Dec. 15, 2002
Columbus, Ohio – After a back-and-forth battle with No.19/24 Arizona in the first half of play, the Buckeyes dominated the second period to capture the 84-65 win over the Wildcats today in front of 2,596 people at Value City Arena. The win was the first over a ranked team for OSU head coach Jim Foster since he took over the helm of the Buckeye program this season.
For the third time this season, four Buckeyes scored in double digits. Senior Courtney Coleman (Cincinnati, Ohio/Hughes), sophomore Caity Matter (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton), junior LaToya Turner (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington) and senior DiDi Reynolds (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Louden) tallied 18, 16, 14 and 11 points, respectively. Turner, who dished out a career-high five assists, added a game-high 12 rebounds to account for her seventh career and second season double-double.
“From my point-of-view, we played a lot better than we have been, “Foster said. “Beating a ranked team doesn’t matter until March. How we played and our basketball IQ was impressive (today). We did a much better job of taking care of the ball (in the second half). We identified their 3-point shooters better and they didn’t have as many 3-point shots.”
In the first 20 minutes of play, Ohio State and Arizona switched leads seven times and knotted the game four times. The Buckeyes owned the largest lead of the half with an eight-point advantage after a three-pointer by Reynolds at the 12:58 mark. But Arizona inched back to tie the game and eventually took a 17-16 lead at 10:32 after a Natalie Jones free throw. Reynolds once again answered and sent her squad up by one, 21-20, on a fast-break three-point play with 8:24 to go in the half. Arizona managed to take a two-point lead with 4:30 remaining in the half off a Julie Brase trey. A Matter jumper evened the score before the Wildcats went on a 6-0 run. Junior Tanya McClure (Gahanna, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) hit a three-pointer with 42 ticks left in the half to tie the game once again, but Arizona took a two-point lead to the locker room off a Shawntinice Polk put-back. OSU came out the second half with a vengeance and used a 10-0 run to distance themselves from Arizona. After cutting the lead to seven with 14:29 left to play, UA head coach Joan Bonvicini’s crew could not get within ten points of the Buckeyes the rest of the game. Ohio State’s biggest lead was 20 points. The Buckeyes outrebounded the Wildcats, 37-28, outscored them in the paint, 38-20, and distributed 22 assists to their 10.
Wilburn started for the second consecutive game and continues to up her personal bests. She recorded a career-high eight assists against Arizona in 34 minutes of action.
The Buckeyes play host to Virginia 7 p.m. Wednesday night (Dec. 18) at Value City Arena and finish the week with a 7 p.m. Friday night (Dec. 20) game against Youngstown State.