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No. 6/7 Ohio State (23-2, 13-1 Big Ten) comes into its game at 8 p.m. Thursday vs. No. 12/11 Purdue (21-4, 12-2 Big Ten) with a one-game lead over the Boilermakers in the chase for the 2006 Big Ten regular season championship.
Ohio State, which lost to Purdue, 61-59, on Jan. 1 this season, has the opportunity to avenge its previous loss and clinch its first outright Big Ten crown since the 1985-86 season.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will broadcast the game live.
NO. 12/11 PURDUE (21-4, 12-2 Big Ten)
NO. 6/7 Ohio state (23-2, 13-1 Big Ten)
Thursday, Feb. 23 – 8 p.m. (EST)
Value City Arena (18,500)
Marty Bannister and Kristin Watt
Comcast SportsNet Chicago (live)
PxP: Dave Eanet
Analyst: Greg Kelser
FOSTER SCORES VICTORY NO. 600
With the win against Michigan State Monday, Ohio State head coach Jim Foster recorded the 600th victory of his career. He now has an overall record of 600-252 in 28 seasons as a Division I head coach at St. Joseph’s (248-126, 1978-91), Vanderbilt (256-99, 1991-2002) and Ohio State (96-27, 2002-present).
Foster is the third current coach in the Big Ten to possess 600 career victories. He joins Illinois’ Theresa Grentz (648-296, 32 seasons) and Penn State’s Rene Portland (676-246, 31 seasons).
Nationally, Foster is the 12th active coach with 600 career wins. He is the 11th coach all-time to record 600 wins prior to or in their 28th season as a Division I head coach.
OSU “D” TAKES OVER NO. 1 SPOT IN NCAA
Fresh off holding Michigan State to its lowest point total (38) since the 2000-01 season, Ohio State has moved into the No. 1 position in the country in points allowed per game at just 51.3.
The Buckeyes, who held MSU to 28.6 percent (16-56) shooting Monday, also rate No. 2 in least amount of fouls per game at 11.9.
With its victory over then-No. 14/14 Michigan State, 69-38, Monday, Ohio State upped its current win streak to 14 games. The active win streak matches the 14-game run Ohio State made last season from Jan. 2 to Feb. 20, 2005.
All-time, Ohio State now has four overall win streaks of 14 games. With another victory, Ohio State would tie the third-longest win streak in Buckeye history, equalling the 15-game streak from the 1986-87 season.
Longest Buckeye Win Streaks
20 – (1984-85)
17 – (1975-76)
15 – (1986-87)
14 – (1972-73)
14 – (1992-93)
14 – (2004-05)
14 – (2005-06)
12 – (1987-88)
BUCKEYES MOVING UP ALL-TIME BIG TEN CHARTS
Kim Wilburn swiped three steals vs. the Spartans to become just the second player in Big Ten annals to record 500 assists and 350 steals in a career. Tamara Moore, who played for Wisconsin from 1999-2002, collected 554 assists and 353 steals in her career.
Wilburn now has 351 steals, trailing Moore for the No. 2 spot in Big Ten career steals. Stacey Thomas (1996-200) of Michigan is the all-time Big Ten steals leader with 372.
With three blocks in the victory vs. Michigan State Monday, Jessica Davenport moved into No. 2 in career blocked shots in the Big Ten. Davenport’s all-time total of 272 blocks trails only Trish Andrew of Michigan, who totaled 367 blocks from 1989-93.
BUCKEYES CONNECTING FROM THE FIELD
Against Michigan State, Ohio State shot 28-of-53 from the field for a .528 percentage. It was the seventh time in the last nine games the Buckeyes shot 50 percent or higher.
When broken down by halves, in its last three games Ohio State has shot better than 60 percent in four of six halves. Against Iowa Feb. 12, Ohio State shot 17-24 (.708) in the first half and 17-28 (.607). The Buckeyes buried 81.8 percent (18-22) in the second period at Minnesota Feb. 16. Vs. Michigan State Feb. 20, Ohio State drilled 61.5 percent of its FG attempts, going 16-26.
PACKER SHARES BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR
Ohio State sophomore guard Marscilla Packer was named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week Monday in an announcement by the conference office. Packer buried a career-best 32 points and tied a Buckeye record with eight 3-point field goals in Ohio State’s 76-55 win at Minnesota Thursday.
Packer shared the weekly honor with Indiana senior guard Cyndi Valentin, who had 25 points in the Hoosiers’ upset of No. 10 Purdue Sunday.
A Native of Pickerington, Ohio, Packer finished the game 12-for-15 from the floor, including an 8-of-10 clip from 3-point land. She added four assists against just one turnover vs. the Golden Gophers. Her 80 percent mark from 3-point land stands as the best all-time at Ohio State when attempting 10 or more 3-pointers in a game.
BUCKEYES 15-0 WHEN Ashley Allen STARTS AT THE POINT
With the win Monday vs. Michigan State, Ohio State moved to 15-0 this season when Ashley Allen starts at point guard. After missing eight games with an injury earlier this season, Allen has started each of the Buckeyes 14 victories in Ohio State’s current win streak.
Allen has distributed at least four assists in six of her last eight games.
Ohio State is the top defensive team in the country this season, allowing opponents just 51.3 points per game and less than 38 percent shooting from the field.
For the season, Ohio State has held 13 foes to 50 points or less, including six games when opponents fell short of 40 points.
Ohio State has allowed just two opponents to score more than 70 points. Oklahoma notched 71 in Ohio State’s win over the Sooners (75-71) at home Jan. 9. Iowa netted 77 Feb. 12.
BUCKEYES NATIONALLY RANKED
Defense is not the only aspect of Ohio State’s game ranking near the top nationally. The Buckeye offense has accounted for several top marks in the latest NCAA stats release (Feb. 20).
This season, Ohio State has connected on 50.3 percent of its FG attempts (722-1,436) to rank No. 2 nationally. The Buckeyes have led the nation in the FG percentage category in each of the last two seasons.
Also offensively, the Buckeyes rate third in the country in assists per contest at 19.5 and have dished out at least 20 assists in 12 of 25 games.
From outside, Ohio State has buried 39.5 percent of its 3-point tries (120-304), which ranks 12th in the country.
Individually, Kim Wilburn ranks 11th in steals at 3.3 per game, while Jessica Davenport is rated fourth nationally in FG percentage (.645/ 193-299) and ninth in blocked shots at 3.0 per contest. Davenport also moved into No. 20 in scoring at 19.2 ppg.
Additionally, Marscilla Packer is fourth in the nation in 3-point FG percentage (.485/ 65-134).
Efficient offense and staunch defense has led Ohio State to the No. 4 spot in the nation in margin of victory, winning by an average tally of 21.8 points per game.
OSU AND THE RPI
The NCAA released the first public edition of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) Feb. 1. The Buckeyes ranked eighth, falling just behind sixth-ranked Oklahoma, a team Ohio State defeated, 75-71, at home Jan.9.
This week, the Buckeyes stand in ninth behind No. 6 Oklahoma and another previous opponent in LSU, which rates third.
Other past and scheduled Buckeye opponents litter the RPI rankings as well. Purdue (won over Ohio State 61-59 Jan. 1, Feb. 23) falls in at No. 21, Michigan State (Ohio State win 67-65 Jan. 22, next Feb. 20) is No. 20, Boston College (Ohio State win 66-61, Dec. 3) 19th. Minnesota has a handle on the No. 38 spot.
SOPHOMORE “PACK”ING A HOT HAND
In her last four games vs. Michigan (Feb. 10), Iowa (12), Minnesota (Feb. 16) and Michigan State, Marscilla Packer is 17-for-28 (.608) from 3-point territory.
The Big Ten’s leading 3-point shooter at nearly 50 percent (65-134/ .485), tied an Ohio State single-game record with eight 3-point FG in 10 attempts at Minnesota. She went 3-for-4 at Michigan and nailed 4-of-7 vs. the Hawkeyes.
This season, Packer has at least three 3-point goals in 12 games this season. The Buckeyes are 11-1 this season when Packer hits three or more 3-pointers.
BUCKEYE BLOCK PARTY
Jessica Davenport recorded a season-high eight blocked shots at Minnesota (Feb. 16), marking her third career game with at least eight blocks.
Davenport is tied for the OSU single-game record of 12 – set Feb. 20, 2005 at Michigan State – with Mary Sivak (1978-81). Davenport also had eight rejections at Dayton Dec. 4, 2004.
DAVENPORT LEADING BIG TEN IN FIVE CATEGORIES
As of the latest Big Ten stats released Feb. 21, Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport has taken over the reigns as the league’s leading scorer at 19.2 points per game. She also is tied at the top of the conference in rebounds at 8.5 per outing and is connecting at a Big Ten best .645 field goal percentage (193-299). Defensively, she is No. 1 in the conference in blocked shots at 3.04 per game and defensive rebounds at 6.4 per contest.
In her 14 Big Ten contests, Davenport is No. 1 in the four categories. She heads the scoring list at 20.2 per game and pulls down 8.3 rebounds (6.4 def. reb.) to rate No. 3 per league game. Davenport has posted a conference-best 3.5 blocks a game. This week, she moved into the top spot in FG percentage, hitting at a .684 (117-171) rate.
Davenport also is the overall league leader in double-doubles with nine this season.
DAVENPORT NAMED MIDSEASON CANDIDATE FOR NAISMITH TROPHY
Thirty of the country’s top collegiate women’s basketball players were named as midseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Friday.
For the second consecutive season, Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport was named to the midseason list. Davenport was a finalist for the honor last season.
BUCKEYE STRING OF W’S
Ohio State’s 14-game win string currently is tied for fourth in the nation. Chattanooga is the national leader with 22 straight triumphs.
BUCKEYE BIG TEN WIN STREAK AT HOME HITS 17
Against Big Ten competition, Ohio State has won its last 17 games at home, dating back to a 57-54 loss to Purdue Feb. 8, 2004.
The Buckeyes have defeated 16 consecutive league opponents at Value City Arena. Ohio State downed Northwestern, 57-46, at St. John Arena on Feb. 12, 2004.
With the loss to LSU Dec. 15, Ohio State’s winning streak in Value City Arena ended at 19 games, dating back to a 70-64 loss to then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25, 2004. Overall, the Buckeyes home winning streak, including games in St. John Arena, ended at 21.
With the win over Michigan State (Feb. 20), Ohio State has won 32 of its last 33 home games and 30 of its last 31 games played in Value City Arena.
Ohio State finished the 2004-05 campaign with a perfect 17-0 mark at home, including a 14-0 record at Value City Arena and a 3-0 ledger at St. John Arena.
OHIO STATE VS. RANKED OPPOSITION
With the win over then-No. 14/14 Michigan State Feb. 20, the Buckeyes improved to 5-2 vs. ranked opponents this season. Ohio State also won, 76-55, at then-No. 17/16 Minnesota and ,67-65, Jan. 22 at No. 9/12 Michigan State. OSU also has wins at then-No. 24 (AP) USC (Dec. 11), 68-57, and at home, 75-71, over then-No. 16/16 Oklahoma.
The two losses were in a home contest to then-No. 3/3 LSU (64-48, Dec. 15) and on the road to then-No. 18/17 Purdue (61-59, Jan. 1).
On Dec. 3, Ohio State defeated then-unranked Boston College, 66-61, in overtime. Since that game, Boston College remained in the coaches poll at No. 22 and was No. 24 in the AP Feb. 5.
In his three-plus seasons at Ohio State, head coach Jim Foster is 24-17 vs. teams ranked in the AP Top 25.
BUCKEYES TALLY FOURTH 20-WIN SEASON UNDER FOSTER
With its win against Michigan Feb. 10, Ohio State recorded its fourth consecutive 20-win season and fourth in four years in the Jim Foster era.
As a program, the Buckeyes have won 20 games 18 times, including five of the last six years.
For Foster, another 20-win campaign serves as his 20th 20-win season in 28 years of coaching Division I women’s basketball. Foster’s teams have won 20 games in each of his last eight seasons – four each at Ohio State and Vanderbilt.
MERRILL LEADS WITH WELL-BALANCED ATTACK
In her last three games, Debbie Merrill has made strong contributions in the three major offensive categories. She is averaging 12.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists in that span.
Against Iowa Feb. 12, Merrill posted an impressive line with 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. She also buried 2-of-3 3-point field goals to set a season-high.
She followed that effort with 10 points, eight assists and seven rebounds at Minnesota (Feb. 16).
Against Michigan State (Feb. 20), Merrill tallied 13 points, 5 rebounds and a pair of assists.
The Buckeyes are 11-0 this season when Merrill reaches double figures in points.
DAVENPORT BECOMES SECOND-YOUNGEST BUCKEYE TO SCORE 1,500
With 24 points vs. Iowa (Feb. 12), Jessica Davenport became the second-youngest Buckeye to score 1,500 career points.
Former Buckeye All-American Katie Smith scored 2,578 points in her career and reached the 1,500-point plateau with 13 points against Purdue Dec 31, 1994. Smith reached 1,500 at the age of 20 years, 5 months and 27 days.
As of the game Feb. 12 vs. Iowa, Davenport’s age was 20 years, 8 months and 12 days.
Last season, Davenport became Ohio State’s 24th and second-youngest student-athlete (to Smith) to post 1,000 career points against Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament (March 6, 2005).
Davenport, who ranks ninth all-time at OSU with 1,547, is Ohio State’s 12th player to score 1,500 career points.
OHIO STATE HOT FROM DOWNTOWN
In the last four games, Ohio State has made 26-of-55 attempts from 3-point land (.472). The hot streak includes a 9-15 performance at Minnesota (Feb. 16) and a 7-13 showing against Iowa (Feb. 12).
In Big Ten play, Ohio State is connecting on 43 percent (74-172) of its 3-point attempts.
Ohio State established a season high with 26 assists at Minnesota (Feb. 16). Also for the second game in a row, four Buckeyes dished at least four assists. Debbie Merrill led Ohio State in assists for the second straight game with eight to match a career high. She also had eight assists at Michigan State Jan. 22.
In 13 Big Ten contests, Ohio State players hold four of the Top 6 spots in assist-to-turnover ratio. Marscilla Packer leads at 2.4-to-1 for tops in the league. Ashley Allen (1.78), Debbie Merrill (1.77) and Kim Wilburn (1.7) all follow at Nos. 4,5 and 6, respectively.
POINT GUARD IN THE POST
In addition to her scoring, Debbie Merrill is among the leaders at Ohio State and in the Big Ten with a 1.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio from her power forward position. She is averaging 3.3 assists per game this season, which is a contrast from her career average of 1.7 apg.
Mainly a scorer in her three seasons at Cincinnati, Merrill has adapted well in her adjusted role with Ohio State, continuing to provide entry passes into Jessica Davenport on the block. Merrill has five assists in eight games and posted a career-best eight helpers at Michigan State (Jan. 22) and at Minnesota (Feb. 16).
PACKER KEEPING PACE WITH LONG-DISTANCE RECORDS
Sophomore guard Marscilla Packer’s .485 percent clip (65-134) from 3-point land this season puts her in position to break both the Ohio State and Big Ten single-season marks for highest 3-point FG percentage.
Packer’s mark is in the same range of the Big Ten single-season record of .464, posted by Michigan State’s Lindsay Bowen (77-166) in 2002-03. Caity Matter holds the Ohio State standard at .451 (105-235), set in the 2002-03 campaign.
For her career, Packer now stands at No. 1 all-time at Ohio State with a .436 (85-195) rate from 3-point range. Matter ranks second at .411 (270-657).
Packer ranked fourth nationally in the NCAA stat release Feb. 20.
AIR TIME FOR OSU
Starting with the Minnesota game Feb. 16 that was carried by Fox Sports North, Ohio State will close out the regular season with four- consecutive televised games.
The Feb. 20 home game vs. Michigan State was part of ESPN’s Big Monday series and was aired nationally on ESPN2.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago recently selected the Feb. 23 home game vs. Purdue for regional broadcast at 8 p.m.
To end the season, Ohio State will play at Penn State. That game will be telecast locally in State College, Pa. at 2 p.m.
HOSKINS HITS 1,000
Brandie Hoskins scored eight points Feb. 10 vs. Michigan to become the 25th player in Ohio State women’s basketball history to surpass 1,000 career points. She scored her 1,000th point on a fastbreak layup at the 3:39 mark of the first half.
Hoskins now has 1,040 points, which ranks 23rd all-time at OSU. Francine Lewis (1983-86) stands 22nd at 1,134 career points.
Through 13 conferences games, Purdue was tied with Ohio State for the top spot in the Big Ten with 12-1 records. In its 14th league game, Purdue was upset at home by Indiana, 63-61, in overtime. The Boilermakers held a 53-50 lead in the waning seconds, but Indiana’s Cyndi Valentin nailed a running 3-pointer to send the game to overtime. Valetin sealed the win by hitting a pair of free throws in the final moments of overtime.
Junior Katie Gearlds led the Boilermakers vs. Indiana with a career-best 32 points. She is Purdue’s leading scorer at just more than 15 points per game. Guard Aya Traore ranks second on the team with an average of 13.2 points per game.
Head coach Kristy Curry is in the middle of her seventh season at Purdue. She carries a 174-48 (.674) record at Purdue into the game tonight.
Ohio State leads a tightly played all-time series with Purdue, 29-23, winning both meetings last season, but falling, 61-59, Jan. 1 at Purdue this season. The Buckeyes also hold a 14-10 edge in Columbus, including a 63-50 victory last season (Jan. 2, 2005).
LAST MEETING: BUCKEYES LOSE LEAD, GAME AT PURDUE JAN. 1
Ohio State lost for just the second time in its last 41 games when holding a halftime lead with a 61-59 defeat at Purdue Sunday in Mackey Arena. The Buckeyes watched Purdue erase a 33-24 OSU advantage at the break and hold off a late Ohio State rally to snap the Buckeyes’ two-game win streak in the series.
Marscilla Packer led the Buckeyes with a career-best 19 points, including 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. Jessica Davenport recorded her 24th career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
In the first half, Ohio State wiped out an 11-4 deficit at 13:40 by limiting Purdue to just one field goal for nearly eight minutes. The Purdue scoring drought led to a 17-3 OSU run that gave the Buckeyes a 21-14 lead with five minutes to play.
Ohio State’s run was fueled by outstanding outside shooting from Packer, who had two 3-point makes in the run, and single 3-point baskets from Ashley Allen, Davenport and Kim Wilburn. Packer finished off the half with her third 3-point bucket as time expired after a steal by Debbie Merrill.
In the second period, Purdue needed less than five minutes to make the 9-point Ohio State lead vanish, when an Erin Lawless FG knotted the game at 39-all with 15:23.
From there, the teams traded leads three times before an 11-3 spurt gave the Boilermakers their largest lead of the game at 54-46 with less than eight minutes to play.
Ohio State answered, however, with a 7-0 run of its own after Packer netted a FG and her fifth 3-pointer of the game on consecutive possessions to pull the Buckeyes to within 54-53 with 5:20 on the clock.
Lawless then struck from the outside with a 3 of her own to put Purdue up 57-53 with four minutes to play. Ohio State pulled within two on three more occasions, but a last-second 3-point attempt by Allen clanked off the rim as time expired.
MAGIC NO. 60
This season, Ohio State is 23-0 when scoring 60 or more points. The Buckeyes have failed to hit 60 in a game just twice, dropping both contests, 64-48, vs. LSU Dec. 15 and, 61-59, at Purdue Jan. 1.
LAST GAME: OHIO STATE PUTS STRANGLEHOLD ON SPARTANS
Ohio State held Michigan State to several offensive season lows and Jessica Davenport netted 18 of her 22 points in the first half as Ohio State outplayed Michigan State, 69-38, Feb. 20.
The Buckeyes charged ahead in the first half after a 12-2 run from the 13:00 to 9:43 to pull ahead 23-10 on consecutive baskets by Davenport. The Buckeyes went without a 3-point make for the first 19 minutes of play, but Marscilla Packer and Kim Wilburn each buried 3’s in the final moments of the half to give Ohio State a 42-23 lead at the break.
Ohio State did not look back in the second period, limiting Michigan State to just 15 points and a 27 percent field goal rate. Ohio State opened up its largest lead of 34 points at the 4:31 mark on a jumper from Debbie Merrill.
The Buckeyes used a well-balanced attack as four players grabbed at least five rebounds and four players had at least three assists. Brandie Hoskins and Merrill each had well-rounded games. Hoskins collected 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Merrill had 13 points, five rebounds and a pair of helpers.
OTHER NOTABLES VS. MSU
Ohio State leads the all-time series with the Spartans, 43-19. Ohio State is 16-8 vs. MSU in Columbus.
The Buckeyes had a 38-18 margin in points in the paint, a 19-6 advantage in points of turnovers and recorded 19 total assists to Michigan State’s five.
Ohio State shot 28-of-53 from the field for a 52.8 percentage. It was the seventh time in the last nine games the Buckeyes shot 50 percent or higher.
Ohio State had a 12-2 run in the first half from the 13:00 to 9:43 to pull ahead 23-10.
Debbie Merrill scored 13 points for her third-consecutive game with double-digit scoring. The Buckeyes are 11-0 this season when Merrill reaches double figures in points.
The Buckeyes forced Michigan State into 19 turnovers, marking the 19th time this season Ohio State has forced its opponent into 15 or more turnovers.
Michigan State shot 28.6 percent from the field (16-for-56) Monday. Ohio State has held opponents to less than 50 percent FG shooting in 21 of 24 contests, which includes 17 opponents that have failed to connect on 40 percent of their FG tries.
Kim Wilburn had three steals against the Spartans to become the first Buckeye ever to record 500 career assists and 350 career steals.
Four Buckeyes had five or more rebounds in the game. Brandie Hoskins led the team with seven rebounds, while Tamarah Riley, Merrill and Davenport each grabbed five.
PACKER SCORES CAREER-HIGH 32 AT MINNESOTA, TIES OSU 3-POINT RECORD
Sophomore guard Marscilla Packer had a career-high 32 points Feb. 20 in the win at Minnesota. She connected on 12-of-15 field goal attempts, including an 8-for-10 mark from 3-point territory.
Packer’s eight 3-point FG matches the Ohio State single-game individual record held by former Buckeye Caity Matter (2001, 2003-05). Matter had two games in her career with eight 3-point makes, going 8-for-11 at Michigan Jan. 11, 2005 and hitting 8-of-12 attempts vs. IUPUI Dec. 12, 2003.
Packer’s 8-for-10 mark (.800) from beyond the 3-point arc counts as the best 3-point FG percentage all-time at Ohio State when attempting 10 or more 3-point shots in a game.
BUCKEYES WARM UP WINTRY TWIN CITIES WITH HOT SECOND-HALF
In the second half at Minnesota (Feb. 16), the Buckeyes made 18-of-22 attempts from the field (.818), including a 5-for-6 mark from 3-point land.
Ohio State’s 81.8 percent FG clip in the second half is the best shooting percentage in a half by an Ohio State team since the Buckeyes hit 20-of-24 FG tries (.833) in the second period vs. Wright State Dec. 18, 2003.
ALLEN BACK IN FULL SWING
After missing eight games at the beginning of the season with an injury, senior guard Ashley Allen is back at full strength.
Allen pulled down a season-best eight rebounds at Michigan Feb. 10 and also added seven points and five assists vs. the Wolverines.
She also has set or tied career highs recently against Wright State (Feb. 7), Michigan State (Jan. 22) and Wisconsin (Jan. 26). Allen tied a career high with five 3-point field goals at MSU. She made 5-of-7 attempts to tie her career best of five 3-point FG made last season (Dec. 12, 2004) vs. Bowling Green.
Against Wisconsin, Allen scored just four points, but contributed with season highs in assists (6) and steals (5). The five swipes tied a career high. In the game vs. Wright State, Allen dished six assists and pulled down a season-best five rebounds.
Allen has at least four assists in six of her last eight games.
DAVENPORT SCORES THIRD BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
Ohio State junior center Jessica Davenport collected her third Big Ten Player of the Week honor in the last four weeks Feb. 6 in an announcement made by the conference office. Davenport converted 10-of-11 field goal attempts en route to a 23-point, nine-rebound effort in Ohio State’s 61-45 victory at Indiana Feb. 5. The 2005 Big Ten Player of the Year now is tied for third all-time in the league with eight weekly honors in her career.
Davenport, who won back-to-back conference weekly awards Jan. 16 and Jan. 23, shot a .909 field percentage vs. the Hoosiers to rank third all-time at Ohio State for highest single-game FG rate.
Davenport’s only miss vs. the Hoosiers – at 6:16 of the first half – led to her own offensive rebound and a put-back basket at 6:14. Defensively, Davenport had four blocks.
HOSKINS CARRIES HOT HAND IN SECOND HALF
Brandie Hoskins scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half in Ohio State’s win at Indiana Feb. 5 to continue a trend this season of big second periods for the junior guard.
Against then-No. 16 Oklahoma, Hoskins was shutout in the first half, but rallied for 16 second-period points and helped lift the Buckeyes to a comeback win over the Sooners. Against Michigan Jan. 15, she tallied all 11 of her points in the second half.
Hoskins also had strong second-half showings vs. LSU, scoring nine of her 13 in period No. 2, and in the first meeting with the Hoosiers Jan. 19, dropping eight of her 12 in the final stanza.
DAVENPORT MOVES INTO NO. 1 SPOT ALL-TIME IN FG PERCENTAGE AT OSU
Jessica Davenport is connecting at a .645 (193-299) field goal percentage clip this season, which has been good enough for No. 1 in the Big Ten and to slip past former Buckeye Courtney Coleman into the No. 1 spot all-time at OSU.
For her career, Davenport has made 604-of-985 FG tries for a .614 percentage. Coleman made 596 of 988 attempts from 2000-03 for a mark of .604, which edged Davenport’s .603 figure (412-686) coming into the 2005-06 season.
Marita Porter holds the all-time single-season record of .667 (72-108) set in 1996-97.
ASSISTS BY COMMITTEE
Ohio State leads the Big Ten in assists this season with an average of 19.5 per game. Three Buckeyes have at least 70 or more assists this season, while five players have dished at least 60 helpers. Hoskins and Merrill lead the Buckeyes with 85 and 82 assists, respectively. Kim Wilburn also has contributed 74.
In just 17 games, Ashley Allen has 61 assists and holds the team lead with 3.6 apg.
The Buckeyes rank second in the nation in assists per outing.
DAVENPORT BECOMES TOP BUCKEYE BLOCKER
Against Wisconsin Jan. 26, Jessica Davenport became the all-time leader at Ohio State in blocked shots. She swatted four Badger field goal tries to surpass former Buckeye Mary Sivak (1979-82) as the No. 1 career shot blocker in Ohio State history.
Davenport recorded the record-setting rejection with 4:30 left in the first half to surpass Sivak’s career total of 241. Davenport and Sivak are the only two players in OSU annals to notch 200 career blocks.
Davenport, who is the only Buckeye to record 250 career blocks, led the Big Ten in blocked shots in each of her first two seasons, setting a Buckeye record last season with 116 swats. She stands No. 2 all-time in blocks in the Big Ten.
THREE BLOCKS AND A CLOUD OF DUST
Jessica Davenport’s three blocked shots vs. Michigan State marked the 17th time this season she has recorded three or more in a game. Ohio State is 16-1 when Davenport swats at least three shots in a game. She recorded a season-high 8 rejects at Minnesota (Feb. 16).
With 19 points and 14 rebounds vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 26), Jessica Davenport recorded her ninth double-double of the season and No. 27 in her career.
Davenport’s 22 points vs. Michigan State extended her streak of games with 10 or more points to 45. She has scored 10-plus in 59 of her last 60 contests.
The last time Davenport failed to record at least 10 points in a game was a six-point effort vs. Liberty Jan. 9, 2005.
Ohio State’s .528 FG percentage (28-53) vs. Michigan State improved OSU to 15-0 when shooting .500 or better this year.
Ohio State has led the nation in field goal percentage in each of the last two seasons. Including his last two years at Vanderbilt, Jim Foster’s clubs have owned the top spot in national FG percentage in four of the last five seasons.
This year, Ohio State is ranked No. 2 nationally in the latest NCAA statistics release (Feb. 20) at 50.3 percent.
BUCKEYE OPPONENTS OFF TARGET
The Buckeyes not only have fared well from the field themselves this season, but Ohio State has held opponents to less than 50 percent FG shooting in 22 of 25 contests, which includes 17 opponents that have failed to connect on 40 percent of their FG tries.
The Buckeyes are 21-1 this season when limiting opponents to less than 50 percent from the field.
Through 25 games, Ohio State opponents are connecting on 37 percent (510-1,369) of their FG tries, a figure that ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten.
THREE BUCKEYES NOW IN 300 CAREER ASSISTS CLUB
With four assists in the win vs. Illinois Jan. 29, senior guard Ashley Allen reached 300 helpers for her career. She joins fellow senior Kim Wilburn and junior Brandie Hoskins as active Buckeyes with more than 300 career assists.
Wilburn currently ranks No. 3 all-time at Ohio State with 505 assists, while Hoskins stands at No. 6 with 347. Allen’s 325 assists ranks eighth.
SOPHOMORE “PACKS” A HOT HAND ON THE ROAD
Sophomore Marscilla Packer has turned in her three top career performances in road games this season.The Big Ten’s top 3-point shooter recorded several career highs at Minnesota with 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting. She tied an Ohio State record with eight 3-point makes in 10 tries.
In the win Dec. 3 at Boston College, Packer led all scorers with 18 points, including a then career-high five 3-point field goals on 11 3-point attempts. She buried her fifth 3-pointer at a critical point in overtime.
Against Purdue Jan. 1, Packer netted a then career-best 19 points on a 5-of-6 clip from beyond the 3-point arc and finished 7-of-9 overall from the floor.
TURNING THE BIG THREE-OH
Jessica Davenport scored a game-best 31 points Jan. 22 at Michigan State for her second game this season scoring 30 or more points. She posted 34 points earlier this season at Iowa (Jan. 12).
Davenport scored 30-plus on three occasions last season in back-to-back games at Wisconsin (36 points, Jan. 27) and at Illinois (32 points, Jan. 30), and vs. Minnesota (35 points, Feb. 17).
LOTS OF EYES ON ILLINI VS. BUCKEYES
The attendance vs. Illinois (Jan. 29) of 11,622 ranks as the second largest at Value City Arena for women’s basketball game. Ohio State’s top attendance of 17,525 was set last season vs. Penn State on Feb. 27, 2005, when the Buckeyes defeated Penn State, 69-58 to gain a share of the Big Ten title. The 17,525 figure vs. PSU is a Big Ten record.
The crowd for the game vs. Illinois also rates as the second-largest this season in the Big Ten. Only the Michigan at Michigan State game on Jan. 1 drew a larger crowd at 12,088.
The attendance vs. Illinois (11,622), including games at St. John Arena, ranks as the seventh largest all-time at Ohio State.
BUCKEYE THREE SPREE
Ohio State used effective outside shooting to defeat Illinois at home Jan. 29. The Buckeyes established a season-high with 11 made 3-point field goals on 17 attempts (.647). Sophomore guard Marscilla Packer fronted the outside onslaught with her third game this season with five 3-point goals. She finished the game with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from behind the arc.
Ohio State’s .647 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc vs. the Illini was the first time the Buckeyes have topped 60 percent from that range since making 10-of-15 (.667) in a 107-37 win at Ohio Dec. 1, 2004.
The 11 3-point FG served as the most for Ohio State since the Buckeyes buried 11 at Michigan last season in an 84-56 win Jan. 11, 2005. The 11 makes from 3-point land also tied for the Big Ten high with Illinois and its 11 made 3-point FG vs. Wisconsin Jan. 15.
CHIEF THIEF: WILBURN SWIPES WAY TO NO. 1 AT OSU IN CAREER STEALS
Senior guard Kim Wilburn recorded one steal Jan. 19 vs. Indiana. That one theft upped her career total to 327 and moved the senior from Detroit into the No. 1 spot in career steals at Ohio State.
Wilburn surpassed former Buckeye Yvette Angel (1982-85) for the No. 1 spot. Angel recorded 326 career thefts at OSU. Both players are the only two Buckeyes to eclipse 300 steals in their careers.
Wilburn, who now has 351 career swipes, is just the 11th player in Big Ten history to gather 300-plus steals. Michigan’s Stacey Thomas (`96-00) holds the league record with 372 career thefts.
Ashley Allen PLAYS WAY TO CENTURY MARK
The game Jan. 9 against Oklahoma served as Ashley Allen’s 100th in her career at Ohio State.
She was injured at the beginning of this season and made her first appearance for the Buckeyes Jan. 1 at Purdue since the second game of the season Nov. 26 vs. Nicholls. At Northwestern, she started for the first time since Nicholls.
Earlier this season, Kim Wilburn played her 100th career game vs. Nicholls.
BUCKEYES FINISH REGULAR SEASON NON-LEAGUE SCHEDULE
With the win over Wright State at home Tuesday, Ohio State completed its non-conference schedule with a 10-1 record. The only defeat came at home Dec. 15, 64-48, to then-No. 3/3 LSU.
At home since the 2002-03 season, Ohio State has won 32 of its last 33 games vs. non-conference opponents during the regular season in Value City Arena. The LSU defeat earlier this season snapped the Buckeyes’ 28-game home win streak against non-league foes.
Prior to the LSU setback, Ohio State’s last regular season home loss to a non-conference opponent came Dec. 14, 2002 in a 67-66 tilt against Louisville.
FOUR SCORE AND 7-0
With the win vs. Iowa (Feb. 12), Ohio State improved to 7-0 when four of its players score in double figures. Davenport led the Buckeyes with 24. Brandie Hoskins and Packer each scored 18 with Debbie Merrill adding 15 vs. Iowa.
THREE-SPREE FOR No. 50
Jessica Davenport had her first career game with multiple 3-pointers against LSU (Dec. 15). She hit a 3-point shot in the second half, marking the second 3-pointer of her career and the first since the game vs. Rutgers Feb. 16, 2005. She added two more 3-pointers later in the half.
At Purdue (Jan. 1), she knocked down her fourth consecutive 3-point FG and has made 4-of-8 attempts (.500) on the season.
MERRILL SURPASSES 1,500 CAREER POINTS
With her made free throw attempt at 5:23 in the first half vs. Penn State (Dec. 29), Debbie Merrill reached 1,500 career points. She entered this season with 1,408 career points in three seasons at Cincinnati. Merrill now has 1,636 for her career, third most by any active player in the Big Ten.
MERRILL, DAVENPORT AMONG BIG TEN’S ACTIVE CAREER SCORING LEADERS
Debbie Merrill has combined her 1,408 points in three seasons at Cincinnati with her 198 this season to rank third (1,636) on the active scorers list in the Big Ten. Teammate Jessica Davenport has 1,547 so far in her career to round out the Top 5 leading active scorers in the league.
HALFTIME ADVANTAGE LEADS TO WINS
Ohio State held a 42-23 lead at halftime vs. the Spartans. Ohio State now has won 51 of its last 53 games when holding a lead at the break.
Ohio State trailed Oklahoma, 35-30, at intermission Jan. 9, but rallied for a 75-71 victory in the second half. The win was the first this season for Ohio State when trailing at halftime.
The Buckeyes also rallied from a 34-33 halftime deficit for a 67-65 win at Michigan State (Jan. 22).
TURNING OPPONENTS MISCUES INTO POINTS
The Buckeyes forced Michigan State into 19 turnovers Feb. 20, marking the 20th time this season Ohio State has forced its opponent into 15 or more turnovers. Ohio State has forced 20 turnovers in 12 contests this season.
This season, the Buckeyes hold a 501-to-280 advantage over its opponents in points off turnovers.
DAVENPORT POCKETS SECOND BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
Ohio State junior center Jessica Davenport collected her second consecutive Big Ten Player of the Week honor in an announcement made by the league Jan. 23. Davenport capped a 31-point, 10-rebound performance vs. No. 9/12 Michigan State Sunday with a last-second, game-winning layup in No. 7/7 Ohio State’s 67-65 win in East Lansing, Mich.
At Michigan State, Davenport tallied 22 of her 31 points in the second half, connecting on 11-of-12 field goal attempts in the final period.Davenport was one of three Buckeyes to score in double figures (10 points) as Ohio State downed Indiana, 60-50, at home on Jan. 19.
BUCKEYE PULLS AWAY FROM BIG TEN 3-POINT PERCENTAGE “PACK”
Marscilla Packer has continued to “pull away from the pack” in the Big Ten 3-point shooting category. The Pickerington, Ohio native is 65-of-134 (.485) from 3-point land on the season.
Packer also is first in the league at 2.6 3-point makes a game.
With a 5-for-6 3-point performance at Purdue (Jan. 1), Packer set a Big Ten season-high 3-point percentage (.833), which also tied four other league standouts for sixth all-time in conference history. Packer is the first Big Ten shooter to hit .833 from beyond the arc since Wisconsin’s Kyle Black hit 5-of-6 against Pittsburgh on Nov. 30, 2001.
CURRENT AND FORMER BUCKEYES HONORED BY USA BASKETBALL
At the game Dec. 15 vs. LSU, Carol Callan of USA Basketball honored former Buckeye great Katie Smith and current Ohio State standouts Jessica Davenport and Brandie Hoskins.
At halftime, Smith was presented with a ring commemorating her play on the 2000 and 2004 United States Olympic gold-medal winning teams. Before tip-off, Davenport and Hoskins received plaques from USA Basketball honoring their contribution to Team USA’s run to the gold medal at the 2005 World University Games.
DAVENPORT GAINS SIXTH CAREER BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR
Junior center Jessica Davenport was named Big Ten player of the Week in an announcement made by the league office Jan. 16. She led the Buckeyes to three wins during the week, starting by banking in a game-winning shot with four seconds to go in a 75-71 home victory over No. 16/16 Oklahoma.
In Ohio State’s 72-62 win at Iowa, Davenport led all players with 34 points, 16 rebounds, a personal-best six assists and three blocks. Davenport completed the week with a 15-point, nine-rebound effort in the win vs. Michigan.
A SUMMER OVERSEAS
This past summer, three Ohio State juniors had the privilege of playing overseas. In July, Stephanie Blanton helped the 2005 Big Ten Foreign Tour team complete an undefeated five-game schedule against teams from Belgium and Luxembourg. For the five games, Blanton contributed seven points per contest and shot 55 percent from the field.
In August, two Buckeyes helped represent USA Basketball in the 2005 World University Games in Izmir, Turkey. Both Jessica Davenport and Brandie Hoskins helped Team USA to the gold medal as the U.S. squad finished 7-0 for the tournament.
Davenport finished among the team leaders in numerous categories. She ranked third in scoring at 10.7 ppg. and rebounds at 4.6 per contest. Hoskins came off the bench in all but one game and contributed nearly seven points a game.
BUCKEYES, DAVENPORT RAKE IN PRESEASON HONORS
Ohio State, the returning Big Ten co-champions, and Jessica Davenport, the reigning Big Ten player of the year, have collectively pulled in numerous preseason accolades heading into 2005-06.
The Buckeyes were selected by both the coaches and media to repeat as conference champs at Big Ten Preseason Media Day Oct. 30.
Individually, Davenport was picked as the preseason player of the year in the Big Ten and was tabbed a preseason first-team All-American by several 2005-06 preview publications. The Columbus native was deemed first-team All-American by the AP, Athlon, Lindy’s, Women’s Basketball News Service in addition to being named to the “Terrific 10,” which is put out by Street & Smith’s season preview issue.
Classmate Brandie Hoskins, who was a third-team All-Big Ten selection last season, was named a “High Honorable Mention” on Street & Smith’s “Terrific 10” as well.
DAVENPORT FOULS OUT FOR FIRST TIME IN CAREER AT BC
Jessica Davenport committed her fifth foul in the overtime period Dec. 3 at Boston College to mark the first time in her career she has fouled out of a game. The game vs. BC served as Davenport’s 71st at Ohio State.
OHIO STATE WIN STREAK VS. TEAMS FROM “THE BUCKEYE STATE”
With its 73-31 win Nov. 30 over Dayton, Ohio State extended its win-streak against teams from the state of Ohio to 16 games. The last Ohio State loss vs. an in-state rival was Nov. 23, 1998, a 68-63 defeat against Xavier.
Ohio State wraps up the regular season at Penn State at 2 p.m. Sunday.