Dec. 9, 2004

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The No. 6/10 Ohio State women’s basketball team (7-1; 0-0 Big Ten) plays host to Nebraska (6-2; 0-0 Big XII) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Nebraska is 6-2 overall with losses coming vs. then-No. 10 Notre Dame Nov. 14 and vs. N.C. State Nov. 26. Just like Ohio State, the Huskers participated in the preseason WNIT and fell to the Fighting Irish 73-57 in the second round. Nebraska is led by three players who score in double digits: Kiera Hardy (16.3 ppg), Jessica Gerhart (12.9 ppg) and Chelsea Aubry (11.3 ppg). Gerhart is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.9 caroms per contest.

The Huskers are led by Connie Yori, who is in her third season at Nebraska. She is 32-34 at the helm of the Husker program and 227-174 in 15 seasons as a collegiate head coach.

Nebraska is 2-0 all-time vs. Ohio State with the most recent win coming last season in Lincoln, Neb. The Huskers beat Ohio State, 60-55, Dec. 12, 2003 and also earned a 63-54 victory over the Buckeyes Dec. 2, 1990 at St. John Arena in the Buckeye Classic.

The then-No. 13/13 Ohio State women’s basketball team suffered its first loss last season to Nebraska, 60-55, Dec. 12, 2003 in Lincoln, Neb. Center LaToya Turner led all scorers with a 16-point effort off a 7-of-9 night from the field. Guard Caity Matter scored 14 points, Jessica Davenport added 10 points, a team-best six boards and two blocked shots, and point guard Kim Wilburn played all 40 minutes and tallied nine assists, five steals, five boards and eight points.

In a game that had 10 ties and 14 lead changes, including three in the final four minutes, the Buckeyes, who were leading the country in shooting from the field and from the 3-point line, were held to just .222 from downtown and .429 from the field.

Ohio State took a five-point lead (51-46) off an Ashley Allen layup with 7:21 remaining to play. However, the Cornhuskers responded with an 8-2 scoring run over the next three-and-a-half minutes and took the lead, 54-53, with 3:53 left. Despite a Wilburn bucket at 2:32, which sent the Buckeyes up 55-54, Nebraska’s Kea Cannon nailed a 3-pointer and Katie Morse hit a free throw to give the Cornhuskers the lead for the final time. Ohio State had three opportunities, but none of the team’s shots dropped and Nebraska’s Alexa Johnson sealed the Cornhusker victory by hitting a bucket with 25 ticks left on the clock.

A defensive effort by both squads created a low-scoring first half, including a scoring drought by both teams in the final 2:14 of the first half. The Buckeyes led the majority of the first half, even though they turned the ball over 11 times in the first 20 minutes. Stephanie Blanton hit a free throw at 4:17, which gave Ohio State a five-point lead. After a Nebraska bucket, Brandie Hoskins made a layup to once again give the Buckeyes a five-point advantage, but the Cornhuskers went on a 6-0 run to close the half with a 24-23 edge at halftime. Hoskins, who aided Wilburn in the assist department by dishing out six, scored four points. Allen added two points and Blanton scored one point and grabbed four boards for OSU. The Buckeyes were outrebounded for the first time this season, 42-32, and both teams were plagued with turnover troubles as Nebraska and Ohio State tallied 18 and 19 turnovers, respectively. Despite racking up 11 steals compared to Nebraska’s three, Ohio State could not convert on the offensive end to take advantage of the opportunities.

Johnson and Kiera Hardy led Nebraska with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Hardy was 3-for-5 from 3-point land and the Cornhuskers swished a total of 10 3-pointers compared to Ohio State’s two treys.

The No. 10/11 Ohio State women’s basketball team (7-1; 0-0 Big Ten) knocked off Dayton (3-3; 0-0 Atlantic 10), 75-42, Dec. 4 at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Senior Caity Matter led the Buckeyes with a game-high 19 points and teammate Jessica Davenport recorded her first double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore Brandie Hoskins also chipped in 13 points for Ohio State.

The Buckeyes and Flyers traded baskets in the opening minutes before Dayton took an early 7-5 lead after a bucket by Jennifer Strong with 15:43 to play in the half. Ohio State responded with a 3-pointer from Stephanie Blanton to go up 8-7. Another 3-pointer by Kim Wilburn on the following possession gave OSU a four-point lead, 11-7. Ashley Allen hit three-consecutive field goals, including a 3-pointer of her own, to give the Buckeyes a 25-10 advantage with 5:59 to play in the half. Dayton cut the lead to six with 1:35 left, but Ohio State converted on back-to-back scores in the closing minute by Davenport and Matter to lead 35-25 at the break.

Hoskins sparked a 16-3 Ohio State run when she hit a layup in the opening 20 seconds of the second half. The Buckeyes put together a second scoring run of 16 points and held Dayton scoreless from 7:05 to 1:51, holding the Flyers without a bucket for 5:14 until Brittany Holterman hit a jumper with 1:51 left in the game. The Buckeyes went on to outscore Dayton 40-17 in the second half.

Matter scored 14 of her 19 points in the second half and converted 9-of-10 free throws on the night. Additionally, the Buckeyes went 19-of-27 (.704) from the charity stripe in the game, marking a season-high for free throws made and free throws attempted.

Ohio State also recorded a season-high 11 blocks in the win against the Flyers and had a season-low eight turnovers.

Davenport tallied a career-high eight swats in the game, surpassing her previous best of six that she set last season. Wilburn led the team with five assists.

Hoskins returned to the starting lineup after sitting out the Ohio game (Dec. 1) earlier in the week. 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.

Cara Wright tied led Dayton with 16 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Teammate Jennifer Strong added seven for the Flyers.

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.

Buckeye fans, pay just $2 for your ticket to the women’s basketball game vs. Nebraska when you present any Ohio State men’s basketball ticket at the OSU ticket office on Saturday (limit two per person). Also, don’t forget after the Nebraska game to stick around for an autograph session with Ashley Allen behind the Official Team Shop on the concourse.

The Ohio State University Athletics Department would like to welcome visiting high school band Lincolnview High School from Van Wert, Ohio. Lincolnview High School’s band director is Elmer Broecker, the superintendent is Doug Fries and the principal Kelly Dye.

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.

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 +8.0 turnover margin. Among national rankings for lowest turnovers per outing, the Buckeyes are No. 9 with only 13.0 turnovers per contest. Ohio State also holds the top spot in the Big Ten for assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.60 mark.

Individually, Kim Wilburn and Caity Matter hold the top two spots in the Big Ten with ratios of 2.91 and 2.33, respectively.

The Buckeyes are ranked first in the Big Ten and tied for No. 4 in the country with 20.8 assists per game vs. opponents’ 7.5 dishes per outing. Leading the way is Kim Wilburn and Caity Matter, who have 4.0 and 3.5 assists-per-game averages, respectively. Wilburn is ranked No. 7 and Matter is tied for tenth in the Big Ten. 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 (81.6 ppg), scoring margin (+37.2), field-goal percentage (.549; 243-443), 3-point field-goal percentage (.500; 52-104) and free-throw percentage (.804; 115-143). 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 .612 (52-85) and ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten and No. 22 in the nation, followed by Brandie Hoskins’ No. 7-ranked average of .560 (28-50). Caity Matter is No. 11 among league leaders with a .534 mark (39-73) from the floor.

Jessica Davenport, who leads the Buckeyes on the boards, is ranked No. 8 in the Big Ten with 7.2 rebounds per game.

In the first eight games of the season, every Buckeye available to play has clocked minutes in every outing. Eleven of 13 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 25.9 minutes an outing (Davenport).

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 (Indiana’s Sarah McKay) is averaging 2.0 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 .804 (115-143) 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 with a .913 (21-23) mark and Jessica Davenport, who has made 32-of-27 free throws this season and is ranked No. 5 in the conference with an .889 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 .846 (11-of-13) average from outside the 3-point line. Muñoz is making 1.38 treys per outing and is No. 12 in the conference.

Ashley Allen is right behind Muñoz with a No. 2-ranked .667 (8-of-12) average from downtown. Caity Matter is No. 9 in the league with 1.62 3-pointers made per game and is shooting an impressive .406 (13-of-32) from the 3-point arc, which is No. 10 in the Big Ten.

As a team, the Buckeyes hold the second spot among league rankings with 6.50 treys made per game.

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 554-246 overall in 27 years of collegiate coaching and 50-21 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 17.0 and 14.0 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. Davenport’s 17.0 points per game is No. 3 in the Big Ten and Matter’s 14.0 scores per outing is tied for No. 14 among league leaders.

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 (44.4 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.321; 131-408), respectively. Among national leaders, the Buckeyes are No. 1 for scoring defense and No. 14 for field-goal percentage defense.

The Buckeyes are ranked No. 2 in the country for fewest fouls per game with 12.1 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 30.3 points per game (242 total) vs. opponents’ 12.1 point per contest (97 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.

Ohio State is outscoring opponents in the paint by an average of 37.0 to 14.3 points per game (296-114). 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 No. 2 in the Big Ten with 11.38 steals per game and the Buckeyes are led by Kim Wilburn, who is averaging 2.5 steals per outing and is tied for fourth in the conference.

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 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 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.

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.

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 5.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.9 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.

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.