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Jan. 3, 2001

The Tip
One thing for certain about the Ohio Sate-Michigan State contest is that one of the two programs will walk away with its first Big Ten win of the season in the only regular-season meeting between the two teams.

The Buckeyes, capping a five-game homestand Sunday, lost their second straight game, 66-63, to No. 11/10 Penn State. With the loss, OSU dropped to 10-2 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

Michigan State, also playing New Year’s Eve, lost 71-54 at Indiana to bring its record to 6-6, 0-1.

Media Coverage
WBNS Radio 1460 (AM) The Fan serves as the flagship station for Ohio State women’s basketball, broadcasting over 53 statewide affiliates. Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye Toni Roesch (1983-86) will deliver the live coverage. The game can also be heard on the Buckeyes’ internet broadcast by logging on to ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Big Ten Game of the Week
Thursday’s matchup between the Buckeyes and the Spartans is the featured Big Ten Game of the Week on Fox Sports Net Chicago. It is the second straight appearance on Fox Sports for Ohio State which hosted Penn State Sunday in a live telecast.

Jim Barber will be calling the play-by-play action with Debbie Antonelli providing the color commentary.

The Series
The Ohio State-Michigan State series, one of the oldest in the league, dates back to 1974. The Buckeyes enjoy a 35-14 lead and have won four of the past five matchups.

In Columbus, the Buckeyes are 14-6 vs. MSU, 15-5 in East Lansing and 6-3 on a neutral floor.

Last Season With Michigan State Date Outcome Site 1-2-00 L, 50 – 62 A 1-27-00 W, 64 – 50 H

Head 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 (So., Pickerington, Ohio). 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). Burns enjoys a career record of 206-123 (.626), is 56-41 (.577) as a Buckeye and 21-29 (.420) in league play.

Burns Against Michigan State
Ohio State head coach Beth Burns is 4-3 against Michigan State and has led the program to victory in four of the past five games.

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.

Buckeye Headline…
Penn State Edges Ohio State in Final Seconds
Penn State’s clutch performance at the charity stripe (2-of-3) with three seconds remaining in the game was just enough to propel the No. 11/10-ranked Lady Lion program to a 66-63 victory over the host Ohio State Buckeyes Sunday afternoon in Value City Arena.

The loss marks the second consecutive for the Buckeyes who are now 10-2 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten play. Penn State improves to 10-3 and is undefeated in the league at 2-0.

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 (Sr., Oak Hill, Ohio) 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 (Jr., Columbus, Ohio) 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 (Jr., Minster, Ohio) 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, 15 in the first half off 85 percent shooting (6-of-7 FGs) from the floor. She also collected a team- and career-high 10 rebounds and was joined by teammates Walseth and Katrena Carr in double-figure scoring with 15 and 10 points, respectively.

The Buckeyes were led by sophomore center LaToya Turner (So., Pickerington, Ohio) who finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds, 17 points in the second half. Guards Brown and Lewis each added 13 points.

In first-half action it appeared as though the Lady Lions would run away with a victory, mounting a 14-3 run to enjoy the largest lead of the stanza, 24-10, with 9:10 remaining.

Ohio State stormed back quickly in the time left, blanking Penn State 12-0, to pull within a point, 30-31, with 1:22 on the clock. The two squads exchanged baskets down the stretch with PSU leading 33-32 at intermission.

A Bigger Loss
Freshman starting guard Caity Matter will miss the bulk of her inaugural Big Ten season because of a stress fracture in her right tibia. The Bluffton, Ohio, native played in the first nine games of the season, averaging 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Matter shot 44 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and a cool 85.7 percent at the stripe.

Buckeye Injury Update
Guard Tanya McClure and forward Courtney Bale (Vista, Calif.) also remain on the injury roster. McClure, 5-4, has been idle since Nov. 20, nursing a fracture in her left foot. She was taken out of her cast Dec. 19, has participated in a few practice drills over the last few days, but will not play in Thursday’s game.

The 6-2 Bale stepped on a teammate’s foot in practice Nov. 26 and fractured her left fibula. She is out at least six weeks.

Michigan State Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Michigan State is under the first-year leadership of Joanne P. McCallie (Northwestern, 1987). McCallie spent the past eight seasons as the head coach at Maine. During her tenure, she guided the Black Bears to a 167-73 record and six straight NCAA Tournament appearances. McCallie’s career record is 173-79 overall and 6-6 at Michigan State.

Scouting Michigan State
Nine letterwinners return for the Michigan State Spartans led by Second Team All-Big Ten honoree Becky Cummings. Cummings, a 6-3 senior forward, is averaging a team leading 11.6 points per game and 6.4 rebounds which ranks second on the squad. Guard Vnemina Reese, a 5-7 sophomore and starter last season, is contributing 10.5 ppg from the backcourt. Two freshmen are stepping up nicely for the Spartans. Julie Pagel, a 6-1 forward, leads MSU on the boards, collecting 8.4 rebounds per game. Guard Candice Jackson, 5-6, paced the squad in its last matchup at Indiana with 14 points.

Buckeyes And Bears
The Buckeyes faced a Maine squad led by Michigan State mentor Joanne P. McCallie in 1995. The two programs played one another in the second round of the preseason WNIT with Ohio State claiming a 93-64 victory in Columbus.

Charting Turner
* Turner’s career run in double-figure scoring games was extended to 12 games with her 25 points vs. Penn State (Dec. 31), her second highest total this season.

*Turner bettered her career-high records for points (37), rebounds (14), assists (3), blocks (6) and steals (5) all within the first seven games of the season.

*Turner was the named the Big Ten Player of the Week Nov. 20 for her stifling performance vs. Cleveland State (Nov. 17), recording 37 points and 14 rebounds.

*The Pickerington, Ohio, native also is one of the standout performers in the Big Ten Conference. The league’s No. 1 scorer (18.8 ppg) and No. 1 shot-blocker (2.4 bpg) is listed as one of the top competitors in another five statistical categories.

Turner Game-By-Game Pts. Rebs. Blks. Stls. Cleveland State 37 14 2 2 Valparaiso 15 5 1 2 Rhode Island 10 8 1 4 Seton Hall 18 8 4 5 LBSU 19 5 0 2 Wisconsin-GB 20 8 5 2 Bowling Green 17 6 6 4 Arkansas-PB 13 4 3 3 Akron 20 5 2 5 UCLA 20 7 1 1 Indiana 11 4 3 1 Penn State 25 11 1 0

Buckeyes On The Run
Buckeyes Jamie Lewis and LaToya Turner are still maintaining two individual career runs despite the team’s two recent losses. Lewis connected on three treys vs. Penn State (Dec. 31) extending her string of consecutive games with at least one 3-point field goal to 14 (including two exhibition games).

Turner’s 25 points, her second best scoring effort this season, extended her string of double-figure scoring games to a career best 12.

Eye On The Prize
Forward Courtney Coleman (So., Cincinnati, Ohio) shot just 50 percent from the floor vs. Penn State (Dec. 31), converting 3-of-6 field goal attempts. Coleman however remains numero uno in Big Ten Conference field goal percentage, averaging a staggering 71.4 percent (50-of-70) from the floor.

Coleman On The Rebound
Courtney Coleman is the Buckeyes’ No. 2 rebounder, averaging 6.2 caroms per game but in the last three contests the Cincinnati (Ohio) Hughes High School alum has averaged 9.3 caroms. Coleman collected a career-high 10 rebounds vs. UCLA (Dec. 21) and Indiana (Dec. 28) and pulled down eight vs. No. 11/10 Penn State (Dec. 31). Coleman ended her prep career as the No. 6 rebounder in the state, averaging 15.9 per game.

Similar Foes
Ohio State and Michigan State faced the same non-conference foe earlier this season. Midwestern Collegiate representative Wisconsin-Green Bay visited Columbus Dec. 10, playing the Buckeyes the closest of any team on the non-league schedule in a 59-46 loss. The Phoenix played in East Lansing, Mich., Dec. 5 and lost 74-60 to the Spartans.

Working Overtime
With guards Tanya McClure and Caity Matter sidelined with injuries, backcourt players Jamie Lewis and Lauren Shenk have been working overtime. Both played 40 minutes each their last time out vs. Penn State (Dec. 31).

Lewis Keeps Climbing
Guard Jamie Lewis is the country’s No. 2 playmaker, averaging 9.6 assists per game. On Dec. 10, she passed Ohio State Olympian Katie Smith on the career ladder to become the No. 3 leader, and with nine vs. Indiana (Dec. 28), took over the No. 2 career slot with 494.

The senior co-captain passed out seven vs. Penn State (Dec. 31) to become just the second player in Ohio State history to distribute more than 500 assists in a career. Lewis owns 501 and needs 62 additional to assume the No. 1 spot currently owned by Yvette Angel (562).

Career Assists Leaders 1. Yvette Angel 562 1981-85 2. Jamie Lewis 501 1998- 3. Lisa Cline 491 1985-89 4. Katie Smith 444 1993-96 5. Cheryl Perozek 341 1988-91

Lewis Attacks Steals Ladder
While it’s not possible to overlook guard Jamie Lewis’ assault on the career assists ladder, the 5-5 guard is quietly waging another campaign in career steals. Lewis has 153 for her career and is just three short of taking over the No. 9 all-time listing.

Career Steals Leaders 1. Yvette Angel 326 1981-85 2. Averrill Roberts 273 1990-93 3. Tracey Hall 259 1984-88 4. Lisa Cline 237 1985-89 5. Nikita Lowry 190 1985-89 6. Katie Smith 174 1993-96 7. Audrey Burcy 168 1990-93 8. Toni Roesch 156 1982-86 9. Marrita Porter 155 1995-99 10.Jamie Lewis 153 1998-

Brown Picks Up The Pace
Tomeka Brown has picked up her game to say the very least, averaging well beyond her season scoring clip of 9.5 ppg with 15.0 ppg in the last three games. Brown was one of three Buckeyes in double-figures vs. Penn State (Dec. 31) with 13 points and paced the Buckeyes against Indiana (Dec. 28), marking her first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. That performance came on the heels of two solid games vs. Akron (Dec. 19) and UCLA (Dec. 20) where she scored a season-high 17 points and 16 points, respectively.

Turner Moves Up Blocks Ladder
With just one block against the Lady Lions (Dec. 31), center LaToya Turner became one of the Top 5 shot-blockers in OSU women’s basketball history. The 6-4 super sophomore and Big Ten’s leading shot-blocker (2.4) has 65 total in just 39 career games. With two blocks Thursday, Turner could takeover the No. 4 slot held by alumna Mindy Smith (66).

Career Blocks Leaders 1. Mary Sivak 241 1978-82 2. Francine Lewis 124 1982-86 3. Tracey Hall 109 1984-88 4. Mindy Smith 66 1987-90 5. June Brewer 65 1974-78 LaToya Turner 65 2000- 7. Lisa Negri 60 1993-96 8. Carla Chapman 57 1981-85 9. Lisa Cline 51 1985-89

Let’s Talk Defense
Ohio State leads the league in scoring defense, barring opponents to no more than 53.3 ppg this season.

The Akron Zips became the third team to be held under 40 points Dec. 19, producing just 35 in the 40-minute matchup. Seton Hall (Nov. 29) and Arkansas Pine Bluff (Dec. 16) had difficult nights as well, producing just 38 and 32 points, respectively.

The Buckeyes are even tougher on their home floor of Value City Arena with visitors averaging 49.3 ppg.

Now Offense
Ohio State enjoys a scoring margin that more than doubles that of any other team in the league at 29.3 points per game. The Buckeyes’ 22-point victory (79-57) vs. UCLA (Dec. 21) marked the smallest margin of victory since downing Wisconsin-Green Bay (Dec. 10) by 13, 59-46.

Ohio State has cleared 90 points five times this year, twice eclipsing the 100-point plateau. The Buckeyes’ season high is a 102-55 victory vs. Long Beach State (Dec. 3).

Victories of Record
Ohio State’s 65-point victory (100-35) Dec. 19 vs. Akron is the second largest against an opponent in Ohio State history. Ironically, the largest margin of victory was also against the Zips to the tune of 70 points, 105-35, in February 1977.

The Buckeyes’ Dec. 19 performance just eclipsed their 62-point victory vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff (Dec. 16). That victory was the fourth largest in Ohio State history.

Now It’s Your Turn
Motoring such a high-powered Ohio State offense (82.5 ppg) takes energy and a team effort. Six different Buckeyes have stepped up to take over the lead scoring responsibilities over 12 games. Center LaToya Turner has paced the scoring effort in six games (Cleveland State, Seton Hall, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Akron, UCLA, Penn State), guard Lauren Shenk has tallied two (Rhode Island, Bowling Green) and forwards Courtney Coleman (Valparaiso) and D’wan Shackleford (Long Beach State) and guards Jamie Lewis (Arkansas Pine Bluff) and Tomeka Brown (Indiana) have recorded one each.

Home Sweet Home
Traveling to East Lansing, Mich., is literally just like going home for one Buckeye staff member. Nikki Keyton (Ohio State, 1994), the Buckeyes’ Director of Operations, is a native of the city but decided to showcase her talents as a Buckeye. Keyton, a four-year letterwinner and First Team All-Big Ten selection, helped guide Ohio State to its first-ever NCAA Final Four appearance in 1993.

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.

Value City Is Tops
Value City Arena again ranks as one of the top venues in the country in women’s basketball attendance. The Buckeyes, who finished ninth nationally a year ago (7,277 per game), are averaging 6,495 fans per game which ranks eighth nationally among Division I institutions this season. The largest crowd of the season in Value City Arena, 7,527, enjoyed the Ohio State-Indiana matchup.

Next Time Out
Ohio State will continue on the road this week facing the Northwestern Wildcats Sunday afternoon in Evanston, Ill., at 3 p.m.