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Dec. 25, 2001

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The Tip
Ohio State is opening its 27th season of Big Ten basketball this weekend with a two-game road swing. Play begins Friday at Indiana (7 p.m.) and closes Sunday at Penn State (2 p.m.) in a featured matchup on ESPN 2.

The Buckeyes, 5 -6 overall, are riding a three-game winning streak following an 87-50 victory vs. Sacred Heart Dec. 20.

Big Ten Openers
Since the 1981-82 season, when official sponsorship of women’s basketball began, Ohio State has compiled a record of 15-5 in Big Ten season openers. The Buckeyes are 8-2 when opening at home and are 7-3 as visitors. The Hoosiers foiled OSU’s launch into conference play a year ago, halting a 10-game win streak with a 65-56 win in Columbus.

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 72-56(.563) as a Buckeye and is 223-141 (.613) over her career.

The Series Vs. Indiana
Ohio State enjoys a 34-16 lead in the series which dates back to 1973. The Buckeyes are 20-1 against IU in Columbus and 6-1 on a neutral floor. In Bloomington, Indiana has a 12-9 advantage.

Last season, the Hoosiers swept the series, 65-56 as visitors and 83-76 on their home floor.

Last season with Indiana, 0-2 12-28-00 56-65, H 1-28-01 76-83, A

The Series Vs. Penn State
Penn State has dominated the series by a 25-6 margin, 16-4 since joining the Big Ten in the 1992-93 season. The Lady Lions are 9-3 in Columbus and 2-2 on a neutral floor. The Buckeyes have won only once in 15 attempts in University Park, 72-54, on Dec. 28, 1998.

Last season, PSU prevailed 66-63 in Columbus and 69-52 on its home floor.

Last season with Penn State, 0-2 12-31-00 63-66, H 2-1-01 52-69, A

Burns Against The Field
Coach Beth Burns’ career record vs. Indiana is 6-3 and 2-8 vs. Penn State.

Last Time Out For Ohio State
The Ohio State women’s basketball team rode a 17-point first-half scoring surge from Courtney Coleman (Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Hughes) to take a commanding 42-24 halftime lead and cruise to an 87-50 victory over Sacred Heart Dec. 20 at Value City Arena.

The victory marked the close of the non-conference season, and the third consecutive, for the 5-6 Buckeyes.

Coleman finished with a game- and career-high 26 points and added seven rebounds to pace the Ohio State attack. Her scoring output ties a career best, set Jan. 17, 2001, vs. Iowa. Ashley Allen (Indianapolis, Ind., Ben Davis) scored in double figures with 13 points, while D’wan Shackleford (Jr., Newark, Ohio/Newark) added 12 points and four steals for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State broke the game open with a 12-0 run midway through the first half, widening the advantage to 17, (26-9) with 9:22 remaining. Sacred Heart never got within 13 points after that point. The Buckeyes were solid on defense, holding the Pioneers to 36 percent shooting while forcing 25 turnovers.

Sacred Heart (4-4) was led by Brooke Rutnik with 19 points. (See final box on page 10 )

Coleman on the National Scene
Forward Courtney Coleman, the Buckeyes’ “go-to” player inside, ranks first in the league and third nationally in field goal percentage, touting a mark of .698.

Her success should surprise few. Last season, the Second Team All-Big Ten choice ranked 11th nationally in field goal percentage, showcasing a 58 percent clip.

OSU Down The Stretch
Ohio State, maintaining a 2-5 overall record in mid-December, finished its 11-game non-conference schedule with a 3-1 run, playing four games over seven days, to cap the stretch at 5-6.

The Buckeyes shot better than 50 percent from the floor and averaged 84.3 ppg. in their last four games. OSU’s 56.7 percent shooting vs. Sacred Heart (Dec. 20) represents a season high as does its 96 points against Xavier (Dec. 15).

Opponent FG Pct. Pts. Louisville .532 66 Xavier .563 96 Virginia .509 88 Sacred Heard .567 87

Shenk Fuels Success
Ohio State senior guard Lauren Shenk (Minster, Ohio/Minster) has played a significant role in the Buckeyes’ recent turnaround. Shenk returned to the starting lineup Dec. 10 vs. Eastern Michigan and in the last four games has distributed an average 7.0 assists per game. Against Xavier (Dec. 15), she recorded a career-high eight.

Double The Effort
Forward Courtney Coleman tied her career scoring high of 26 points vs. Sacred Heart (Dec. 20), registering 17 in the first half. Coleman etched the record vs. Iowa a year ago (Jan. 17) in Value City Arena.

Reynolds Is Just Getting Started
A hit to the larynx kept forward DiDi Reynolds (Portage, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon) out of the Xavier game (Dec. 15), but she rebounded in a big way with a career-high 26 points at Virginia three days later. The junior forward also established career efforts for field goals made (8) and minutes played (42), and tied her record for treys in a game with four. Reynolds ranks fourth in the Big Ten in three-point field goals made, averaging 2.22.

The Buckeyes’ three-point scoring specialist, Reynolds sank 2-of-4 triples in OSU’s most recent outing against Sacred Heart (Dec. 20), elevating her career total to 56 and a trey shy of sharing the No. 7 slot held by guard Alysiah Bond (57).

Turning Things Up
Ohio State’s matchup vs. Penn State Sunday represents its first against a ranked team this season. The Buckeyes were challenged with the feat six times last season but were unsuccessful. OSU’s last win against a ranked squad was against No. 18 Purdue, 53-51, on Jan. 13, 2000.

Indiana Lately
Indiana is led by head coach Kathi Bennett who is marking just her second season at the helm. IU, which finished with a 20-11 overall record last year and WNIT berth, closed its 2001 nonconference schedule with a 6-5 record. The Hoosiers are led by 6-5 center Jill Chapman who is averaging 17.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Guard Heather Cassady, 5-7, is averaging 14.5 ppg., shooting 42.9 percent beyond the arc and 83.1 percent at the stripe. Erin McGinnis, a 6-1 forward, is another key contributor to the Hoosier offense, averaging 11.3 ppg.

Penn State Lately
Veteran coach Rene Portland is in her 23rd season at Penn State. The 2000-01 season resulted in a 19-10 finish and the program’s 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Lions, 7-4 overall, have won three of their last four games to cap their nonconference slate, including an upset of No. 19 Texas (67-65) Dec. 22 in Austin. Penn State is led by one of the top scorers in the country, sophomore guard Kelly Mazzante, 6-0, who is averaging 25.5 points per game. Freshman Jess Strom, 5-7, is a top playmaker, averaging 8.5 ppg. and 7.8 apg.

Last Season With Indiana
Dec. 28, 2000
Indiana 65, Ohio State 56

Ohio State fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, dropping its Big Ten season opener, 65-56, to the Indiana Hoosiers in Value City Arena.

Guard Tomeka Brown recorded her first collegiate double-double, leading the Buckeyes at both ends of the floor with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Lauren Shenk and center LaToya Turner also finished in double-figure scoring with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Forward Courtney Coleman tied her career rebounding high for the second consecutive time out with 10 caroms.

Ohio State was staggered by Indiana’s hot shooting from the perimeter in the first half, trailing 34-22 at halftime.

The Buckeyes trailed by as many as 17 in the second half but capped a 12-3 rally with 8:12 remaining to pull within eight, 50-42. Indiana again pushed the lead to double-digits, 54-43, with a little more than six minutes remaining but the guard play of Shenk and Brown allowed the Buckeyes one last shot for a win. The tandem scored five and four points, respectively in a 9-5 rally, narrowing the lead to 59-52 with 2:12 on the clock but that was as close as the Buckeyes would get. The Hoosiers finished the game at the charity stripe going 6-of-6.

Jan. 28, 2001
Indiana 83, Ohio State 76

The entire Buckeye starting lineup reached the double-figure scoring plateau but it wasn’t enough, as Indiana pulled out an 83-76 victory in Bloomington.

Courtney Coleman paced the Buckeyes with 19 points, Lauren Shenk added 14 and Jamie Lewis 13 to top the scoring chart. Tomeka Brown and D’wan Shackleford 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.

Last Season With Penn State
Dec. 31, 2000
#11 Penn State 66, Ohio State 63

Penn State’s 2-of-3 performance at the charity stripe with three seconds remaining in the game was just enough to propel the No. 11/10-ranked Lady Lions to a 66-63 victory over Ohio State 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 went to the charity stripe herself, where she recorded the last two points of the game with one tick remaining.

Penn State freshman guard Kelly Mazzante led all players with 26 points. She also collected a team- and career-high 10 rebounds.

The Buckeyes were led by sophomore center LaToya Turner, who finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Brown and Lewis each added 13 points.

Feb. 1, 2001
#15 Penn State 69, Ohio State 52

The Ohio State Buckeyes were their own worse enemy at Penn State with foul trouble and a season-high 30 turnovers contributing to a 69-52 loss to the 15th-ranked Lady Lions.

Sophomore forward Courtney Coleman led the Buckeyes at both ends of the floor with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, her second double-double of the season. Guard Tomeka Brown was the only other Buckeye to reach double-figure scoring with 12 points.

Kelly Mazzante led the Penn State roster in the scoring column with 18 points. Maren Walseth marked the second double-double of the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Lisa Shepherd and Rashana Barnes also yielded double-figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Ohio State trailed by just seven points at intermission, 33-26, despite 37 percent shooting in the first half. Penn State, enjoying the double-bonus with 7:31 remaining in the game, bettered OSU 36-26 in the second half.

The Buckeyes closed the game shooting 37 percent from the floor while Penn State finished with 49 percent accuracy. Both squads shot 52

Read All About Her
Forward Courtney Coleman is the featured Buckeye on the Big Ten Conference website and “Dream Big” 20), Crews bettered her career rebounding high with seven.

Sharpshooter Allen
Freshman guard Ashley Allen scored a career-high 19 points vs. Xavier (Dec. 15), sinking 8-of-15 FGs, including three triples. Allen equaled her career best for treys in a game, threading 3-of-5 for a 13 point-finish vs. Sacred Heart (Dec. 22). Allen, voted one of the Top 21 New Players of Impact by womenscollegehoops.com, has enjoyed similar success at the stripe where she shoots a team-leading 86.7 percent.

Coleman 3-for-3
Forward Courtney Coleman made it 3-for-3 with her selection to the Women’s Sports Foundation Classic All-Tournament Team Dec. 15. Coleman averaged 18.5 points per game, shooting 78.2 percent from the floor, and 7.0 rebounds. It is the third such honor for the Cincinnati, Ohio, native who was named to The Great Alaska Shootout and WNIT All-Tournament teams last season.

Big Time Win
Ohio State’s 96-68 win represents its largest margin of victory and most points scored since a 100-35 victory vs. Akron Dec. 19, 2000.

Buckeyes Suffer A Double Blow Inside
Junior center LaToya Turner (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington) and freshman center Brandee Gibbs (Hanover, Minnesota/Orono) will both be sidelined for at least the next six weeks. Turner, the 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, underwent arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to clean scar tissue and debris from her left knee. The surgery followed two previous procedures to repair the ACL (April 1999) and ACL-graft (January 2001) . Gibbs who had been experiencing pain in her left foot for nearly a week was also diagnosed Tuesday with a broken left foot.

Both join two more Buckeyes who are working their way back to the playing roster. Co-captain Tanya McClure (Gahanna, Ohio/Gahanna-Lincoln) underwent left lateral ankle reconstruction Oct. 17. Sophomore guard Caity Matter (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) 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.

Seeing Double
Forward Courtney Coleman, with 8-of-11 (.727) shooting from the floor vs. Louisville (Dec. 14), marked her eighth career double-double, the second of the season, posting 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Coleman’s Career Doubles Opponent Date Pts./Rebs Louisville 12-14-01 16/10 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 12-21-00 18/10

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. With a career-high eight assists Dec. 15 vs. Xavier, guard Lauren Shenk paces the field, averaging 3.4 apg. Guard Tomeka Brown is contributing 2.7 apg., and forward DiDi Reynolds 2.6.

Scoring Muscle
This week, three Buckeyes ranked among the Top 30 scorers in the Big Ten Conference. Forward Courtney Coleman shares 11th place, averaging 14.5 ppg. and DiDi Reynolds ranks 20th at 12.4 ppg. Guard Tomeka Brown falls in at No. 30, averaging 9.7 ppg.

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 (Minster, Ohio/Minster) 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.