Dec. 13, 2004

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The No. 6/10 Ohio State women’s basketball team (8-1; 0-0 Big Ten) takes on Penn (3-5; 0-0 Ivy League) at noon Monday at The Palestra in Philadelphia.

Penn is 3-5 overall with victories vs. Northeastern, La Salle and Saint Joseph’s. Losses for Penn have come vs. Colorado, Maryland, Villanova, Temple and Marist.

The scoring for the Quakers is spread out evenly with six player averaging at least 6.3 points per game. Karen Habrukowich and Jennifer Fleischer are leading the pack with averages of 8.4 and 8.3 points per outing, respectively.

The Buckeyes are 2-0 all-time vs. Penn. The two squads met last season in the Buckeye Classic in Columbus. Ohio State won, 95-54, and won the event. Penn beat Dayton in game one to advance to the title game.

The first game of the series was a neutral-site contest in the Gator Classic Dec. 29, 1993. The Buckeyes beat the Quakers, 82-63.

Ohio State and Penn have never met in Philadelphia.

In the final game of the 2003 Wonder/Hostess Buckeye Classic, Ohio State beat Penn, 95-54, Nov. 21 in Value City Arena. Brandie Hoskins was named the most valuable player of the event after an impressive 10-of-12 performance for a career-high 22 points, four assists, one steal and only two turnovers vs. Penn in the title game. Buckeyes Jessica Davenport and Michelle Muñoz were named to the all-tournament team.

Hoskins and Davenport combined for a great first half and gave the Buckeyes a 17-point lead (47-30) at halftime. Ohio State continued the momentum into the final 20 minutes when they opened the second half with a 20-4 scoring run and took a 69-34 lead with 12:53 to play. Quaker Jewel Clark, who was also a member of the all-tournament squad, swished a bucket with 4:07 to go that brought her squad to within 30 (82-52), but that would prove to be the closest Penn would get the remainder of the game. The Buckeyes outscored the Quakers 48-24 in the second half.

Ohio State slowly built a 10-point lead (21-11) over the first seven minutes of play, but a 12-2 run that began at the 8:34 mark off a LaToya Turner layup and ending with a Davenport jumper at the 5:01 mark, sent Ohio State up 41-19 with five minutes to go in the half. Ohio State maintained that lead and held a 47-30 advantage over the Quakers heading into the locker room at halftime.

For the first time last season, five Ohio State players scored in double digits led by Hoskins with 22 and Davenport with 20. Caity Matter had 12 and Kim Wilburn notched 10 points. Turner tallied her eighth career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Others adding to Ohio State’s hot shooting from the floor (.632) included Muñoz, Beth Howe, Emily Haynam and Candace Dark, who scored seven, six, six and two points, respectively. As a team, the Buckeyes tied their season-low mark with 14 turnovers.

Penn was led by Clark with 22 points and Jennifer Fleischer with 13 points.

The No. 6/10 Ohio State women’s basketball team (8-1; 0-0 Big Ten) beat Nebraska (6-3; 0-0 Big 12), 86-61, in front of a season-high home attendance of 3,344 Dec. 11 at Value City Arena. Jessica Davenport and Caity Matter led all scorers with season-high marks of 26 and 25 points, respectively. Brandie Hoskins also had a season-best 15 points and seven assists.

In the initial 20 minutes of play, the Buckeyes hovered around a single-digit lead. Matter sank two free throws at 5:06 to give Ohio State its first double-digit advantage, 23-13, of the game. Nebraska’s Jelena Spiric answered with a layup to bring the game back to eight points at 4:52. The Buckeyes went on a 10-0 run over the next three-and-a-half minutes to go up 33-15 with just over one minute until halftime. The biggest first-half Buckeye lead was 19 points, 36-17, with 11 seconds left. Ohio State held a 36-19 edge at the break.

The Buckeyes extended their advantage to 50-30 off a Hoskins fast-break layup at the 15:22 mark of the second half. Nebraska used a 9-0 run to pull the game to within nine with just under seven minutes to play. Nebraska’s Kiera Hardy hit a layup and a 3-pointer for the five-consecutive points of the nine-score run. Ohio State outscored the Huskers 23-7 to end the game and secure the 25-point victory, 86-61.

Ohio State, the nation’s top-shooting team, was 33-for-51 from the field for a .647 average. The Buckeyes, who entered the game as the Big Ten’s top shooting squad from 3-point land, were held to 25 percent (2-of-8) in the first half from downtown, but turned it around by making all five treys in the second half and ended with a .538 (7-of-13) mark for the game.

Kiera Hardy led Nebraska with 22 points and Jessica Gerhart scored 13.

Stephanie Blanton had eight points, Kim Wilburn tallied five points and four assists and Michelle Muñoz and Ashley Allen has four and three points, respectively. Davenport had four blocked shots and a game-best nine rebounds. Muñoz dished out three assists.

Buckeye head coach Jim Foster feels right at home in Philadelphia. Foster spent 12 years at the helm of the Saint Joseph’s program from 1978-91. A native of Cheltenham, Pa., Foster went to Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philly and graduated from Temple.

Ohio State assistant coach Kelley Meury is a graduate of Saint Joseph’s and began her coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Hawks under Foster. Meury is originally from Camp Hill, Pa., and attended Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Jim Foster’s coaching career began at Bishop McDevitt High School. Penn’s head coach Patrick Knapp also coached at the same time at Bishop McDevitt, however the two mentors were coaching different basketball teams in the same school.

In games played in December, Ohio state head coach Jim Foster is 14-3 overall and 3-0 this season while at the helm of the Buckeye program.

Caity Matter needs four 3-pointers to take over the No. 1 spot in the Ohio State record book for career treys. Matter went 5-for-6 vs. Nebraska Dec. 11 and upped her career total to 215 treys. 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.

Senior Caity Matter hit a season-high five (of six attempted) treys vs. Nebraska Dec. 11. Until the game vs. the Cornhuskers, Matter had not connected on a 3-point field goal since 2:55 remaining in the first half of the Ohio game (Dec. 1).

Against Nebraska Dec. 11, Jessica Davenport, Caity Matter and Brandie Hoskins hit season-high marks of 26, 25 and 15 points, respectively. Davenport’s previous season-high was 23 points vs. Notre Dame Nov. 20. Matter’s high was 20 scores and Hoskins had previously notched 14 points vs. Arizona Nov. 17.

Hoskins also had a season record with seven assists. She accumulated six helpers vs. the Wildcats Nov. 17. Davenport’s 12 field goals was a new season-high and her 14 attempts from the field tied her previous season-best mark (set vs. Yale Nov. 27). The most field goals for Davenport this year was eight against Yale and Bradley in back-to-back Buckeye Classic games Nov. 27 and 28.

Sophomore Stephanie Blanton was 1-for-1 for 3-pointers in the game against Nebraska Dec. 11, giving her an 8-of-13 mark on the season. Blanton connected on just four 3-pointers all of last year.

The Buckeyes, who entered the Dec. 11 Nebraska game as the Big Ten’s top shooting squad from 3-point land, were held to only .250 (2-of-8) in the first half from downtown, but turned it around in the second half by hitting all five treys attempted. OSU finished with a .538 (7-of-13) mark for the game from 3-point land. Ohio State has shot 50 percent or better from beyond the arc in six-of-nine games this year.

Ohio State’s win over then-No. 21/24 Arizona Nov. 17 in Columbus gave head coach Jim Foster win No. 550 and the victory at Dayton Dec. 4 gave him win No. 50 while at Ohio State. Foster is 555-246 overall in 27 years of collegiate coaching and 51-21 in three seasons at Ohio State. In Columbus, Foster is 33-4 overall with a 25-3 mark in Value City Arena and an 8-1 record in St. John Arena.

At Dayton Dec. 4, Ohio State turned the ball over a season-low eight times, including only three times in the first half. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten with a +7.1 turnover margin. Among national rankings for lowest turnovers per outing, the Buckeyes are No. 9 with only 12.9 turnovers per contest. Ohio State also holds the top spot in the Big Ten for assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.60 mark.

The Buckeyes are ranked first in the Big Ten and tied for No. 4 in the country with 21.0 assists per game vs. opponents’ 7.7 dishes per outing. Leading the way is Kim Wilburn and Caity Matter, who have 4.0 and 3.3 assists-per-game averages, respectively. Of note, Matter averaged 1.97 assists last season and entered the season with a 1.67 career assists average.

The Buckeyes are leading the Big Ten in every major offensive category. Ohio State ranks first among league leaders for scoring offense (82.1 ppg), scoring margin (+35.9), field-goal percentage (.559; 276-494), 3-point field-goal percentage (.504; 59-117) and free-throw percentage (.800; 128-160). In national statistics, the Buckeyes are No. 1 for field-goal percentage, No. 3 for scoring margin, No. 4 for free-throw percentage, tied for fourth in the category of 3-point field-goal percentage and fifth in scoring offense.

Individually, Jessica Davenport is shooting .646 (64-99) and ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten and No. 22 in the nation, followed by Brandie Hoskins’ No. 7-ranked average of .567 (34-60). Caity Matter is No. 11 among league leaders with a .560 mark (47-84) from the floor.

Jessica Davenport, who leads the Buckeyes on the boards, is ranked No. 8 in the Big Ten with 7.4 rebounds per game.

In the first eight games of the season, every Buckeye available to play clocked minutes in every outing. In game nine vs. Nebraska Dec. 11, every Buckeye except Alice Jamen played. Jamen made her college debut in the game prior at Dayton Dec. 4. Jamen had been sidelined because of an injury.

Ten of 13 Buckeyes cleared to play are averaging more than 10.0 minutes per game and only three players – Jessica Davenport, Caity Matter and Brandie Hoskins – are clocking more than 20.0 minutes per outing. The most PT for any Ohio State player is 26.6 minutes an outing (Davenport).

Against Dayton Dec. 4, freshman Alice Jamen saw action for the first time this season. She entered the game in the final five minutes after sitting out the first seven games because of an injury.

Jessica Davenport had her first double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds at Dayton Dec. 4. Davenport had four double-doubles last season. Notably, Davenport swatted a career-high eight shots vs. the Flyers.

Jessica Davenport added eight blocked shots to her first double-double of the season (16 points, 13 rebounds) at Dayton Dec. 4. Eight blocks is a career-best mark for the sophomore center from Columbus. Davenport is ranked first in the Big Ten and No. 9 in the nation with 3.3 blocked shots per game. The No. 2-ranked player (Minnesota’s Janel McCarville) is averaging 2.3 blocks per outing.

Davenport’s eight blocked shots added to the team’s season-high performance at Dayton Dec. 4 with 11 swatted shots total.

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 beat Dayton, 75-42, in UD Arena to improve to 2-1 on the road this year.

At Dayton Dec. 4, the Buckeyes set season-high marks with 19 free throws made and 24 free throws attempted. Ohio State is leading the Big Ten with a .800 (128-160) 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 Caity Matter, who is ranked No. 2 in the league and tied for No. 27 in the nation with a .926 (25-27) mark and Jessica Davenport, who has made 34-of-40 free throws this season and is ranked No. 5 in the conference with an .850 average.

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 .786 (11-of-14) average from outside the 3-point line.

Ashley Allen is right behind Muñoz with a No. 2-ranked .615 (8-of-13) average from downtown. Caity Matter is in the Top 5 in the league with 3.3 3-pointers made per game and is shooting an impressive .474 (18-of-38) from the 3-point arc, which is among the Top 10 in the Big Ten.

As a team, the Buckeyes hold the second spot among league rankings with 6.6 treys made per game.

Jessica Davenport and Caity Matter are leading the team with 18.0 and 15.2 points per game, respectively. Davenport has scored double figures in every game this season and Matter has scored double digits in 7-of-8 games this year.

While Ohio State is the Big Ten’s most impressive offensive performer, the Buckeyes are not slacking on defense. The squad is No. 1 and No. 3 in scoring defense (46.2 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.328; 151-460), respectively. Among national leaders, the Buckeyes are No. 1 for scoring defense and No. 14 for field-goal percentage defense.

The Buckeyes are ranked among the Top 5 in the country for fewest fouls per game with 12.6 a contest.

The Buckeyes’ bench is getting utilized this year and the help is proving its worth. Ohio State players coming off the bench are averaging 28.3 points per game (255 total) vs. opponents’ 12.1 point per contest (109 total) from the reserves. Notre Dame is the only school to outscore the Buckeye bench. The Fighting Irish had eight points vs. Ohio State’s seven points from non-starters. Nebraska was close with a 13-12 mark in favor of the Buckeyes.

Ohio State is outscoring opponents in the paint by an average of 38.0 to 15.1 points per game (342-136). 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.

Ohio State is among the Top 5 in the Big Ten with 10.8 steals per game and the Buckeyes are led by Kim Wilburn, who is averaging 2.2 steals per outing.

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. 12 in Value City Arena.

Ohio State’s 107 points vs. Ohio Dec. 1 was the highest points 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 in the first 20 minutes of play vs. Ohio Dec. 1 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.

Senior guard Ashley Allen made her fourth consecutive start of the season at Dayton Dec. 4. 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, 2.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and only 1.2 turnovers 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.

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 women’s basketball player Caity Matter was named a finalist for the 2004-05 Bayer Advantage Senior CLASS Award by the organizing committee of the award. The Senior CLASS Award is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. The award is given to the outstanding male and female senior NCAA Division I basketball player annually and originated from the award’s honorary chairman, CBS sportscaster Dick Enberg.

A national media committee will select 10 finalists for the award in February of 2005. In March, a nationwide fan ballot will be paired with results from a vote of coaches and media to determine the winners. The winner will be announced by Enberg during the CBS telecast of the 2005 NCAA Men’s Final Four.

Courtney Coleman, a former Ohio State regional Kodak/WBCA All-American honorable mention pick and four-year Buckeye letterwinner, was named a second team Senior CLASS Award winner in 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.