Feb. 7, 2004

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The Ohio State women’s basketball team (13-7; 5-4 Big Ten) travels to face No. 5/6 Purdue (17-3 Big Ten) at 2 p.m. EST Sunday at Mackey Arena (14,123) in West Lafayette, Ind. The game will be televised on ESPN2 with Pam Ward and Nancy Lieberman and will be broadcast on WOSU 820 AM with Marty Bannister and former Buckeye hoops standout, Kristin Watt.

This is the second regular-season meeting of the year between Ohio State and Purdue. The Boilermakers beat the Buckeyes, 74-68, in Value City Arena Jan. 22, 2004. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with the Boilers, 27-20, but have only been victorious seven times the past 27 meetings. Ohio State opened the all-time series with 20 consecutive wins over Purdue squads. The last win for an Ohio State team was a 56-51 win at home last season. Prior to that, the Scarlet and Gray had not won since a 53-51 win Jan. 13, 2000. The Buckeyes last won at Mackey Arena New Year’s Eve in 1994 (71-68).

No. 5/6 Purdue is 18-2 overall and 8-1 in Big Ten play. Purdue’s two losses have come at the hands of No. 1/2 Duke, 93-63, and No. 7/8 Penn State, 47-42, to open the conference season Jan. 2. The Boilermakers faced two common opponents the Buckeyes have played this season in UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Ohio State beat UCSB, but lost to UCLA and Purdue beat both schools with a 58-57 win over the Bruins and a 65-61 victory over the Gauchos. In Big Ten action, Purdue has earned notable victories over then-No. 23/25 Michigan State (77-67), Illinois (58-49) and then-No. 9 Minnesota (65-56). The Boilermakers are led by Shereka Wright, a 2002-03 Honorable Mention Kodak All-American. Wright notches 19.8 points per game and is the only player averaging double digits for Purdue. Katie Gearlds, a non-starter, is the team’s next leading scorer with 9.5 points per outing. Emily Heikes and Wright are the power on the boards for the Boilers with averages of 6.3 rebounds per game each.

Purdue is leading the conference with a +4.55 turnover margin in all games and a +12.3 scoring margin, 53.4 scoring defense, 10.11 steals per game and a +7.22 turnover margin in conference contests. Erika Valek averages a squad-best 1.9 steals per game and is ranked No. 2 in Big Ten games with a 2.12 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Kristy Curry was hired on April 2, 1999, and became the first women’s head coach to inherit a national championship team. She has accumulated an overall 107-27 and a 50-14 record in the Big Ten in four years at Purdue. In her first season, she led her team to a 23-8 record, a third consecutive Big Ten tournament title and a final ranking of No. 13. She led her team to the Final Four her second season and earned a national runner-up finish, in addition to Big Ten regular-season championship. In her third year at the helm of the Purdue program, the Boilermakers were 24-6 and won a second consecutive Big Ten regular season title and last season, her Elite Eight squad posted a 29-6 record and won the Big Ten Tournament by beating Ohio State, 67-65, in the final game.

Prior to joining the ranks in West Lafayette, Curry spent three years as an assistant at Louisiana Tech, where she helped the Lady Techsters to an overall 92-11 record, a trip the national championship game in 1998 and an appearance in the 1999 Final Four. Curry also served as an assistant at Texas A&M, Tulane and Stephen F. Austin before her stint at Louisiana Tech.

Curry, a 1988 graduate of Northeast Louisiana, and her husband, Kelly, who is an assistant on her Purdue staff, have two daughters, Kelsey and Kendall.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team (10-6, 2-3 Big Ten) dropped the second consecutive game of the season vs. No. 7/8 Purdue (15-2, 5-1 Big Ten), 55-47, Jan. 22 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Freshman Jessica Davenport tallied her second consecutive and third career double-double with a career-high 23 points (9-of-12) and a 15-rebound effort in 40 minutes vs. the Boilermakers. Davenport had a personal-best six offensive rebounds and also added three blocks.

The Buckeyes trailed by as many as 11 points with under four minutes remaining in the game. Sophomore Kim Wilburn nailed a 3-point field goal at the three minute mark to bring the game within eight. After a missed jumper by Purdue’s Erika Valek, junior Beth Howe pulled down the rebound and made a layup to bring Ohio State within six, 68-62, at 2:33. After a one-for-two effort at the free-throw line by Boilermaker Lindsey Heikes, Davenport converted on two foul shots to cut the Purdue lead to five with 1:51 left in the game. Purdue responded quickly on a Shereka Wright basket. After a missed three-point field goal attempt and a Buckeye foul, Valek connected on two free throws to bring the margin back up to nine with 46 ticks left on the clock.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team (13-7; 5-4 Big Ten) beat Iowa (12-8; 6-3 Big Ten), 93-82, Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. The victory was the third consecutive win for the Buckeyes and the first time an Ohio State team had won at Iowa since a 56-47 victory Feb. 3, 1985. Ohio State relied on an 11-0 run to open the second half and hit 13-of-15 free throws in the final 20 minutes, including 6-of-6 in the last 1:31 of the game, to secure the conference win. Senior LaToya Turner hit a layup with 2:34 left in the first half and became the 22nd member of the Ohio State 1,000-point club.

For the first time the season, six Ohio State players scored in double digits for head coach Jim Foster’s squad. Junior Caity Matter led the OSU scoring effort with 24 points, followed by Kim Wilburn, rookie Brandie Hoskins, sophomore Michelle Muoz, Turner and freshman Jessica Davenport who scored 16, 15, 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Ohio State trailed by eight, 28-20, after Iowa’s Johanna Solverson nailed a trey with 6:35 left in the first half. The Buckeyes were able to pull the game to within two points four times before halftime, but Hawkeye Jennie Lillis hit a jumper with nine second left to send her squad up 40-36 after 20 minutes.

In addition to the 11-0 scoring run, the Buckeyes made their first seven shots in the second half, which gave Ohio State an 11-point advantage, 54-43, with 15:37 to go. Iowa’s Jamie Cavey scored four of her game-high 33 points and pulled her team to within seven, 54-47, with 14:48 to go, but Hoskins and Matter nailed back-to-back 3-pointers and gave Ohio State a 13-point advantage, the largest lead of the game, 60-47, with just over 14 minutes to play.

Iowa chipped away at the lead over the next five minutes and Cavey hit a bucket with just under 10 minutes left to make it a five-point game, 64-59. Ohio State’s Muoz, who scored 11 of her 12 points in the second half and was 4-for-4 for the game, put back an offensive board on the next possession. After a Solverson basket the next play, it was Muoz again who nailed a jumper and sent the Buckeyes up seven, 68-61, at 8:13.

Iowa and Ohio State continued to trade buckets and the Hawkeyes were able to pull it to within three points (74-71) off a Kristi Faulkner trey with 6:02 remaining, but Muoz was the answer once again when she nailed a 3-pointer and gave her squad a six-point lead (77-71) at 5:49. Cavey hit another shot for Iowa, but Ohio State outscored the Hawkeyes 6-0 and quickly made it a 10-point game with 4:18 left. Wilburn, sophomore Candace Dark and Muoz sank two free throws each the last minute-and-a-half to close the fourth-ever win for a Buckeye team at Iowa.

Ohio State shot 67 percent, gathered seven steals, racked up 10 assists and turned the ball over only three times in the second half. Wilburn notched six steals, Hoskins dished five assists and Matter, Muoz and Turner added four rebounds apiece.

Besides Cavey’s 33 points, Iowa’s Solverson, Faulkner and Lillis added 17, 16 and 13 scores, respectively. Solverson added 12 boards for a double-double.

Ohio State’s Michelle Muoz and Purdue’s Beth Jones were high school teammates, along with llinois’ Jer Issenmann, at Mason High School in Mason, Ohio. All three Big Ten student-athletes played under Gerry Lackey and were members of the 2000 State Champion Mason squad that recorded a perfect 27-0 mark and ended the season ranked No. 2 nationally.

No. 32 senior center LaToya Turner added to the historic Buckeye win at Iowa Thursday night when she hit a layup with 2:34 left in the first half and became the 22nd member of Ohio State’s 1,000-point club. Turner has racked up a total of 1,006 career points to date.

The No. 5/6 Purdue game will begin the Buckeyes’ second three-game swing against three consecutive Top 25 opponents this season. After the Boilermaker matchup, Ohio State plays host to No. 12/13 Minnesota at home and then travel to take on the Spartans of No. 18/20 Michigan State.

The first three-game Top 25 swing began Jan. 15 vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State in Value City Arena. MSU beat the Buckeyes, 55-47. The Spartan win snapped Ohio State’s 24-game consecutive home winning streak, which ranked second in the country at the time. One week after the contest vs. MSU, then-No. 7/8 Purdue came to VCA and beat the Buckeyes, 74-68. Ohio State faced then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25 and fell 70-64.

For the season, Ohio State is 1-3 vs. the Top 25. They beat then-No. 21/23 UC Santa Barbara, 73-59, Dec. 28 at The Thunderdome in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Junior shooting guard Caity Matter got her stroke back at Iowa Thursday night. After being held to one vs. Michigan State, one vs. Purdue, none vs. Penn State, two vs. Michigan, and one vs. Indiana, Matter, the Big Ten’s No. 2 ranked player with 2.6 makes from downtown a game, sank 4-of-12 shots from outside the arc at Iowa and led the team with 24 points. Caity Matter has been the leading scorer for Ohio State in eight games this year and is averaging a team-best 14.1 points per outing. Matter has also been the scoring leader for both squads in five games – most recently in the Northwestern victory (77-35) Jan. 11.

Senior LaToya Turner has been consistent this season and has scored in double figures every game she has played in except two – 13 vs. IUPUI, 16 vs. Nebraska, 10 vs. Wright State, 10 vs. Penn, 16 vs. UCSB, 14 vs. Wisconsin, 15 vs. Rutgers, 12 at Illinois, 13 at Northwestern, 11 vs. Purdue, 15 vs. Penn State, 10 at Michigan, 19 vs. Indiana and 11 at Iowa.

Turner returned to the lineup against IUPUI Dec. 1 after missing the first three games of the year because of an injury suffered in preseason and missed the game vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 because of a concussion suffered in practice.

The 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Turner is averaging 12.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per outing. Turner earned her ninth career and second season double-double vs. UCSB with 16 points and 11 boards. Her first double-double of the season was against Penn Dec. 21 with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

It was almost 19 years to the day that the current Buckeye basketball team made history and beat the Hawkeyes at Iowa, 93-82, Thursday night. No Ohio State team – not even the 1993 Final Four squad – had left Iowa City with a win since a 56-47 victory Feb. 3, 1985. It took 16 tries, but the Buckeyes broke the pattern Thursday and were victorious in Carver-Hawkeye Arena – only the fourth such win of its kind in Buckeye program history.

It is no secret Ohio State has been relying on a myriad of players to score this season. And for the Buckeyes, that seems to be the best formula. In games when four or more players score in double digits, Ohio State is 6-0. When three players score in double digits, OSU is 5-3 and if two or fewer Buckeyes score 10 or more points, Jim Foster’s group is 2-4.

For the first time this season, six Ohio State players scored double digits in the squad’s 93-82 victory at Iowa Thursday. Junior Caity Matter led the OSU scoring effort with 24 points, followed by Kim Wilburn, rookie Brandie Hoskins, sophomore Michelle Muoz, LaToya Turner and freshman Jessica Davenport who scored 16, 15, 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.

During the championship game of the Buckeye Classic vs. Penn Dec. 21, five Ohio State players scored in double digits for the first time this season. Hoskins netted 22, Davenport swished 20, Matter scored 12 and Turner and Wilburn each sank 10.

Four times this season two or fewer players scored in double digits for the Buckeyes – against Illinois (L), Rutgers (L), UNC Wilmington (W), St. John’s (W), UCLA (L) and Michigan State (L).

Entering the Iowa game, the Buckeyes had dropped all seven games when they were trailing at halftime. Despite a 40-36 advantage in favor of the host Hawkeyes, Ohio State was able to use an 11-0 run and consistent shooting from the free-throw line to earn the first victory of the season when down at half.

Ohio State is relying on the bench this season in a big way. Nine-of-10 available players for head coach Jim Foster are averaging over 10 minutes per game and the Buckeyes have outscored opponents 376-200 with bench points.

The Buckeyes were shooting .627 from the charity stripe when they walked into Carver-Hawkeye Arena Thursday evening. After a 6-of-8 first-half performance, the Buckeyes out-did themselves and made 87 percent (13-of-15) in the second half, including a 6-of-6 stroke in the final minute-and-a-half vs. Iowa. Kim Wilburn, Candace Dark and Michelle Muoz sank two free throws each the last 1:31 and secured the fourth-ever win for a Buckeye team at Iowa. For the contest, Jim Foster’s squad was .826 from the line.

Ohio State turned the ball over a season-low 10 times, including only three in the second half, at Iowa Thursday. The Buckeyes also tallied a season-low 10 turnovers vs. Wisconsin Jan. 2 to open up conference play.

The Purdue matchup is Ohio State’s second game on ESPN2 this season. The Buckeyes are hoping to be more successful than their first outing on “The Deuce” at Rutgers in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. Ohio State fell, 56-53, to Rutgers in the final seconds.

The 71-65 win over Indiana Feb. 1 broke the Buckeyes’ five-game losing streak to the Hoosiers. Since Kathi Bennett took over at the helm of the IU program in 2000, she was an undefeated 5-0 vs. the Buckeyes, including coming back from a 10-point deficit to capture a 54-50 win last year in Bloomington. However, Ohio State used a 24-6 scoring run to close the first half and earn the win over IU in Columbus Sunday.

Since LaToya Turner returned to the lineup after missing the Jan. 15 Michigan State game in Columbus due to a concussion suffered earlier that week in practice, she and rookie Jessica Davenport have made quite an impact offensively for the Buckeyes. The previous five games, Davenport and Turner combined for 149 of the squad’s 346 total points and the pair is a combined 60-for-107 from the field the past four outings.

Junior Caity Matter’s 3-pointer with 4:38 remaining in the first half of the Indiana game (Feb. 1) tied her for fourth place on the Ohio State all-time 3-point field goals made list. Matter has accumulated 176 total treys in 69 games as a Buckeye and stands alone at No. 4 after the Iowa game. Matter is five makes from tying Jamie Lewis’ record of 181 3-pointers in 117 total games.

Ohio State ended a three-game losing streak with a 51-49 win at Michigan Jan. 29 and capped a 2-5 record for the month. Last season, the opposite was true for Jim Foster’s squad, as the team posted a 6-2 mark in January and went on to tally an even 4-4 record in February. The Indiana game was the first test of the season for Jim Foster’s Buckeyes and after the road win at Iowa Feb. 5, Ohio State has moved to an unblemished 2-0 for the month.

Senior LaToya Turner collected five boards vs. then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25 and upper her then-career total to 500 boards. After a nine-carom effort vs. Indiana (Feb. 1) and a four-rebound night at Iowa (Feb. 5), Turner is now ranked No. 19 on the all-time career Buckeye leaders list with 516 total caroms and needs 13 more rebounds to take over the No. 18 spot.

Six-foot-3-inch senior center LaToya Turner is not limited to rebounds and points. She tallied two steals vs. Indiana (Feb. 1) and now is ranked No. 18 on the all-time steals list with 119 Turner needs 16 swipes to take over the No. 17 spot among OSU record holders.

Two Buckeyes had record nights from the free-throw line vs. Indiana (Feb. 1). Freshman Jessica Davenport had career highs with 10 free throws made and 16 free throws attempted. Both marks are Value City Arena records for an OSU player. Sophomore Kim Wilburn sank a personal-best eight free throws. Her pervious high was four free throws, which she set twice – most recently vs. Michigan State last year in the Big Ten tournament.

Ohio State is ranked second in the Big Ten by holding opponents to only 56.1 points per game. The Buckeyes’ 54.7 scoring defense mark prior to the Iowa game was ranked 11th among national leaders.

Jessica Davenport blocked five shots vs. Indiana (Feb. 1) and has now blocked at least one shot in 17-of-20 games this season. Five rejections ties her career-high mark, which she set vs. Michigan State Jan. 15, and once again ties the Value City Arena record for an Ohio State player, which was set by senior LaToya Turner vs. UW-Green Bay Dec. 10, 2000. Turner tied her own mark in her first game back this season with five blocked shots vs. IUPUI Dec. 1.

Freshman Jessica Davenport, who is playing 25 minutes a game and has started in 11 games as a Buckeye – including the last six, two of which were 40-minute outings – is scoring 12.6 points per game and is leading the Big Ten in all games with a .648 stroke from the field and in league outings with a .642 average. Veteran LaToya Turner is ranked No. 5 with a .566 average and No. 7 in Big Ten games with a .524 stroke.

Davenport and Turner are only part of the Buckeye team that is ranked first in the nation and the Big Ten with an overall .508 average. The Buckeyes have shot .500 or better in 11-of-20 games this year. Ohio State is 9-2 this season when it shoots .500 or more and 4-5 when it shoots less than .500.

Senior LaToya Turner and freshman Jessica Davenport are averaging 6.1 and 5.3 rebounds per game, respectively, for the Buckeyes this season. Besides those two, four players are averaging at least 3.1 rebounds per game for head coach Jim Foster. Against Iowa, three players (Matter, Muoz and Turner) brought down four boards each to lead Ohio State.

The home attendance for Ohio State has been steadily increasing in recent games. The Jan. 25 Penn State game drew a then-season-high mark of 4,914 at home and the mark was upped the next game in Columbus with 5,328 people coming to see the Buckeyes play Indiana Super Bowl Sunday. For the season, the Buckeyes are averaging 2,811 people at home games and 2,474 for all contests.

After a few games when she was held below her scoring average, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer Caity Matter rebounded in a big way at Michigan Jan. 29. Matter pulled down a personal-best 10 boards and scored 15 points in a 51-49 victory over the Wolverines, not to mention being credited with the assist on LaToya Turner’s final bucket to cap the Buckeye victory in Ann Arbor.

Matter continued the pattern at Iowa with a team-best 24 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal.

Not only was the 51-49 Michigan win a big step for the Buckeyes, who hade struggled on the road with a 3-4 mark outside of Columbus up until that game, but the victory over the Wolverines was the first win of the season when the margin is less than five points. Jim Foster’s squad had dropped three games (at Nebraska, 60-55, at Rutgers, 56-53, and at Illinois, 52-51) that were all decided by five or fewer points earlier in the season. Additionally, the Buckeyes’ road win in Ann Arbor was the first win in six games this season when scoring 59 points or less.

Crashing the boards is key for the Ohio State Buckeyes, who are averaging 33.7 rebounds per game compared to opponents’ 32.8 caroms a contest. When the Buckeyes outrebound teams, Ohio State is 9-1 and when opponents edge the Buckeyes, Jim Foster’s squad drops to 4-6.

As a team, the Buckeyes are leading the conference with an 18.1 assists-per-outing mark and as of Feb. 2, Ohio State’s 18.3 assists per game was ranked No. 11 in the nation. Ohio State is led by sophomore point guard Kim Wilburn, who is No. 3 with 5.45 dishes per game and freshman Brandie Hoskins, who is No. 8 with 3.65 assists per Big Ten outing. As of Feb. 2, Wilburn’s 5.6 assists per game was ranked No. 27 among national leaders.

Not only are Buckeyes willing to hit an open player with a No. 1 ranking in the Big Ten (18.1 assists per game), but the team is taking care of the ball as well. Ohio State is ranked second in the Big Ten with a 1.15 assist-to-turnover ratio. That figures is thanks primarily to sophomore Kim Wilburn, whose 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio is ranked fourth among league leaders, and freshman Brandie Hoskins, who aids the effort with a No. 5 1.7 ratio in the conference.

Junior Beth Howe tallied a season-high four assists and no turnovers in 14 minutes during the first half of play vs. Indiana. She ended the day with five assists and two steals in 24 minutes of action. Howe has been contributing in a big way recently – especially at the end of the matchup with then-No. 7/8 Purdue Jan. 22 and vs. then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25. She played 11 minutes, was 2-for-2, grabbed three rebounds and one steal while bringing the Buckeyes to within striking distance of the Boilermakers after trailing by as many as 19 points earlier in the game. A native of Jackson, Ohio, Howe scored a personal-high nine points vs. the Nittany Lions. Her previous best was eight vs. UC Santa Barbara Nov. 29, 2001.

Senior center LaToya Turner returned to the lineup vs. then-No. 7/8 Purdue Jan. 22 after missing the squad’s game vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 in Value City Arena. Turner was sidelined because of a concussion suffered earlier last week in practice. Against the Boilermakers, Turner scored 11 points, dished a personal-best six assists, had only one turnover and three rebounds in 37 minutes. Turner also missed the first three games of the season due to an injury suffered in preseason practice.

Each time Jessica Davenport has tallied a double-double this year, she has moved her name into the Value City Arena record books for Ohio State individual high marks. In her first double-double vs. Florida A&M Nov. 23 (23 points, 12 boards), Davenport’s 14 free throw attempts vs. Florida A&M tied an Ohio State VCA record set by former Buckeye Courtney Coleman vs. Indiana Jan. 31, 2002. (She upped the mark with 16 free-throw attempts vs. Indiana Feb. 1.)

In her second and third double-doubles vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 (16 points; 15 rebounds) and vs. then-No. 7/8 Purdue Jan. 22 (27 points, 15 rebounds), Davenport gathered 15 rebounds each game and tied the Value City Arena record for a Buckeye best, which also is held by Coleman, who collected 15 caroms twice during her career in VCA.

Rookie Jessica Davenport tallied her second consecutive double-double (third career) with a career-high 27 points and 15 rebounds, which ties her personal-best mark, vs. then-No. 7/8 Purdue Jan. 22. Her second double-double of the season came against then-No. 23/25 Michigan State when she tallied 16 points, 12 of which were scored in the second half, and 15 rebounds Jan.15 in Value City Arena. Her first double-double as a Buckeye was vs. Florida A&M when she scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots off a 7-of-11 day from the field and an 9-of-14 stroke from the charity stripe.

Senior LaToya Turner and rookie Jessica Davenport, who stand at 6-feet-3-inches and 6-feet-5-inches, respectively, create a major defensive force in the lane for Ohio State. Among league leaders, Davenport holds the No. 3 spot with 2.00 swatted shots per game and Turner is No. 5 with 1.88 blocks per outing.

The pair has combined for 70 of Ohio State’s 75 blocked shots and Davenport is on pace to break Mary Sivak’s record of 51 blocked shots as a freshman. Currently, she has racked up 40 blocks as a Buckeye. Davenport has blocked at least one shot in 17-of-20 games and veteran Turner is ranked second among OSU career block leaders. Ohio State has held five teams to zero blocks this season.

Both Turner and Davenport have had a five-block game this season and with those marks, both student-athletes tied the Value City Arena record for an Ohio State player. The record is held by none other than Turner, who swatted five attempts vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay Dec. 10, 2000.

The Big Ten conference is no joke – competition will be tight and every win counts. The conference is ranked No. 1 in the latest RPI poll and four Big Ten teams are ranked in the Top 25, including two in the Top 10.

Junior shooting guard Caity Matter has made a 3-pointer in 41-of-43 games, dating back to Dec. 20, 2002 vs. Youngstown State. The only games she has not hit a trey was at Illinois Jan. 8 and vs. then-No. 7/8 Penn State Jan. 25 . Until the game in Champaign, Ill., she had hit a trey in 36 consecutive games. Matter’s 2.60 treys per game average is No. 2 in the Big Ten.

Freshman Kim Wilburn clocked 40 minutes at Michigan Jan. 29. It was her third 40-minute outing of the season – the first was at Nebraska and the second was at Illinois – and the eighth of her career. Wilburn, who is averaging a Buckeye-best 31.7 minutes an outing, led the team last season as a freshman with 34.8 minutes per game, including five 40-minute contests, three of which came in the final four games of the year.

Ohio State sophomore Candace Dark earned her first collegiate start at Illinois Jan. 8. The shooting guard form Kingman, Ind., scored eight points off a 3-of-5 night from the field (2-of-4 from 3PT) and had two rebounds, one steal and one assist in 16 minutes of action. Dark has made quite an impact recently for Ohio State. As a freshman, Dark only played in 16 games and averaged 0.5 points per game. She is currently notching 13.0 minutes and scoring 3.8 points an outing. She tallied a career-best 12 points in 14 minutes during the Buckeyes’ win over then-No. 21/23 UCSB Dec. 28. Dark was 4-for-7 from the field, 2-for-5 from downtown and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

Ohio State was ranked second in the country with 24 games for the longest home winning streak in the country behind Texas’ 27 wins in Austin prior to facing then-No. 23/25 Michigan State Jan. 15 in Value City Arena. The Spartans won 55-47 and snapped the Buckeyes’ streak. The 24-game Buckeye win streak dated back to the final two games of the 2001-02 season and ranks second in Ohio State women’s basketball history. The longest home winning streak is 26 games, which began in January of the 1987 season and lasted until December of 1988. Under Jim Foster, Ohio State is 23-3 in Columbus dating back to the beginning of the 2002-03 season.

Scoring and scoring big has helped the Buckeyes this season. When Ohio State scores 60 or more points, Jim Foster’s team is 11-2, however when they are held to 59 points or fewer, they are 1-5. In four of the team’s losses, OSU scored between 51 and 56 points (51 at Illinois; 53 vs. Rutgers; 55 vs. Nebraska and 56 vs. UCLA) and vs. then-No. 23/25 Michigan State the Buckeyes were held to 47. Ohio State has scored 80 or more points five times this season – 96 vs. IUPUI, 95 points vs. Penn, 93 at Iowa, 88 vs. Wright State and 83 vs. Ohio.

The Buckeyes are asking everyone to crash the boards hard this season. Sophomore Kim Wilburn, who stands at 5-feet-6-inches and is the second shortest Buckeye in front of 5-feet-4-inch Tanya McClure, has been pulling her weight when it comes to the boards. Wilburn notched season-best marks of seven rebounds against both Wisconsin Jan. 2 and at Rutgers Jan. 4 and collected six rebounds at Illinois and at Michigan. She is averaging 3.8 rebounds on the season.

Ohio State women’s basketball player Ashley Allen suffered a knee injury in the Dec. 20 game vs. St. John’s and will not return for the remainder of the season. Allen, who missed the opening game vs. Ohio and returned to the court vs. Florida A&M after suffering a similar injury last January at Illinois, was averaging 5.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and was shooting .417 from the field and .500 from 3-point land.

Ohio State’s 73-59 victory at then-No. 21/23 UCSB Dec. 28 snapped the Gauchos’ 27 consecutive game winning streak at home, a mark that ranked second in the country behind Connecticut’s 63 wins in Storrs, Conn. as of Dec. 28.

Additionally, the Buckeyes shot .529 for the game, including a .654 stroke in the second half. Prior to the contest, UCSB had held the last 111 opponents to less than .500 shooting dating back to the final game of the 1999-00 season.

While freshman Brandie Hoskins was named the MVP of The 2003 Wonder/Hostess Buckeye Classic, look no further than the current Ohio State bench for the last MVP of the event. Student assistant and two-time Ohio State All-American Katie Smith was named the most valuable player of the 1994 Buckeye Classic.

Freshman Jessica Davenport has already placed herself among the Top 10 twice for single-game shooting accuracy (minimum 10 attempts). She was 11-for-13 from the field vs. Wright State and her .846 percentage (11-of-13) from the field is tied for 10th all-time for a single-game mark from the field for a Buckeye. Two games later, Davenport scored 20 points off a 9-of-10 night from the field. Her 9-of-10 accuracy is tied for third place among Buckeye single-game leaders. Additionally, her 8-for-10 stroke vs. then-No. 7/8 Penn State is tied for 16th on the all-time list.

The Buckeyes’ .720 effort (36-of-50) from the field vs. Wright State is an all-time high percentage for an Ohio State team in a single game. The next closest mark was a .689 stroke (42-of-61) vs. Central Michigan Dec. 21, 1985. For the season, Ohio State’s next closest shooting prior to the record-setting performance vs. the Raiders was a .632 stroke vs. Penn Dec. 21.

Junior shooting guard Caity Matter earned a single-game record with eight 3-pointers made vs. IUPUI Dec. 1. The previous record of seven was set by former two-time All-American and current student assistant Katie Smith vs. Northwestern Jan. 15, 1995. Matter tied the mark with seven makes from downtown Jan. 16, 2003 at Wisconsin.

Ohio State’s 14 3-pointers drained as a team against IUPUI Dec. 1 is a Buckeye Value City Arena record for makes from 3-point land. Foster’s squad rewrote the previous record of 10 during the game vs. UNC Wilmington Nov. 25 with 12 3-pointers nailed as a team.

After opening with .385 and .375 mark from behind the arc vs. Ohio and Florida A&M, respectively, Ohio State shot a season-best .667 (12-of-18) from 3-point land vs. UNCW Nov. 25. That mark gave Ohio State a Buckeye record for 3-point percentage in Value City Arena. The previous record was earned when the Buckeyes shot .615 from behind the arc vs. Pittsburgh Dec. 2, 1998. That 3-point percentage mark has stood since the first year the VCA was used as the home of Ohio State women’s basketball. Ohio State continued the hot shooting from downtown with a .609 (14-for-23) stroke against IUPUI Dec. 1. As a team the Buckeyes are shooting a league-best .529 from the 3-point line.

Freshman Jessica Davenport tied a Value City Arena record (set by Courtney Coleman Jan. 31, 2002) with 14 trips to the free-throw line vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 23).

Junior Caity Matter and sophomore Kim Wilburn were invited to the 2003 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Trials last spring at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Buckeye pair was two of 60 athletes from around the country asked to try-out. Matter was selected to join the Young Women Team, which was coached by Jim Foster. The squad went on to tally a 7-1 record and capture the gold medal at the inaugural FIBA World Championships for Young Women in Sibenik, Croatia last summer.

Jim Foster, head coach of the 2003 USA Basketball World Championship For Young Women Team last summer, was named the 2003 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year by the USA Basketball Executive Committee. Junior shooting guard Caity Matter, who was selected to the Young Women Team from the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Trials last spring, earned a spot as part of the 2003 USA Basketball Team of the Year, which also was selected by the USA Basketball Executive Committee. Both Foster and Matter (as part of the team) have been nominated by USA Basketball for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Developmental Coach of the Year and Team of the Year awards, respectively, which will be announced by the USOC at a later date.

Foster’s squad finished with a 7-1 record and collected the inaugural FIBA World Championship For Young Women gold medal in Sibenik, Croatia, last summer.

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

Katie Smith, a student assistant in the Ohio State women’s basketball office and a former two-time All-American at OSU, is one of the first seven members named to the 2004 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team. Smith will be part of the team that is expected to represent the U.S. at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. 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.

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

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

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

Ohio State and St. John Arena will play host to the 2004 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship First and Second Round Games March 20 and 22. Tickets for all women’s basketball games and for all other Ohio State athletics events can be purchased at or by calling 1-800-GOBUCKS.

Two times during the 2002-03 regular season the Buckeyes hosted games in historic St. John Arena and the tradition will continue this season. The Dec. 18 contest against Wright State, which the Buckeyes won 88-45, was in St. John Arena and the Feb. 19 Northwestern game will also be held in the former long-time home of Buckeye hoops.

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