big Ten Experts Say…
NCAA runner-up Purdue has been tabbed the media preseason favorite to repeat as the Big Ten champion. League coaches however, selected both Purdue and Michigan to land atop. The top three teams and preseason All-Big Ten player picks follow.

2001 Preseason All-Big Ten
Team Finish

As selected by the media
1. Purdue
2. Penn State
3. Iowa

2001 Preseason All-Big Ten Team
As selected by the media
Kelly Mazzante (PSU), Lindsey Meder (Iowa), Tamara Moore (WIS), Jessie Stomski (WIS), Shereka Wright (Purdue).

2001 Preseason All-Big Ten
Team Finish

As selected by the Coaches
1. Michigan
1. Purdue
3. Wisconsin

2001 Preseason All-Big Ten Team
As selected by the Coaches
LeeAnn Bies (MICH), Kelly Mazzante (PSU)*, Lindsey Meder (Iowa), Tamara Moore (WIS), Jessie Stomski (WIS), Shereka Wright (Purdue).
*=unanimous selection

2001 Preseason Player of the Year
Kelly Mazzante, Penn State – Media

2001 Co-Preseason Players of the Year
Kelly Mazzante, Penn State – Coaches
Jessie Stomske, Wisconsin – Coaches