Dec. 3, 2004

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The No. 10/11 Ohio State women’s basketball team (6-1; 0-0 Big Ten) travels to play the Flyers of Dayton (3-2; 0-0 Atlantic 10) at 8 p.m. Saturday at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

Dayton is 3-2 overall, with victories at Akron (66-56), at Cleveland State (73-62) and at Toledo (62-50). The Flyers fell to Chicago State (56-55) and most recently at Cincinnati (65-54) Dec. 1.

Emily Williams and Cara Wright are the leading scorers with 16.0 and 10.6 points per game, respectively. Wright is the squad’s top rebounder with 7.4 caroms per game, followed by Angela Cape with a 6.2 rebounds-per-game average.

Dayton’s head coach Jim Jabir is taking a medical leave of absence this season and assistant coach Greg Williams has assumed interim head coaching duties until Jabir can return.

Dayton assistant coach Jill Rooney is no stranger to Ohio State or Jim Foster. Rooney played for Foster at St. Joseph’s from 1983-87 and aided the Buckeye basketball staff in 2002-03. Additionally, Dayton’s director of basketball operations, Frank Goldsberry, coached Ohio State assistant Tamika Williams and current Buckeye player Brandie Hoskins, when both women played in high school at Chaminade-Julienne (Dayton, Ohio).

Ohio State holds a 12-4 advantage over Dayton in the all-time series. The Buckeyes have won the last three consecutive meetings. The last time Ohio State played the Flyers was Nov. 25 1991 in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes won, 85-67. Dayton’s last victory over Ohio State was a 78-75 win Feb 28, 1981 in Columbus.

The No. 10/11 Ohio State women’s basketball team (6-1; 0-0 Big Ten) routed Ohio (2-2; 0-0 Mid-American Conference) with a 107-37 win Wednesday at The Convo in Athens, Ohio. The Buckeyes, who had seven players reach double-figure scoring, were led by Tamarah Riley, who tallied a career-high 18 points. Senior Caity Matter scored 14 while Stephanie Blanton, Michelle Muñoz, Jessica Davenport and Beth Howe recorded 12 each. Junior Candace Dark also chipped in 11 points. In addition to Riley, Howe reached her career-high mark in scoring and Blanton tied her personal best.

Ohio State opened play against the Bobcats with a 16-0 scoring run on points from five different Buckeyes in the first 5:26 of the game. OSU connected on 17-of-27 (.630) field goals in the first half, including a 5-of-8 tally from the 3-point arc and took a 30-point lead into the locker room, 46-16.

It was much of the same for the Buckeyes in the second half as they outscored the Bobcats by 40, 61-21 in the stanza. Ohio State finished the game hitting 40-of-59 (.678) field goals, including 10-of-15 from 3-point range. It was the Buckeyes’ season-best marks for field-goal percentage and field goals made.

The 70-point win tied the school record for the largest margin of victory. The Buckeyes also recorded a season-high 45 rebounds in the contest, including 25 caroms in the first half alone.

Kim Wilburn added seven points for the Buckeyes and also led the team with three steals. Ashley Allen, Marscilla Packer and Tia Battle added four, three and two points, respectively. Davenport led the squad with eight rebounds and Allen also dished a team-best six assists.

The Bobcats were led by Ciara Iglehart and Andrea Johnson, who both contributed six points each for Ohio.

The Buckeyes beat Ohio, 107-37, Dec. 1 in Athens, Ohio. Ohio State’s 70-point win tied the school record for the largest margin of victory. Ohio State beat Akron 105-35 on Feb. 22, 1977. The win was the Bobcats’ worst lost in program history. Ohio’s previous worst lost was 52 points at Iowa in 1991.

The previous biggest margin of victory for a Buckeye team under head coach Jim Foster was a 48-point win. Foster’s Ohio State teams had beaten two squads by 48 points: 96-48 vs. IUPUI Dec. 1, 2003 in Value City Arena and 89-41 vs. Bowling Green Nov. 14 in Value City Arena.

After dropping a 66-62 game at Notre Dame Nov. 20, the Buckeyes responded in a big way during their second road trip of the season. Ohio State pounded Ohio, 107-37, in Athens and moved to 1-1 on the road this year.

Ohio State’s 107 points vs. Ohio Dec. 1 was the highest point total this season and the most for any Buckeye team coached by Jim Foster. The Buckeyes’ previous season-high was 89 points against Bowling Green (Nov. 12) in the season opener. Ohio State’s 46 points was the most in the first half this year.

The last time a Buckeye team scored at least 100 points, was vs. Wayne State Nov. 26, 2002 in Foster’s second-ever game at the helm of the Buckeyes.

The most points ever scored by a Buckeye team was a 119-point performance vs. Idaho State Dec. 11, 1994. The Buckeyes won, 119-63.

The Buckeyes had seven players reach double figures in scoring vs. Ohio Dec. 1. Tamarah Riley had 18, Caity Matter scored 14 points, Stephanie Blanton, Jessica Davenport, Beth Howe and Michelle Muñoz all netted 12 and Candace Dark tallied 11 scores. Seven players in double digits is the most this season. Ohio State had five players reach double figures against St. Joseph’s (Nov. 14).

Ohio State tallied a season-high 45 rebounds in the Ohio contest Dec. 1. The Buckeyes beat their previous season-high mark of 38, which was set vs. Bowling Green (Nov. 12) and vs. St. Joseph’s (Nov. 14).

The Buckeyes also recorded season highs with 40 field goals and a 67.8 field-goal percentage vs. the Bobcats. The previous bests were 35 shots made against Bowling Green (Nov. 12) and a .574 (35-of-61) percentage against the Falcons.

Stephanie Blanton tied her career-high of 12 points vs. Ohio Dec. 1 and senior Beth Howe and rookie Tamarah Riley each had personal-best nights vs. the Bobcats. Howe’s 12 points beat her previous record of 10 vs Purdue in the Big Ten tournament March 7, 2004. Riley’s 18 points beat her previous best of 12 vs. Yale Nov. 27.

Michelle Muñoz, who was 4-for-4 from the 3-point line at Ohio Dec. 1, is ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten with a .846 (11-of-13) average from outside the 3-point line. Muñoz’ overall .636 (21-of-33) mark from the field is ranked third in the league in front of Jessica Davenport’s No. 5 .590 (46-of-78) average. Muñoz is making 1.57 treys per game, which in No. 10 in the conference.

Ashley Allen is not far behind Muñoz with a No. 2-ranked .700 (7-of-10) average from downtown. Caity Matter is No. 9 in the league with 1.86 3-pointers made per game and is shooting an impressive .419 (13-of-31) from the 3-point arc, which is No. 11 in the Big Ten. As a team, the Buckeyes hold the second spot among league rankings with 6.86 treys made per game.

Ohio State’s win over No. 21/24 Arizona Nov. 17 in Columbus gave head coach Jim Foster win No. 550 and one more win would give him 50 wins while at Ohio State. Foster is 553-246 overall in 27 years of collegiate coaching and 49-21 in three seasons Ohio State.

Caity Matter needs nine 3-pointers to take over the No. 1 spot in the Ohio State record book for career treys. Matter drained two treys at Ohio Dec. 1 and she upped her career 3-pointers made mark to 210. Katie Smith holds the school’s all-time record with 218 career 3-pointers.

Matter’s four 3-pointers vs. Arizona Nov. 17 moved her into second place on Ohio State’s all-time career 3-pointers list. She hit her third trey at the 17:00-minute mark in the second half to take over second place. Matter replaced Marcie Alberts (203) in the No. 2 spot.

When Matter sank two treys vs. Saint Joseph’s Nov. 14, she became only the third Buckeye to make at least 200 career 3-pointers.

Jessica Davenport and Caity Matter are leading the team with 17.1 and 13.3 points per game, respectively. Davenport has scored double figures in every game this season and Caity Matter has scored double digits in 6-of-7 games this year. Davenports’ 17.1 points per game is No. 5 in the Big Ten and Matter’s 13.3 scores are No. 15 among league leaders.

Ohio State is the Big Ten’s top shooting team with a .549 (217-395) mark from the floor and a .500 (48-69) average from downtown. The Buckeyes are also the top team for scoring offense (82.6 points per game) and scoring margin (+37.9).

Ohio State is keeping up its defense, too, as the squad is No. 2 and No. 3 in scoring defense (44.7 ppg) and field-goal percent defense (.320), respectively.

Ohio State is leading the Big Ten with a .828 (96-116) mark from the free-throw line. Last season, the Buckeyes shot .654 from the charity stripe on the season and were ranked last in the league.

The Buckeyes are led by Jessica Davenport who has made 28-of-30 free throws this season and is ranked No. 2 in the league with a .933 average. Tam Riley is No. 15 in the conference with a .792 stroke (19-of-24) from the free-throw line.

Jessica Davenport has had two four-block games this season. The first was at Notre Dame Nov. 20 – in the finals of the preseason WNIT – and the second was Nov. 28 vs. Bradley – in the finals of the Buckeye Classic. For the season, Davenport has 18 blocked shots and is No. 1 in the Big Ten with 2.57 swatted shots per outing.

Senior guard Ashley Allen made her third consecutive start of the season at Ohio Dec. 1. The Buckeye Classic games vs. Yale Nov. 27 and vs. Bradley Nov. 28 marked her first two starts since Feb. 19, 2003 at Illinois when she was injured and forced to miss the rest of the season. Allen played in six games in 2003-04 but did not make a start. She is averaging 5.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and only one turnover per game. Allen had a season-best and Buckeye-high five assists vs. Bradley Nov. 28 and broke the mark at Ohio Dec. 1 with a team-best six assists.

In the first seven games of the season, every Buckeye available to play at each game has clocked minutes in every outing. All 12 Buckeyes cleared to play are averaging more than 10.0 minutes per game and only two players – Jessica Davenport and Caity Matter – are clocking more than 20.0 minutes per outing. The most PT for any Ohio State player is 25.4 minutes an outing (Davenport).

The Buckeyes are a deep team this season. Ohio State has 12 active players who are all clocking significant playing time. The Buckeyes coming off the bench are contributing in a big way as Ohio State is averaging 31.7 bench points per game vs. opponents’ 12.3 point per contest.

After playing an average of 7.5 minutes per game in the first four outings, rookie Marscilla Packer played 16, 15 and 12 minutes in the Buckeye Classic games vs. Yale and Bradley (Nov. 27 and 28) and at Ohio Dec. 1. Packer scored a combined three points – all of which she netted vs. Bowling Green Nov. 12 – in the first four games and in the last three games, she has scored eight, 10 and 12 points (vs. Yale, Bradley and Ohio, respectively). Packer has only one turnover on the season.

Ohio State is outscoring opponents in the paint by an average of 37.4 to 14.6 points per game. Of note, the Buckeyes scored 50 points in the paint vs. Bradley’s eight scores inside the lane Nov. 28 and 34 points in the lane vs. Ohio’s two scores inside. The only team to contend in the lane vs. the Buckeyes was Notre Dame, who beat Ohio State. The Fighting Irish scored 28 points inside vs. Ohio State’s 30 in the lane.

Assists are abundant on the Ohio State team as the Buckeyes are averaging a Big Ten-best 21.4 dishes per game vs. opponents’ 7.1 assists an outing. Leading the way is Kim Wilburn and Caity Matter, who have 3.9 and 3.6 assists-per-game averages, respectively. Wilburn is ranked No. 7 and Matter is No. 11 in the Big Ten. Of note, Matter averaged 1.97 assists last season and entered the season with a 1.67 career assists average.

Ohio State is ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten for assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.56 mark and first in the league with a +7.14 turnover margin. Individually, Ashley Allen and Kim Wilburn hold the top two spots in the Big Ten with ratios of 3.0 and 2.7, respectively. Teammate Caity Matter is close behind with a No. 5-ranked 2.08 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Ohio State is No. 2 in the Big Ten with 11.71 steals per game and the Buckeyes are led by Kim Wilburn, who is averaging 2.6 steals per outing ranked sixth in the conference.

Ashley Allen officially returned to the Buckeye lineup against Bowling Green for the first time since Dec. 20, 2003. Allen scored 17 points vs. the Falcons and made a career-high five 3-pointers (of six attempted) against the Falcons.

Allen’s previous record was four 3-pointers drained vs. UNC Wilmington Dec. 25, 2003.

Ohio State won the 2004 Buckeye Classic by beating Yale, 80-43, Nov. 27 and rolling past Bradley, 86-52, Nov. 28. In the consolation game, Detroit beat Yale, 69-56.

After a slow offensive showing by both Ohio State and Yale to begin the game, the Buckeyes used a 10-2 scoring run in the middle of the first to take a 22-8 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. Yale cut the lead to 11 (27-16) with 5:39 to play off a jumper by Erica Davis, but the Buckeyes answered with six consecutive points to stretch the advantage to 33-16 at the 3:10 mark. Ohio State finished the half strong and took an 18-point lead, 39-21, into halftime.

The Buckeyes continued to pound away at the Bulldogs in the second half as they outscored Yale 22-4 in the first 8:48 to give OSU a 61-25 advantage. The most the Buckeyes led by was 39 points in the final minute when Tamarah Riley, who scored a career-high 12 points, sank a free-throw to put her team up 80-41.

The Buckeyes shot .561 (32-of-57) from the field compared to Yale’s .360 (18-of-50) average. Ohio State tallied 27 assists to the Bulldogs’ nine and 14 steals vs. Yale’s seven. Yale was held to just .125 (1-of-8) from 3-point territory, while the Buckeyes sank .385 (5-of-13) of their shots from downtown.

Four Ohio State players scored in double digits. Davenport led both teams with 18 points, followed by Riley’s 12, Brandie Hoskins’ 11 scores and Michelle Muñoz’ 10 points. Davenport was the game’s high rebounder with nine caroms. Kim Wilburn had a game-best eight assists.

Yale was led by Davis, who scored 14 points.

On Nov. 28, Bradley was competitive in the first half as both squads traded leads eight times and saw five ties in the first 10 minutes. The Braves’ biggest advantage was a 3-point lead when Devyn Flanagan hit a 3-pointer and sent BU up, 17-14 with 12:37 left in the first. The Buckeyes went on an 18-5 scoring run to take a 10-point lead, 32-22, with 4:41 until halftime. Bradley did not back down and was able to pull the game to within seven twice more before the half, but Ohio state took a 41-32 lead into the midway mark.

It was all Ohio State in the second half as the Buckeye shot .625 (15-of-24) from the field and stepped up their defensive effort to hold Bradley to only 20 second-half points vs. OSU’s 45. After shooting .458 (11-of-24) from the field and a whopping .800 (8-of-10) from the 3-point line in the first half, Bradley only made .217 (5-of-23) of their shots and 2-of-6 treys in the second half. Ohio State went 6-for-11 (.545) from downtown for the game.

The Ohio State vs. Bradley game was the 12th time Ohio State has made it to the title game in 13 years of the Buckeye Classic. In 1983 – during the first year of the Buckeye Classic – Georgia and Clemson met and Georgia won the title, 78-64. The Buckeyes have won the Buckeye Classic seven times, including the previous four events in a row. The last two MVP’s of the Buckeye Classic are underclassmen on the Ohio State team. Sophomore center Jessica Davenport earned the honor this season and classmate Brandie Hoskins was tabbed the Buckeye Classic’s MVP last season when she was a rookie.

Jessica Davenport and Caity Matter were named to the 2004 Buckeye Classic All-Tournament Team. Davenport, the most valuable player, was 16-of-27 from the field and tallied a total of 37 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, four steals, five blocked shots and only two turnovers. Matter was 7-of-13 form the field, scored 22 points and had seven assists, six rebounds and four steals. Davenport and Matter were also named to the 2004 Preseason WNIT All-Tournament Team.

Ohio State beat Bowling Green, 89-41, Nov. 12 and blew by Saint Joseph’s, 76-29, Nov. 14 in rounds one and two of the 2004 Preseason WNIT. In the semifinals vs. No. 21/24 Arizona, the Buckeyes won, 78-45, and earned the program’s first trip to the finals of the preseason WNIT. The first three games were in Columbus, Ohio (with round one and the semifinal game being held at Value City Arena and round two taking place in St. John Arena), but the Buckeyes had to travel to South Bend, Ind., to face then-No. 10/11 Notre Dame in the final game Nov. 20.

Notre Dame tallied victories at home over Illinois State (92-73), Nebraska (73-57) and No. 6/6 Duke (76-65) on its path to the final game of the preseason WNIT event, fought for the title in a close game vs. the Buckeyes. In a back-and-forth battle with seven lead changes and nine ties, Ohio State led, 62-54, with 5:18 to play, but Notre Dame went on a 12-0 run to close the final five minutes of the game and earn the championship.

It was the second preseason WNIT run for Ohio State. The Buckeyes were also in the 1995 event and faced Pittsburgh Nov. 15, 1995. The Buckeyes beat Pitt, 85-50. In the second round of that year’s preseason WNIT, the Buckeyes beat Maine in the second round, 93-64, before falling to Arkansas, 86-80. Then-senior Katie Smith, who is currently a student assistant for the Buckeyes, was named to the 1995 Preseason WNIT All-Tournament team.

Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport and Caity Matter were named to the 2004 Preseason WNIT All-Tournament Team. For the tournament, Davenport averaged 17.8 points, 6.3 boards and 2.5 rebounds per game, while shooting .581 from the field (25-of-43) and making all 21 free throws she attempted. Matter averaged 14.3 points, 3.8 assists and shot .467 (21-of-45) from the field and 7-for-7 from the charity stripe in the four games.

The Buckeyes have set two preseason WNIT team records: 3-pointers in a game and 3-pointers in a tournament.

Ohio State made 13 3-pointers (of 20 attempted) vs. Bowling Green Nov. 12. The previous mark was held by Connecticut, who drained 12 treys vs. Fairfield Nov. 9, 2001. Ohio State was .650 from beyond the arc vs. the Falcons, due primarily to Ashley Allen, who was 5-of-6 from downtown, Caity Matter, who hit 2-of-4, and Michelle Muñoz, who hit both 3-pointers attempted.

The Buckeyes’ 27 3-pointers accumulated during the four preseason WNIT contests beat the previous mark of 23 treys in a tournament set by the University of Arkansas in 1995.

1-1 VS. THE TOP 25
The Buckeyes have split with the two Top 25 teams they have met so far this season. Ohio State earned its first victory of the season over a Top 25 team with a 78-45 victory over then-No. 21/24 Arizona Nov. 17. Ironically, Foster’s first win over a Top 25 team since he took over the helm of the Buckeye program in 2002, was an 84-65 victory over then-No. 19/24 Arizona Dec. 15, 2002 in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes are 5-3 against ranked opponents in Value City Arena since Foster took over the helm of the program.

Three days later, Ohio State dropped its first contest of the season at then-No. 10/11 Notre Dame, 66-62, in the final game of the 2004 Preseason WNIT Nov. 20 in South Bend, Ind.

The Buckeyes beat Saint Joseph’s, 76-29, Nov. 14 in St. John Arena. Under Foster, the 47-point differential is the largest Buckeye margin of victory in St. John Arena. The next closest for a Foster-coach squad was a 43-point victory over Wright State, 88-45, Dec. 18, 2003. Foster’s Buckeye squads are 8-1 in St. John Arena, with the lone loss coming in the NCAA tournament last year in second-round action vs. Boston College.

Besides impressive offensive performances by the Buckeyes, Ohio State’s defense deserves some credit as well. OSU held Saint Joseph’s to 29 points, which is one more than the lowest output by any Buckeye opponent – 28 points by Purdue Feb., 6, 1976. The Buckeyes beat the Boilermakers, 61-28.

The Nov. 12 game vs. BGSU was the earliest start in Buckeye history since dates for games were recorded beginning in the 1974-75 season. The next earliest start was a Nov. 15, 1995 game in the preseason WNIT vs. Pittsburgh.

Senior Caity Matter was listed as one of the Top 5 off-guards in the country and a “Fresh Face To Watch” by Sophomore center Jessica Davenport was an honorable mention pick by for Top 5 centers in the country. Notably, Davenport faced Shawntinice Polk of Arizona Nov. 17 and will face Katie Feenstra of Liberty, as well as Minnesota’s Janel McCarville – all three of whom were in the Top 5.

While most of the women’s basketball team spent time lifting weights, conditioning and playing in the summer leagues in Columbus, one player gained experience of another sort. Jessica Davenport was a member of the 2004 Big Ten Basketball Foreign Tour Team and scored double-digits in all four contests abroad. She averaged 15.0 points and 6.8 boards per outing as a member of the undefeated 12-player roster under the direction of Indiana’s Kathi Bennett. Bennett’s team went 4-0 in Australia during the 11-day trip.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team opened the season tied for ninth place in the preseason USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches’ Poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press poll. Both polls were released the week off Nov. 15. In other preseason rankings, the Buckeyes are No. 6 according to Women’s Basketball News Service, No. 8 in Athlon and No. 13 among Lindy’s rankings.

Ohio State was picked to finish first in the coaches’ Big Ten preseason poll, in front of Michigan State and Minnesota. The media chose Purdue No. 1, the Buckeyes No. 2, and Penn State No. 3. Ohio State was the only squad named in both polls.

Buckeye sophomore center Jessica Davenport, the media’s pick for 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was named a member of both the media and the coaches’ preseason all-conference teams. Davenport averaged 12.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots per game in her rookie campaign.

Katie Smith, a student assistant in the Ohio State women’s basketball office and a former two-time All-American at OSU, was one of the first seven members named to the 2004 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team. Smith represented the U.S. at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and despite suffering an injury in Athens, aided her team in capturing a gold medal – the second overall for Smith. A Logan, Ohio, native, Smith is also a member of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. She is a four-time All-WNBA player and a four-time WNBA All-Star and plans to return to the WNBA in 2005 once she recovers.