Nov. 24, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

No. 14/17 Ohio State tips off against the UNC Wilmington Seahawks at 7 p.m. Nov. 25 in Value City Arena. This is the first meeting between the two squads.

(2-0; 0-0 Big Ten)
(0-1; 0-0 CAA)

Tuesday, Nov. 25 – 7 p.m. EST
Value City Arena (19,200), Columbus, Ohio

Overall Series – First Meeting
Series at OSU- First Meeting

WOSU 820 AM/
Marty Bannister and Alysiah Bond

Ohio State
G 11 – Kim Wilburn, 5-6, So.
G 25 – Caity Matter, 5-9, Jr.
G 01 – Brandie Hoskins, 5-9, Fr.
C 50 – Jessica Davenport, 6-5, Fr.
F 33 – Michelle Muoz, 6-0, So.

UNC Wilmington
F 42 – Lindsay Isom, 5-11, So.
F 44 – Cherie Lea, 5-9, Sr.
C 12 – Tracy Morgan, 6-0, Sr.
G 03 – Denise Lawrence, 5-9, Fr.
G 32 – Jennifer Kapper, 5-7, Sr.

UNC Wilmington opened it season Sunday, Nov. 23, with a 77-56 loss to Loyola Marymount at home. Senior guard Cheri Lea, the 2003 Colonial Athletic Association’s Preseason Player of the Year, scored 22 points and five boards for UNCW. Jennifer Kapper, who was UNCW’s next leading scorer with nine points, hit a 3-pointer early in the game to pull the Seahawks to within one point (9-8), but Loyola Marymount went on to score 11 unanswered points and cruise to the victory, leading by as many as 27 points in the second half. The Seahawks suffered an 88-74 loss to Premier Players, which was the only exhibition game of the season for UNC Wilmington. Premier Players used a 16-2 run midway through the second half to solidify the win. Shannon Presswood led UNC Wilmington with 14 points, while Tracy Morgan dominated the boards for the Seahawks with eight rebounds.

Three starters return for head coach Ann Hancock after a 22-6 mark last season and a third-place finish in the Colonial Athletic Association (14-4). Among the returnees, Lea was named to the CAA first team last season.

Ann Hancock, who has been the head coach at UNC Wilmington for three seasons, was named the 2002-03 CAA Coach of the Year after a 22-6 campaign that saw 12 school records go by the wayside. Hancock, a native of Elizabethtown, N.C., served as an assistant coach for eight seasons prior to her appointment at UNC Wilmington. A standout student-athlete at Wingate (N.C.) University, Hancock owns a 47-40 career record as a head coach and made it to the finals of the 2002 CAA Tournament.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) beat Florida A&M (0-0, 0-0 MEAC), 71-56, Sunday afternoon. The win extended the current Ohio State home winning streak, which began with two wins at the end of the 2001-02 season, to 18 consecutive victories in Columbus. Freshman Jessica Davenport earned a double-double with 23 points (7-of-11 FG; 9-of-14 FT), which led all scorers, and 12 rebounds. Davenport also blocked four shots and for the second time in as many games was the only player for either squad to block at least one shot. Caity Matter also added 21 points (8-of-16 FG; 5-of-12 3FG) and Brandie Hoskins tallied 10 scores (5-of-7) to aid the Buckeye effort.

Ohio State and Florida A&M traded buckets in the first minute to tie the game at two, but it took just over four minutes for either team to score again. Florida A&M’s Tene’ Miller nailed a 3-pointer at 15:50 to break the scoring drought and send the Lady Rattlers up 5-2. Ohio State and Florida A&M continued to hover around a less than six-point difference (three lead changes and two ties) between the two teams during the next six minutes. The Buckeyes used a 14-4 scoring run, which included three treys by Matter, to close out the first half and secure a 16-point lead (33-17) at the midway mark.

Florida A&M’s Dierdre Tyus opened the second half with a 3-pointer, which brought her team to within 13, but that differential would prove to be the closest the Lady Rattlers would get to the Buckeyes for the remainder of the contest. A Davenport layup at the 17:23 mark began a 16-7 scoring run in favor of Ohio State, which gave the Buckeyes their largest lead of the game – a 26-point advantage (55-29) – with 11:31 to play. Florida A&M’s Yolanda Dixon snapped a 3:31 scoring drought by the Lady Rattlers with a free throw at 10:35 (55-30) and led a 14-3 scoring run with an additional jumper, three 3-pointers and a Kim Watson layup, to pull the game to within 15 points (58-43). Ohio State maintained its double-digit lead in the final minutes, using two 3-pointers by Matter sandwiched around a fast-break Stephanie Blanton layup assisted by Matter, and secured the victory for second-year head coach Jim Foster.

Blanton, sophomore Michelle Muoz and sophomore Kim Wilburn scored seven, five and four points, respectively. Notably, Blanton pulled down 11 rebounds and tallied four assists and Wilburn distributed five assists. Additionally, junior guard Beth Howe earned a career-best three steals and Ashley Allen played her first minutes since suffering a season-ending injury at Illinois last February. She garnered four assists.

Florida A&M was led by Dixon, who scored 19 points, and Watson, who grabbed nine caroms.

The game vs. UNC Wilmington is the first in Ohio State program history. The Buckeyes faced Florida A&M for the first time in program history Sunday and play three additional teams a Buckeye squad has never faced before later this season – IUPUI, Wright State and UC Santa Barbara.

Look for a good match-up in the paint between Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport, who is 6-5, and UNCW’s Shannon Presswood, who stands at 6-4. Davenport is averaging 3.0 blocked shots per game and Presswood tallied three rejected shots in the team’s first game vs. Loyola Marymount Sunday.

Junior Ashley Allen, who had been sidelined with a knee injury suffered in February last season at Illinois, returned to action vs. Florida A&M. The guard from Indianapolis, who had started for the Buckeyes until the Illini game last year, tallied 12 minutes, one point, two rebounds and four assists vs. the Lady Rattlers.

The Buckeyes continued their unbeaten home record vs. Florida A&M. Under Jim Foster, Ohio State is 16-0 in Columbus dating back to the beginning of the 2002-03 season. Additionally, the current Buckeye win streak is 18 consecutive games, dating back to the final two games of the 2001-02 season.

Freshman Jessica Davenport earned her first double-double as a Buckeye vs. Florida A&M. Davenport tallied 23 points and 12 rebounds and four blocked shots off a 7-of-11 day from the field and an 9-of-14 stroke from the charity stripe. Notably, Davenport’s 14 free throw attempts vs. Florida A&M tied an Ohio State VCA record set by Courtney Coleman vs. Indiana Jan. 31, 2002.

The Buckeyes have been spreading out the scoring duties during the first two games. Against Ohio, four Buckeye players scored in double digits; Jessica Davenport, Brandie Hoskins, Caity Matter and Kim Wilburn and tallied 15, 13, 17 and 15 points, respectively. Three Buckeye players scored in double digits vs. Florida A&M; Matter, Davenport and Hoskins tallied 21, 23, and 10 points, respectively.

For the second consecutive game, Davenport was the only player on either team to record at least one blocked shot. She had two vs. Ohio and four vs. Florida A&M. Davenport, who stands at 6-5, averaged 5.1 blocks as a senior at Columbus Independence High School.

Three Seahawks have Ohio ties. Tracy Morgan, a senior forward for the Seahawks and a graduate of Oak Hills High School, hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. Jennifer Kapper, a senior guard, and Bethany Stranges, a freshman forward, also have Ohio roots. Kapper and Stranges hail from Waynesville, Ohio, and St. Clairsville, Ohio, respectively.

Additionally, UNC Wilmington’s Megan Samis, a freshman from Oklahoma City, Okla., and Ohio State’s assistant athletics communications director for women’s basketball, Lauren Price, attended the same 400-person high school in the Sooner state. Samis is the niece of current Lamar head coach and former University of Oklahoma men’s basketball head coach, Billy Tubbs.

D’wan Shackleford, a senior on last year’s Ohio State basketball team, moved her game from the basketball court to the volleyball court this year. After exhausting her hoops eligibility, Shack, a Newark, Ohio, native, decided to try her hand at volleyball. The 2003 Buckeyes are 10-16 overall under head coach Jim Stone and have two more regular season contests at Iowa and at Minnesota.

Senior center LaToya Turner will miss the game vs. Florida A&M Sunday due to injury. Turner, the 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is expected to make a full recovery within the next few weeks.

WNBA Minnesota Lynx forward Tamika Williams and Erin Wright were named assistant coach and director of basketball operations, respectively, for the Ohio State women’s basketball program over the summer. A student assistant for the Buckeyes last season, Williams’ primary duties will include on-the-floor coaching and recruiting responsibilities and Wright, who served as the director of basketball operations for two seasons at Vanderbilt under Foster, will be managing the day-to-day operations of Buckeye basketball, including travel, camp and schedule coordination.

Buckeye fans, tune to WOSU 820 AM for complete coverage of all Buckeye basketball games this season. Marty Bannister will replace Herb Howenstine, who moved to Texas last summer, as the play-by-play announcer. Color commentary duties will be shared by a trio of former Ohio State players in Alysiah Bond (1992-95), Toni Roesch (1983-86) and Kristin Watt (1982-85).

Freshmen Stephanie Blanton, Jessica Davenport and Brandie Hoskins will be sporting Scarlet and Gray this year. Stephanie Blanton, the 2003 Dispatch/Agonis Club Co-Player of the Year, averaged 23.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks at Lancaster (Ohio) High School. Davenport, a 2003 McDonald’s All-American, averaged 17.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.1 blocks, 2.3 assists and shot 64 percent from the field last year at Independence (Columbus) High School. Hoskins, the 2003 Division II All-Ohio Player of the Year, tallied an average of 15.9 points and 6.0 rebounds at Chaminade-Julienne.

Tia Battle, a junior transfer from Vanderbilt University, also will join the Ohio State women’s basketball team this season. A six-foot guard/forward from Plymouth, Minn., she spent two seasons with the Commodores and started in 16-of-30 games, averaging 5.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 18.5 minutes per game last year. A 2001 Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year and 2000 NIKE All-American, Battle also was a three-time Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-America selection. Battle will sit out the 2003-04 campaign per NCAA transfer requirements, but will have two years of eligibility remaining when she begins competing with the Buckeyes next season.

Senior Courtney Coleman left huge marks on the Ohio State program last year. She was named a regional NCAA Division I Kodak/WBCA Honorable Mention pick and earned sports on both the coaches and media 2003 Second Team All-Big Ten squads last year. Coleman, who entered the Ohio State 1,000-point club Feb. 13, 2002 at Illinois, is the best shooter in Ohio State history with a .603 (596-988) average from the field and accumulated a total of 1,540 points, which ranks ninth among Buckeye leaders. The team’s captain last year, she averaged 14.1 points and 6.7 rebounds. A three-time second-team all-conference selection, Coleman was ranked first nationally last season in the category of field-goal percentage and won the title with a .662 (184-278) mark. Among Buckeye career leaders, Coleman is ranked fifth with 771 career rebounds and is tied for the 13th spot in Buckeye history with 146 total steals.

Then-senior Courtney Coleman, then-sophomore Caity Matter and then-freshman Kim Wilburn were honored with All-Big Ten accolades last season. Coleman, a forward, was named to both the coaches and media all-league second teams. Matter, a guard, earned a spot on the media’s second-team and was named a coaches’ third-team selection. Wilburn, a point guard, was on the Coaches’ All-Freshman Team and also earned an honorable-mention all-conference nod from the media.

Two Buckeyes were honored for their play over the three days of the 2003 Big Ten Tournament. Then-sophomore Caity Matter, who averaged 16.7 points over the three games, and then-freshman Kim Wilburn, who averaged 13.3 points and 6.7 assists, were both named to the 2003 All-Tournament Team. The two were major factors in No. 4-seed Ohio State’s run to the title game of the Big Ten Tournament, including a victory over top-seeded Penn State.

Point guard Kim Wilburn set two new records among Ohio State freshmen leaders last season. The Southfield, Mich., native distributed seven assists vs. Weber State and became the record holder for assists by an Ohio State freshman. Wilburn’s 168 dishes took the place of Jamie Lewis, who distributed 159 assists during the 1997-98 season. Wilburn also accumulated 92 steals last year, including two at Minnesota Feb. 16, which earned her the record for steals by an Ohio State freshman. Martha Baker previously owned the mark for most steals by a rookie Buckeye with 71, which was set during the 1975-76 season. Additionally, Wilburn led the Big Ten with 2.88 swipes per game last season.

Two times during the 2002-03 regular season the Buckeyes hosted games in historic St. John Arena and the tradition will continue this season. The Dec. 18 contest against Wright State and the Feb. 19 Northwestern game will both be held in the former long-time home of Buckeye hoops. Additionally, Ohio State and St. John Arena will play host to the 2004 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship First- and Second-Round Games March 20 and 22. Tickets for all women’s basketball games and for all other Ohio State athletics events can be purchased at or by calling 1-800-GOBUCKS.

Last season, Ohio State faced then-No. 17/18 Texas Jan. 5 and Big Ten foe Michigan Feb. 27 in St. John. Ohio State beat the Longhorns, 70-66, and wrapped up the regular-season portion of their schedule with a 70-55 victory over the Wolverines.