Feb. 4, 2004

The Ohio State women’s basketball team (12-7; 4-4 Big Ten) travels to face the Hawkeyes of Iowa (12-7; 6-2 Big Ten) at 8 p.m. EST Thursday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500). The game will be broadcast on WOSU 820 AM with Marty Bannister and former Buckeye hoops standout, Alysiah Bond.

This is the only regular-season meeting of the year between Ohio State and Iowa. The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series with the Buckeyes, 24-16, and the teams have swapped wins the past eight meetings, beginning with a Feb. 28, 1998 Ohio State loss to Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament, 72-54. Last year, the Buckeyes beat Iowa at home 74-59 in the only meeting of the season between OSU and Iowa.

Iowa is 12-7 overall, 6-2 in Big Ten games and is coming off a huge 78-67 win at No. 18 Michigan State. The Hawkeyes’ two lone conference losses were consecutive game at then-No. 8 Penn State, 92-64, and at then-No. 6 Minnesota, 75-61, in early January. In addition to the Spartans, Iowa has knocked off Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Northwestern. The Hawkeyes are currently on a five-game winning streak.

Iowa is led by three players who score in double digits – Jamie Cavey (16.8), Jennie Lillis (15.5) and Kristi Faulkner (15.2). Senior center Cavey was recently named Big Ten Player of the Week for her 24-point and eight-rebound effort at Michigan State. Rebounding duties seem to be spread throughout the team, with the leaders being Lillis, who grabs 5.9 boards per game, Johanna Solverson, who averages 5.2 rebounds an outing, and Cavey with 5.1 caroms per contest.

As a team in Big Ten games, the Hawkeyes are first in scoring offense (72.1), free-throw percentage (.771), 3-point field goal defense (.221), assists (17.25) and defensive rebounds (25.5). The squad is also ranked second with a .453 stroke from the field and a 38.1 average for offensive rebounds in conference outings. In all games, Faulkner is No. 2 with a .455 stroke from downtown and Cavey is No. 3 with a .578 average from the free-throw line.

Lisa Bluder is in her fourth season at the helm of the Hawkeye program and her 19th season overall. Entering this season, Bluder had accumulated a 413-178 career mark and a 57-36 record at Iowa. Bluder was the 2001 Big Ten Coach of the Year in her rookie season at Iowa. That year, her Hawkeyes earned a 21-win season and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament when they captured a five-point win over Purdue in the finals of the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa also participated in the NCAA Tournament the next season and earned an 18-11 record (10-6 Big Ten). Last year, the Hawkeyes were 18-15 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the WNIT Tournament.

Bluder was a three-year starter at Northern Iowa and graduated in 1983 with a degree in marketing. Bluder and her husband, David, have two daughters, Hannah (6) and Emma (3) and one son, David (1).

The Ohio State women’s basketball team (12-7, 4-4 Big Ten) defeated Indiana (10-10, 3-6 Big Ten), 71-56, Sunday in front of a season-high 5,328 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Senior LaToya Turner scored 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds while rookie Jessica Davenport added 18 points and tied a career-high five blocks. Junior Caity Matter and sophomore Kim Wilburn added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Indiana’s Sarah McKay hit a bucket at 10:13 and sent her Hoosiers up 17-14, but the Buckeyes responded with a 24-6 scoring run to close the first half and led 38-23 at the midway mark. Davenport’s layup at 8:57 began the Buckeye run and Indiana pulled the game to within nine points (32-23) off a Jenny DeMuth layup with 1:48 left in the first. Junior Beth Howe entered the game and tallied two consecutive steals that resulted in two layups for Ohio State. Turner capped the run when she hit a basket with five seconds left. Ohio State utilized a 14-3 points-off -turnovers advantage and the solid play of Davenport and Turner’s high-low game to take a 15-point lead at halftime.

The Buckeyes maintained the lead they established in the first half the majority of the final 20 minutes, but Indiana would not give up and used a DeMuth layup with 10:50 to play to cut the lead to 10 points, 50-40. Ohio State was able to preserve the double-digit advantage because they were sent to the free-throw line 23 times the second half and made 17. Indiana used the final minute to make the game interesting. DeMuth hit two shots from the charity stripe at 1:05 and IU went on to outscore the Buckeyes 9-2 to close the game. The closest the Hoosiers got was five points (70-65) with six seconds left, but time expired and the Buckeyes held on for the first win at home in four games.

Sophomore Michelle Mu±oz scored six points, freshman Brandie Hoskins tallied four points and Howe netted two points to round out the OSU scoring effort.

Indiana was led by DeMuth, who scored a game-high 23 points. Cyndi Valentin added 20 points and McKay scored 12.

The 71-65 win over Indiana Sunday 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.

Senior LaToya Turner scored 19 points vs. Indiana Sunday and is currently five points shy of joining the 1,000-point club at Ohio State.

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 four games, Davenport and Turner combined for 128 of the squad’s 253 total points and the pair is a combined 52-for-95 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 172 total treys in 68 games as a Buckeye. Former Buckeye Lauren Shenk made 172 total treys in 119 outings during her OSU tenure and is also ranked No. 4. Matter is nine makes from tying Jamie Lewis’ record of 181 3-pointers in 117 total games.

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), Turner is now ranked No. 19 on the all-time career Buckeye leaders list with 512 total caroms and needs 17 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 is now tied for No. 18 on the all-time steals list. Turner needs 17 swiped 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 first in the Big Ten by holding opponents to only 54.7 points per game and holding teams to top-ranked .377 stroke from the field in conference outings. Notably, in the first two league games Ohio State did not allow a 3-point make, forcing Wisconsin to go 0-for-10 and Illinois to shoot 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. Since then, Northwestern went 4-for-17, Michigan State was 5-for-20. The next three league teams stepped it up from outside with Purdue going 5-for-10 from downtown, Penn State shooting 8-for-19 and Michigan knocking down 6-of-15 shots from 3-point land. Indiana was troubled from the outside with a 3-of-11 mark (.273). Additionally, as of Jan. 26, among the national standings, Ohio State’s 54.5 points for opponents was ranked tenth.

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 moved Ohio State to 1-0 for the month.

Jessica Davenport blocked five shots vs. Indiana (Feb. 1) and has now blocked at least one shot in 16-of-19 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 25.3 minutes and has started in 10 games as a Buckeye – including the last five, two of which were 40-minute outings – is scoring 12.7 points per game and is leading the Big Ten in all games with a .643 stroke from the field and in league outings with a .629 average. Veteran LaToya Turner is ranked No. 4 with a .566 average and No. 6 in Big Ten games with a .519 stroke.

Davenport and Turner are only part of the Buckeye team that was ranked first in the nation as of Jan. 26 and second in the Big Ten with an overall .504 average. The Buckeyes have shot .500 or better in 10-of-19 games this year. Ohio State is 8-2 this season when it shoots .500 or more and 4-5 when it shoots less than .500.

Freshman Jessica Davenport is tied for eighth in Big Ten games and senior LaToya Turner is ranked No. 12 in all games for rebounding. Davenport, who had two back-to-back 15-board outings vs. Purdue and Penn State, is averaging 7.0 rebounds in conference contests and Turner notches 6.2 boards in all games. Besides Davenport and Turner, four players are averaging at least 3.1 rebounds per game for head coach Jim Foster.

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 2,469 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.

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, 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 34.0 rebounds per game compared to opponents’ 32.7 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 3-6.

As a team, the Buckeyes are leading the conference with an 18.3 assists-per-outing mark and as of Jan. 26, Ohio State was ranked seventh in the nation with an 18.8 assists-per-game mark. Ohio State is led by sophomore point guard Kim Wilburn, who is No. 2 with 5.58 dishes per game and freshman Brandie Hoskins, who is No. 9 with 3.58 assists per Big Ten outing. As of Jan. 26, Wilburn’s 5.7 assists per game was ranked No. 25 among national leaders.

Not only are Buckeyes willing to hit an open player with a No. 1 ranking in the Big Ten (18.3 assists per game) and a No. 7 national ranking of 18.8 assists per game as a squad as of Jan. 26, but the team is taking care of the ball as well. Ohio State is ranked second in the Big Ten with a 1.14 assist-to-turnover ratio. That figures is thanks primarily to sophomore Kim Wilburn, whose 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio is ranked fifth among league leaders, and freshman Brandie Hoskins, who aids the effort with a No. 6 1.6 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.

The Jan. 25 Penn State game capped a three-game home swing vs. Top 25 teams for the Buckeyes. On Jan. 15, No. 23/25 Michigan State was the first team to visit Value City Arena and 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, No. 7/8 Purdue came to VCA and beat the Buckeyes, 74-68. Ohio State faced 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.

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 2.05 swatted shots per game and Turner is No. 4 with 2.00 blocks per outing.

The pair has combined for 69 of Ohio State’s 72 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 39 blocks as a Buckeye. Davenport has blocked at least one shot in 16-of-19 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 5-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.

Caity Matter has been the leading scorer for Ohio State in seven games this year and is averaging a team-best 13.6 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.

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 40-of-42 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 2.53 treys per game average is No. 2 in the Big Ten.

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 and 19 vs. Indiana.

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, 6.2 rebounds and 2.0 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.

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 31.6 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 3.9 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.

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 359-197 with bench points.

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 four times this season – 96 vs. IUPUI, 95 points vs. Penn, 88 vs. Wright State and 83 vs. Ohio.

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 5-0. 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.

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. Brandie Hoskins netted 22, Jessica Davenport swished 20, Caity Matter scored 12 and LaToya Turner and Kim 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).

The Buckeyes are asking everyone to crash the boards hard this season. Sophomore Kim Wilburn, who stand 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.