Feb. 7, 2003

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No. 25 Ohio State (16-5; 7-3 Big Ten) tips off against Wisconsin (6-15; 4-6 Big Ten) at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, in Value City Arena.

Ohio State leads the all-time series with Wisconsin, 29-14 and captured a 57-42 victory in Madison earlier this season (Jan. 16). The win at the Kohl Center was the Buckeye’s first Big Ten road win under first-year head coach Jim Foster.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team (12-3; 3-1 Big Ten) beat Wisconsin (2-12; 0-4 Big Ten), 57-42, Jan. 16 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. Sophomore Caity Matter scored a career-high 27 points and nailed seven 3-pointers, which tied the Ohio State single-game record held by All-American Katie Smith.

Wisconsin’s biggest lead was a two-point advantage, 4-2, at the 17:33 mark, but Ohio State roared back with a 20-4 scoring run and never trailed again the rest of the evening. Ohio State led 36-20 at halftime due mainly to Matter’s hot shooting from behind the 3-point line. Matter broke her single-game career-high mark in the first 20 minutes by hitting five treys.

Wisconsin’s Emily Ashbaugh was the only bright spot offensively for Wisconsin for the first 10 minutes as she scored the Badgers’ initial 12 points and finished the period with 16 of UW’s total 20 tallies. Ohio State relied on their 16-point cushion in the second half as the Badgers edged Ohio State 22-21 in the final period. Wisconsin’s Lello Gebisa blocked seven shots and scored six second-half points to lead the Badgers, while Ashbaugh added nine and Shawna Nicols scored five points in the second stanza.

Matter also recorded a career-high six rebounds, one assist and one steal. The remainder of the Buckeye scoring was even with freshman Kim Wilburn tying her personal-best mark with eight points, sophomore Ashley Allen and senior Courtney Coleman each added seven points and junior LaToya Turner scored six points. Turner tied her best blocking effort with four rejected shots and tied her career-best record of five steals.

Ohio State, who forced 23 turnovers and only gave the ball over to Wisconsin 13 times, earned 17 steals compared to Wisconsin’s six and outscored them in points off turnovers, 21-8.

Ashbaugh was the leading scorer for the Badgers with 23 points. UW recorded 10 blocked shots.

Wisconsin is 6-15 overall and 4-6 in conference competition. While the Badgers began their season by dropping 12 of their first 14 games, they have won four of the last seven contests. Among their recent victories, Wisconsin captured a 69-59 win vs. Illinois, a 69-58 victory at Indiana, a 66-49 win at Northwestern and a home victory over Michigan (68-56).

Ashley Josephson, a 5-8 freshman guard, was starting for the Badgers until she was sidelined before the Northwestern game Jan. 30.

UW is relying on an even scoring effort this season. Stephanie Rich leads the pack with 11.7 points an outing and Lello Gebisa, Emily Ashbaugh, and Ashley Josephson are averaging 10.0, 9.6 and 8.7 points per game, respectively. Rich also leads the squad in steals (48) and assists (61). Lello Gebisa and Ashbaugh are the power on the boards for Wisconsin with 6.3 and 5.9 rebounds per contest, respectively. A 6-7 center and the tallest player to ever compete for Wisconsin, Lello Gebisa has 46 blocked shots on the year.

Jane Albright is the winningest coach in Wisconsin’s 28-year history and has put together eight straight winning seasons in as many years at the helm of the Badger basketball program. Among the eight winning season, four of those were 20-win seasons and seven included postseason play.

Albright earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in her first season at Wisconsin. That year, Wisconsin was 20-9 and received the program’s second-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.

A four-time conference coach of the year in the Big Ten and both the North Star and Mid-Continent conferences, Albright is a native of Graham, N.C., and graduated cum laude in health and physical education from Appalachian State University in 1977, where she was a letterwinner in both basketball and volleyball.

Making a name for herself in the steals category this season, freshman Kim Wilburn is now showing her offensive side. The Southfield, Mich., native went 8-for 10 and upped her career-high mark for points with 18 against No. 15/16 Minnesota Feb. 6. Her previous best offensive performance was 15 points against Illinois Jan. 23 off a 7-for-11 night from the field. The rookie Buckeye point guard is averaging six points per game.

Senior Courtney Coleman is not only the leader for Division I women in field-goal percentage, but her .728 (131-180) average also leads the Division I men. The next closest woman is Vanderbilt’s Chantelle Anderson, who owns a .659 percentage, and the second-ranked man is Belmont’s Adam Mark with a .667 average. The 6-1 forward from Cincinnati currently holds the top spot in Ohio State history with a .610 (543-890) career field-goal percentage.

Three of freshman Kim Wilburn’s career-best 18 points against No. 15/16 Minnesota Feb. 6 came at the buzzer before the half when she nailed her first 3-pointer while wearing the Scarlet and Gray. Her trey brought the Buckeyes to within four points at the midway mark and Ohio State eventually captured the victory over the Gophers 66-58.

After their 66-58 win over No. 15/16 Minnesota, Ohio State moved to 11-0 overall in Columbus. That home mark is the best for a Buckeye squad since the 1992-93 team went 16-0 and defended St. John Arena.

So, how have they done it? First year head coach Jim Foster and his coaching staff have been perfect in Columbus by beating: Wayne State (100-57), then-No. 19/24 Arizona (84-65), Virginia (73-60), Youngstown State (76-45), Austin Peay (76-60), Northwestern (82-49), then-No. 17/18 Texas (70-66), Michigan State (70-65), Illinois (82-74), Iowa (74-59) and No. 15/16 Minnesota (66-58).

Sophomore Ashley Allen earned a career-best five steals in the Buckeyes’ 66-58 victory over No. 15/16 Minnesota Feb. 6. Allen’s previous high was three swipes, which she had earned three different times, including the last time against Austin Peay in Value City Arena Dec. 29, 2002.

Despite suffering two losses on the road at Penn State and Purdue last week, Ohio State remained in the Associated Press Top 25 rankings this week at the No. 25 spot. This is the third week this season that head coach Jim Foster’s squad has been in the Top 25. They debuted at No. 23 Jan. 6 after a 70-66 victory over then-No. 17/18 Texas Jan. 5 in St. John Arena. That ranking was a first for an Ohio State squad since Jan. 25, 1999. The Buckeyes jumped back into the Associated Press Top 25 rankings last week at the No. 23 spot.

Today’s game against the Badgers will honor the 17th annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day, which was Feb. 5. The Day was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1986 to honor female athletic achievement and recognize the importance of sports and fitness participation for all girls and women. As part of today’s festivities, many Ohio State female sports will be represented by student-athletes from each group, who will sign autographs prior to tip off.

Freshman Kim Wilburn is on her way to owning the record for steals by a Buckeye freshman. The Southfield, Mich., native has earned 64 total steals 20 games into her rookie campaign. Martha Baker holds the record for steals by a Buckeye freshman with 71, which was set during the 1975-76 season.

Despite not earning one steal against No. 15/16 Minnesota, Wilburn still ranks first for conference games with 3.9 steals per game. Entering the Gopher game, Wilburn was averaging 4.33 steals an outing, which was more than one steal better than the second-ranked player.

Wilburn ranks third in all games among Big Ten leaders with 3.05 swipes per game.

The Ohio State defense is making things happen. They are holding teams to a league-leading 57.0 points per game and Big Ten opponents are only scoring 57.8 point an outing during conference contests, which is also at the top of the Big Ten leaders list.

The Buckeyes are ranked second in the league with a .500 (571-1143) shooting average. They are one of two teams making at least half the shots they take per outing.

In conference games, sophomore Ashley Allen ranks second with a 1.64 assist-to-turnover ratio. Allen has racked up 84 total assists in 21 games this season compared to her freshman campaign, when she earned 53 total assists in 29 contests.

Ohio State is shooting .391 (110-281) from behind the 3-point line this season. The percentage ranks second among Big Ten schools. Sophomore Caity Matter, who is ranked sixth with 15.8 points per game, is largely responsible for the Buckeyes’ hot hand from downtown. She leads the league in treys made per game (3.29) and shooting percentage from behind the arc (.483 – 69-143). Additionally, in conference games, Matter is one of two players that hits over half of the 3-pointers she attempts. Matter is ranked second in conference contests, with a .527 shooting average from 3-point territory.

Matter’s contributions are not too surprising considering she holds the top spot in 3-point percentage among the Buckeye career record books with an overall .453 (87-192) stroke.

Ohio State opponents have a tough task at hand to maintain possession of the ball vs. the Buckeyes, who are tied for first with Illinois in Big Ten competitions with 11.30 steals per game. To put it in perspective, the third ranked squad averages 9.5 steals an outing.

Ohio State, who began with a bit of a struggle in the turnover category, has traded in their turnovers woes for a second-place turnover margin ranking in the conference games with a +3.70 mark. The Buckeye are averaging 15.9 turnovers an outing and forcing Big Ten teams to give up the ball 19.6 times per contest.

Junior Erika Christenson contributed solid minutes at No. 9/10 Purdue and recorded one blocked shot, two points (2-for-2 from free-throw line) and two rebounds in nine minutes of play vs. the Boilermakers.

Against No. 15/16 Minnesota, Christenson played 10 minutes and grabbed two boards.

Sophomore Ashley Allen, who stands at 5-feet-nine-inches tall, has recorded a blocked shots in six games this season.

Freshman Kim Wilburn has proven she belongs at the point of the Ohio State offense with a 1.67 assist-to-turnover ratio in 21 games, including 16 starts, for the Buckeyes. Her ratio is ranked third among league leaders.

Sophomore Caity Matter earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors for her performances at Wisconsin (Jan. 16) and at Northwestern (Jan. 19). Matter was a combined 12-for-21 (.571) from behind the 3-point line, averaged 25.0 points, 5.5 boards and had only one turnover in a total 63 minutes of play. Matter’s award marked the first time since Nov. 20, 2000, that an Ohio State player was named Big Ten Player of the Week when teammate LaToya Turner earned the honor as a freshman.

Some notes about the Buckeye’s 16-5 start:
* The Buckeyes’ 15-5 start is the best since the 1992-93 season, when Ohio State went 18-3 in the first 21 games of the year.

* Since the NCAA began keeping statistics during the 1981-82 season, Jim Foster’s 16-5 record is the best start for a first-year head coach since Nancy Darsch went 17-4 in 1985-86 in her first 21 games during her first season at the helm of the Buckeye program.

* The Buckeyes’ 7-3 Big Ten record is the best conference beginning for an Ohio State team since the 1998-99 season when the team was also 7-3 10 games into the Big Ten portion of their schedule.

* The last time an Ohio State team was 11-0 at home was during the 1992-93 season.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 3-2 vs. ranked teams this season. Ohio State beat No. 15/16 Minnesota, 66-58, (Feb. 6), captured a win over then-No. 17/18 Texas, 70-66, Jan. 5 in St. John Arena, and was victorious over then-No. 19/24 Arizona (84-65) Dec. 15 in Value City Arena. The squad fell at No. 14/15 Penn State Jan. 30 (68-53) and at No. 9/10 Purdue (67-62) Feb. 2.

Senior DiDi Reynolds is an impressive 24-25 from the free-throw line this season.

The Bascom, Ohio, native has steadily improved over her four years. As a freshman, the shooting guard shot .688 (11-16), her second season she was .765 (26-34) from the charity stripe and last year, she was .841 (37-44) from the line.

In addition to DiDi Reynolds, sophomore Caity Matter is also a nearly flawless 33-36 on the year from the charity stripe. Her freshman year (2000-01), the Bluffton, Ohio, native was 22-for-25 from the line and ended the year with eight consecutive makes from the line, which extended her total consecutive free-throws made to 31 until she missed the last free throw she took against Michigan State Jan. 9.

Matter missed a stretch of 16 games her freshman campaign due to injury and came back to help the Buckeyes capture the 2001 WNIT Championship. She redshirted last season after she fractured her third metatarsal during a Nov. 11 practice.

In the 82-74 victory over Illinois Jan. 23, Ohio State relied on the even scoring force of five Buckeyes notching double-figures for the first time this season. Senior Courtney Coleman, sophomore Caity Matter, freshman Kim Wilburn, sophomore Ashley Allen and junior LaToya Turner scored 18, 16, 15, 10 and 10 points, respectively.

In two consecutive games at Northwestern (Jan. 16) and vs. Illinois (Jan. 23), senior forward Courtney Coleman did not miss a field goal. She was 5-for-5 in Evanston and 7-for-7 against the Illini.

Ohio State’s attendance of 6,389 against Iowa in Value City Arena Jan. 26 shattered the season-high mark for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is averaging 3,006 people at all games, 2,899 in Columbus and 3,454 on the road.

Sophomore Caity Matter, who has a total of 66 3-pointers 20 games into her sophomore season, has earned the record for the most 3-pointers drained by a sophomore in Ohio State history. Former teammate Lauren Shenk held the previous record with 51 shots hit beyond the arc during her sophomore campaign in 1999-00.

Junior LaToya Turner is ranked third in the Big Ten with 1.65 blocked shots an outing. Turner’s career mark of 106 rejected shots ranks fourth on the Buckeye record books.

Ohio State is one of five conference teams that owns a positive margin of victory. The Buckeyes possess a +13.6 margin of victory, which ranks third in the Big Ten.

Ohio State’s +4.7 rebounding margin is ranked third in the league. Michigan State, who holds a +10.2 average over its opponents, holds the top spot among conference squads. Notably, the Buckeyes outrebounded the Spartans in their first contest of the season against MSU, 32-22, Jan. 9 in Value City Arena.

Sophomore Caity Matter was unstoppable behind the 3-point line at Wisconsin. She scored 27 points and nailed seven treys. Seven makes from downtown ties the school single-game record, which is held by former All-American Katie Smith.

Two times this season the Buckeyes have accomplished something that no member of the team had ever experienced before. The team’s road win at Wisconsin (57-42) Jan. 16 and the 82-74 victory over Illinois Jan. 23 was a first for this set of Buckeyes. No member of the current Ohio State team had previously earned a victory in Madison or a victory over Illinois – home or away.

Sophomore Caity Matter has made her way into Ohio State history in only 38 games wearing Scarlet and Gray. During the 2000-01 season, Matter was a starter until an injury caused her to miss a stretch of 16 games. She averaged 6.4 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field, 37 percent from three-point range and 88 percent from the free-throw line.

After fracturing her third metatarsal in her left foot during practice Nov. 11, 2001, Matter was granted a medical redshirt for the 2001-02 season.

Seniors DiDi Reynolds and D’wan Shackleford are coming off the bench for the Buckeyes this season and the two veterans are combining for 12.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Lauren Shenk, a former women’s basketball player at Ohio State, has been named the 2003 Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete Award recipient by The University & Northwest Sertoma Club of Columbus. The Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete Award is given to the outstanding man and woman in each of the three collegiate divisions for demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics and community service. Shenk, a standout on the Ohio State squad from 1999-02, is the first women from Ohio State to win the award. Previous Buckeye award winners are football players Robert Hoying (1996) and Greg Smith (1993).

Shenk became the 20th member of the Ohio State 1,000-point scoring club with a 16-point effort against the University of Michigan Jan. 10, 2002. Shenk, who began studies last autumn at the OSU College of Medicine, was a 2002 Big Ten Medal of Honor Finalist, a two-time Verizon/CoSIDA Women’s Basketball District IV Academic All-American, a GTE/CoSIDA Women’s Basketball District IV Academic All-American, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a four-time OSU Scholar Athlete.

European Tour
The Buckeyes were 5-0 against French and Swiss opponents during their 12-day tour through Europe. While abroad, the Buckeyes held a 28-point scoring margin of victory, averaged 74.4 points per game and held opponents to 45.8 points per contest on their way to an undefeated record overseas.

Courtney Coleman and LaToya Turner paced the Buckeyes abroad with an average of 15.6 and 14.6 points an outing, respectively. Sophomore Ashley Allen showed her versatility by running the point, dishing out assists and averaging 8.6 points per game, including a 16-point effort against Martigny (Switzerland). Allen also earned five assists, four steals and two rebounds in the Martigny victory.

Senior Courtney Coleman was named the captain for the Ohio State women’s basketball team this season. The senior forward has made her mark on the Ohio State record books and is leading the nation in field-goal percentage.

Senior Courtney Coleman was named to the Coors Classic all-tournament team. Coleman was solid offensively for Jim Foster’s Buckeyes by scoring 17 and 18 points against Villanova (Nov. 29) and Hartford (Nov. 30), respectively. The two-time second team all-Big Ten selection shot 16-for-18 from the field, was 3-for-4 from the free-throw line and collected 10 rebounds over the two nights. This was Coleman’s fourth time in as many events to be named to the all-tournament team. Coleman was a member of the Great Alaska Shootout, WNIT and Women’s Sports Foundation Classic all-tournament teams.

Junior Emily Haynam became a two-sport athlete when she joined the OSU soccer team as a goalkeeper last spring. Haynam was successful on the soccer field and garnered Big Ten Player of the Week honors for her shutout performances at Wisconsin (Oct. 18) and at Minnesota (Oct. 20). The Buckeye soccer team was defeated by Notre Dame, 3-1, in the first round of the program’s inaugural trip to the NCAA Tournament and went 10-11-1 for the season. Ohio State was 6-3 with Haynam in goal.

Crews Out Indefinitely
Unfortunately, the European trip came at a cost as sophomore Charisse Crews suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in her right knee while competing abroad with the Buckeyes during their trip through Europe. Crews went down Aug. 30 in Montreux, Switzerland, against Martigny (OSU’s third game of the trip) during the third quarter after scoring seven points that night. Crews underwent surgery in September and is out indefinitely.

Back in Action
Three Buckeye players return to the hardwood after being granted medical redshirts for the 2001-02 season – junior LaToya Turner, sophomore Caity Matter and freshman Brandee Gibbs. Additionally, junior Tanya McClure was granted a medical redshirt for the 2000-01 season and was injured the majority of the 2001-02 season.

The No. 25 Ohio State women’s basketball team (16-5, 7-3 Big Ten) upset No. 15/16 Minnesota (16-4, 5-4 Big Ten), 66-58, tonight in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes used a late scoring run to capture the win over the Gophers and moved to 16-5 overall, 7-3 in Big Ten play and a perfect 11-0 home record. Their home mark is the best for a Buckeye squad since the 1992-93 team went 16-0 in St. John Arena. Senior forward Courtney Coleman and freshman point guard Kim Wilburn each added 18 points and sophomore guard Caity Matter added 14 scores to lead the Buckeyes.

With 12:36 to go in the game, Coleman hit a layup for the fourth tie of the game at 39. While no player scored for nearly two-and-a-half minutes, the Buckeyes began inching their way past the Gophers and eventually went on a 22-6 scoring run to cap their biggest lead of the night at 16 points after a Matter layup. Coleman scored eight points and Matter tallied five during the Buckeyes’ decisive scoring sequence to close the contest.

Neither the Buckeyes nor the Gophers took complete control of the first half as there were two ties and four lead changes in the initial 20 minutes. The Buckeyes found themselves up by four points (10-6) after a Matter 3-pointer three minutes into the contest, but Minnesota answered with a 13-4 run behind Janel McCarville, who racked up nine boards and nine points in the first half. The Gophers entered halftime with a four point-lead after Ohio State’s Wilburn drained her first 3-pointer while wearing Scarlet and Gray at the buzzer. The Southfield, Mich., native had 12 points in the first half.

Coleman, who is leading the nation in field-goal percentage, was 7-of-8 and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Wilburn’s career-best 18 points came of an 8-for-10 stroke from the field and she also added seven assists. Matter, who was leading the Big Ten with 3-pointer made per game entering tonight’s matchup, hit her final two treys at opportune times for the Buckeyes. She pulled her squad to within three points with 17:13 left and eventually sent Ohio State up by 10, which was the first double-digit lead of the game for either team, with 3:55 left on the game clock.

Sophomore Ashley Allen and junior LaToya Turner added seven points apiece. Allen swiped a career-high five steals tonight.

Minnesota’s Lindsey Whalen, who was ranked second in the Big Ten with 22.6 points per game, was held to two points in the first half and five tallies overall. McCarville earned her 11th career double-double with 15 points and 12 caroms. Corrin Von Wald scored 12 points and Shannon Schonrock added nine points for Minnesota.