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Jan. 31, 2001

THE TIP
Ohio State (13-6, 3-6) at Penn State (14-6, 6-3)
Date:
Feb. 1, 2001
Location:
University Park, Pa.
Arena/Capacity:
Bryce Jordan Center/15,300
Tip Off:
7 p.m. Eastern
Radio:
WBNS Radio 1460 The Fan.
Herb Howenstine (P-by-P)
Kristin Watt (Color)
Television:
WPSX/Fox Sports Pittsburgh
Beth Mowins (P-by-P)
Margo Plotzke (Color)

Ohio State returns to action this week with a Thursday night matchup at Penn State. The Buckeyes are coming off an 83-76 loss at Indiana and will look to improve on their overall record of 13-6 and 3-6 mark in the Big Ten.

Penn State touts a 14-6 record and is 6-3 in league play. The Lady Lions hosted Michigan State Sunday posting a solid 97-49 victory.

The Series
The Ohio State-Penn State series dates back to 1977. The Lady Lions have dominated over the years by a 24-6 margin and have won the last five games, including a 66-63 decision in the first meeting this season in Columbus.

The Buckeyes last victory dates back to December 1998, 72-54, their first and only win in University Park.

Coach Beth Burns
Marking her 12th career season, the fourth at Ohio State, Coach Beth Burns continues to guide the program to heightened success both on and off the court. Last season, Burns guided the Buckeyes to a 13-15 record with a starting lineup featuring three freshmen and two sophomores. Two underclassmen earned All-Big Ten honors from that campaign, including 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year LaToya Turner. Academically, six Buckeyes earned OSU Scholar-Athlete honors and five players, a single-season program record, attained Academic All-Big Ten laurels. 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 59-44 (.567) as a Buckeye and is 209-127 (.622) for her career.

Burns vs. Penn State
Ohio State head coach Beth Burns is 1-6 against Penn State. Her sole win against the Lady Lions was one for the record book, marking Ohio State’s first and only win in University Park, 72-54, on Dec. 28, 1998.

Buckeye Co-Captains
Guards Jamie Lewis (Oak Hill, Ohio) and Tanya McClure (Gahanna, Ohio) are co-captains of the 2000-01 Buckeye Basketball squad. It is the second such stint for Lewis who was also a co-captain during her freshman campaign with then-junior Larecha Jones.

Last Time Out for OSU
The Buckeye starting lineup reached the double-figure scoring plateau but it wasn’t enough, as Indiana pulled out an 83-76 victory Sunday afternoon in Bloomington.

Courtney Coleman (So., Cincinnati, Ohio) paced the Buckeyes with 19 points, Lauren Shenk (Jr., Minster, Ohio) added 14 and Jamie Lewis 13 to top the scoring chart. Tomeka Brown (Jr., Columbus, Ohio) and D’wan Shacklefordr (So., Newark, Ohio) produced 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Indiana held a seven-point lead at halftime (37-30) and appeared to be on its way to a clear victory in the early minutes of the second half. With the help of guard Tara Jones who scored 10 points in a 17-5 run, the Hoosiers enjoyed a 54-36 lead just six minutes into the stanza.

Coleman, converting two three-point plays, and Lewis, adding another five points, helped fuel a fierce comeback for OSU, cutting IU’s advantage in half and under 10 points, 60-51, with about 11 minutes to play.

Ohio State, shooting 62.5 percent in the half, pulled within two, 78-76, with 25 seconds remaining but IU sealed the win, converting five-of-six attempts at the charity stripe.

Heather Cassady led IU with 19 points. Erin McGinnis scored 15 and Jones contributed another 14.

The Walking Wounded
Five significant injuries have depleted the original Ohio State roster to seven. Sophomore LaToya Turner suffered a season-ending ACL-graft tear Jan. 4 at Michigan State. The 6-4 center, who exited as the Buckeyes’ season leader in points (17.8 ppg), rebounds (6.6), steals (33) and blocks (30), had surgery Jan. 12 and is mending nicely.

Joining Turner in the operating room that same day was freshman Emily Haynam (Westerville, Ohio) who suffered a spiral fracture-dislocation to her left ring finger. She, too, is out for the season.

Caity Matter (Bluffton, Ohio) is missing her inaugural Big Ten season with a stress fracture in her right tibia.

Guard Tanya McClure and forward Courtney Bale (Sr., Vista, Calif.) have been slow to mend. McClure has been idle since Nov. 20, nursing a left mid-foot fracture. She will apply for a medical red-shirt. Bale stepped on a teammate’s foot in practice Nov. 26 and fractured her left fibula. Her return to the lineup is not known at this time.

Working Overtime
With the extended absences of Tanya McClure and Caity Matter in the backcourt, guards Jamie Lewis and Lauren Shenk have been working overtime. Lewis, over the Big Ten campaign, is averaging 38.2 minutes per game, going the distance in six. Shenk is clocking 35.6 minutes per outing . Wing DiDi Reynolds has played no fewer than 25 minutes in the last seven games.

The departure of post players LaToya Turner and Emily Hayman has increased the “PT” of D’wan Shacklefordr and Courtney Coleman to 32.1 and 27.3 rebounds per game, respectively.

New Faces In The Place
The Buckeyes are receiving some much-needed assistance from two Buckeye student-athletes. Ohio State was reduced to a six-player roster against Illinois (Jan. 11) when soccer goalkeeper Amber Barnes and volleyball middle blocker Dana Stearns, both seniors, came to the rescue.

Barnes, 6-1, is a native of Fairfield, Ohio, and lettered four years in basketball at Fairfield High School.

Stearns, 6-2, went to four NCCA postseason tournaments with the volleyball Buckeyes, including a Sweet 16 appearance last fall. An alum of nearby Bexley, Ohio, Stearns graduated the career scoring and rebounding leader of the Lady Lion program.

The two share the same April 2nd birthday and will wear No. 41 and No. 14, respectively.

Penn State Coach Rene Portland
In the midst of her 21st season, Coach Rene Portland has guided the Penn State program to 16 NCAA Championships appearances, including a Final Four debut just a year ago. She was selected the Big Ten Coach of the year by her peers in guiding the Lady Lions to a third Big Ten crown in 2000 with a 15-1 performance.

Portland enjoys a school record of 480-162 and is 567-191 over her career.

Scouting Penn State
Since its New Year’s Eve matchup with Ohio State, Penn State has recorded a 4-3 mark, including back-to-back wins last week at Indiana (79-70) and vs. Michigan State (97-49).

The Lady Lions produce the most potent offense in the Big Ten at 79.0 ppg. Guard Kelly Mazzante ranks No. 2 among individual scorers, averaging 19.1 ppg. Three other players appear in the Top 20. Forward Maren Walseth ranks 12th (13.4 ppg), guard Lisa Shepherd 13th (13.3 ppg) and center Rashana Barnes 19th (11.2 ppg). Walseth is also one of the top rebounders in the league, collecting a second best 8.1 caroms per game.

Bagging The Elephant
Ohio State will be marking its second attempt this season at bagging a ranked opponent. The Buckeyes came up short their first time out, playing then No. 11 Penn State on Dec. 28. OSU dropped the contest, 63-66, in the closing seconds.

Last Time With Penn State
Penn State’s sharp-shooting at the charity stripe with three seconds on the clock was just enough to propel the No. 11-ranked Lady Lions to a 66-63 victory over the host Ohio State Buckeyes Dec. 31 in Value City Arena.

There were seven ties and six lead changes in the second half with the largest being a four-point Ohio State spread, 46-42, following a Jamie Lewis trey from the right side with 13:08 to play.

Penn State held a two-point edge (63-61) with 1:47 to play when Buckeye guard Tomeka Brown marked the final knot in the game (63-all), threading two free throws with the clock stopped at 18 seconds.

On the ensuing trip down the floor, Penn State missed a field goal that led to a scramble for the ball and Ohio State’s Lauren Shenk fouling forward Maren Walseth with three seconds left.

Walseth hit the front end and guard Lisa Shepherd recovered the ball and then visited the charity stripe herself, recording the last two points of the games with a second to play.

Penn State freshman guard Kelly Mazzante led all players with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Sophomore center LaToya Turner finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds, 17 points in the second half. Brown and Lewis each added 13 points.

Call of Duty
Courtney Coleman’s team-leading 19 points against Indiana (Jan. 28) marked the sixth consecutive game that the 6-2 forward has carried the Buckeyes’ in the scoring column. She bettered her career scoring high in each of the first four games, topping out with 26 points vs. Iowa (Jan. 17).

Coleman, averaging 21.0 ppg in the run and 16.4 ppg in conference play, ranks No. 5 nationally in field goal percentage (.654).

Secret Weapon No. 33
Just when you least expect it, secret weapon No. 33, sophomore DiDi Reynolds, finds a way to step up and burn a triple. Reynolds, who ranks fourth in Big Ten 3-pt. FG Pct. (.455), shot better than 60 percent vs. Illinois (3-of-5) and also at Michigan State where she threaded a career high four (of six) treys.

Glass Cleaners
Forwards Courtney Coleman and D’wan Shacklefordr make cleaning glass look simple. The tandem ranks among the league’s Top 10 rebounders with Coleman (No. 4) collecting 7.8 per game and Shackleford (No. 6) averaging 7.2.

Coleman has been at the task for a while. As a senior at Cincinnati Hughes High School she was the No.6 rebounder in the state, collecting 15.9 rpg.

Lewis Is Still Climbing
Guard Jamie Lewis, the Buckeyes’ No. 2 career assists leader, distributed three at Indiana, increasing her total to 548. The senior co-captain needs another 15 to assume the No. 1 position held by Yvette Angel (563). Lewis, who ranks No. 2 nationally in assists (8.5 apg), is also a Top 10 leader on the OSU career steals ladder where she ranks eighth with 165.

Career Assists Leaders 1. Yvette Angel 562 1981-85 2. Jamie Lewis 548 1998- 3. Lisa Cline 491 1985-89 4. Katie Smith 444 1993-96 5. Cheryl Perozek 341 1988-91

Stearns Makes It Official
Senior forward Dana Stearns (Bexley, Ohio) scored her first official points as an Ohio State basketball player in the Indiana game (Jan. 28), recording two points, two rebounds and two blocks in nine minutes of play.

The Run Slides
Buckeye Jamie Lewis attempted four three-point field goal attempts vs. Iowa (Jan. 17) but came up empty, capping a string of consecutive game with at least one 3-point field goal at a career best 16 (18 including exhibition games).

Lewis, draining three at Indiana (Jan. 28), ranks third in Big Ten 3-pt. FG made at 2.22.

The Ink Is Dry
Fourth-year Ohio State Coach Beth Burns, who signed the nation’s No. 2-ranked recruiting class in 1998, has again secured a pool of the country’s top high school talent. Joining the Buckeyes for the 2001-02 season will be All-America prepster Ashley Allen, a 5-foot-10 inch guard from Ben Davis (Indiana) High School, First Team All-Ohio selections Jackson guard Beth Howe, 5-7, and Grove City power forward Charisse Crews, 6-2, and Minnesota preseason player of the year nominee Brandee Gibbs, a 6-5 center at Orono.

No. 30 Is Retired
Olympian and Buckeye All-American Katie Smith (1993-96) became the first female student-athlete at The Ohio State University to officially have her jersey number retired during halftime ceremonies Sunday honoring her accomplished career. Smith, the Big Ten women’s career scoring leader (2,578 points), is a five-time All-America honoree and the first woman to represent the Big Ten Conference as a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Basketball team that captured the gold in Austrailia. The largest crowd of the season, 10,392, and second largest in Value City Arena, was on hand for the halftime ceremonies.

Two players from the men’s program, Gary Bradds (1962-64) and Jim Jackson (1990-92) will be similarly honored this season. Ohio State basketball great Jerry Lucas’ No. 11 was the first retired from basketball last season.

2000-01 Season Honors
Three Buckeyes have already received individual honors in the 2000-01 campaign.

Center LaToya Turner received her first Big Ten Player of the Week honor Nov. 20 with a 37 points and 14 rebounds performance in the Buckeyes’ season-opener at Cleveland State (Nov. 17).

Senior guard and co-captain Jamie Lewis was named the Outstanding Player of the Game vs. Rhode Island (Nov. 22) and the tournament MVP of the Great Alaska Shootout.

Lewis managed an offense that averaged 89.0 points in the two-game tourney, posting 11 points and 10 assists in the championship game vs. the Rams (Nov. 22), and nine points and 10 assists in the opener with Valparaiso (Nov. 21).

Courtney Coleman posted two solid performances in the tournament as well. She was named the Outstanding Player of the Game vs. Valpo, scoring a then career-high 18 points off 64 percent (9-of-14) shooting from the floor as a reserve. Against URI, and again coming off the bench, Coleman produced 12 points (4-of-4 FGs) and seven rebounds to aid in the victory.