Dec. 14, 2002

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The Buckeyes return home after a four-game road stint to play host to No. 19/24 Arizona (4-1, 0-0) in the first of five games played in Value City Arena this month. The game tips off at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The meeting last season was the first between the Big Ten and Pac-10 schools of Ohio State and Arizona. The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 1-0, with a 90-76 victory last November in Tucson.

The Buckeyes, plagued by early foul trouble and turnovers, suffered its first loss of the 2001-02 season, 90-76, at Arizona, Nov. 21, 2001. The Wildcats controlled both halves of the game, shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half to lead 47-34 at halftime. In second-half action, Ohio State fought its way back into the game with the three-point tenacity of forward DiDi Reynolds. Reynolds drained three treys in a 15-6 rally to close the lead to six (57-51) with 13:15 to play. Arizona pulled away over the next four and one-half minutes with an 18-3 run, establishing a 21-point lead, the largest of the game, and never looked back.

Ohio State shot 41 percent from the floor and 91.3 percent at the free-throw line but committed 27 turnovers. Arizona shot 49.3 percent from field-goal range and 82.6 percent at the stripe.

Guard Ashley Allen led four other Buckeyes in double-digit scoring with a career-high 17 points. Courtney Coleman added 15 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Reynolds and LaToya Turner scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Wildcat forward Elizabeth Pickney led all players with 24 points. Center LaKeisha Taylor put 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds on the scoreboard.

For the first time this season, No. 19/24 Arizona (4-1, 0-0) makes an appearance in both the AP and ESPN/USAToday Top 25 polls. Joan Bonvicini’s squad posted a major victory over a Top 10 Georgia team, 70-49, Nov. 30 and its only loss came to No. 3 Louisiana State, 78-71, in an overtime season opener (Nov. 22). The Wildcats have also earned wins at Pepperdine (80-68), vs. UC-Riverside (95-66) and against Illinois (75-73).

With four returning starters, Arizona looks to guards Dee-Dee Wheeler, Aimee Grzyb and Julie Brase and forward Krista Warren to lead the Wildcats. Four Arizona players are scoring in double-digits, including Shawntinice Polk, the teams’ leading scorer with 19.2 points and 13.8 rebounds an outing. The 6-foot-5 Polk is a redshirt freshman and was a 2001 High School All-America selection.

In 11 years at the helm of the Arizona program, Joan Bonvicini, the winningest coach in Wildcat women’s basketball history, has guided her squads to six postseason appearances, including four NCAA tournament berths and two in the WNIT.

Under Bonvicini’s leadership, the Wildcats have finished in the upper tier of the Pac-10 in each of the last seven years. During this time, Arizona has been nationally ranked multiple times, including a best-ever No. 7 ranking in 1998.

Among her players, Bonvicini has produced one All-American, a Pac-10 Player of the Year, two Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year, 15 All-Pac-10 honorees, 12 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team choices and seven Academic All-Pac-10 selections. She has also earned her share of laurels, having twice been a finalist for both the Naismith College Coach of the Year Award and the Associated Press College Coach of the Year Award. She was named the 1998 WBCA Region 8 Coach of the Year and the 1998 Pac-10 Coach of the Year.

Bonvicini holds a 193-131 (.596) mark in 11 years at Arizona and is 518-202 (.719) in 23 years as a head coach. She is 23-14 in NCAA tournament play and has never lost a first-round game in 14 appearances.

After opening the season with one home game and five road trips, the Buckeyes will be anxiously looking forward to playing seven games in Columbus from now until Jan. 9. While the remaining games in December will all be held at Value City Arena, the Jan. 5 Big Ten/Big XII contest against Texas will be held in historic St. John Arena and will be the first nationally televised game (ESPN2) for OSU under first-year head coach Jim Foster.

Ohio State will be facing its first nationally-ranked squad when they play host to No. 19/24 Arizona this Sunday at 2 p.m. in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes were 4-2 during the 2001-02 campaign under former head coach Beth Burns.

In the first half of play Friday night at The Convo, sophomore Caity Matter outscored the entire Ohio University team 17-11. Matter, whose first three treys swished to open the game, ended the night with 19 points off 7-for-9 shooting from the field and a 4-for-5 stroke from behind the arc in 26 minutes of play.

In the previous contest, Matter scored a personal-best 24 points against the Phoenix of Green Bay.

Senior D’wan Shackleford blocked four shots in the 64-36 victory over Ohio University Friday night. Shackleford is inching her way into the all-time Ohio State career list with 48 total blocks over her four years as Buckeye.

Junior LaToya Turner added two blocked shots against the Bobcats and holds the fourth-best record for career blocks with 86. Turner currently has 13 on the year.

Freshman Kim Wilburn started in her first collegiate basketball game Friday night in The Convo against Ohio University. The Michigan native clocked a game-high 34 minutes and earned a personal-best eight points (4-for-4), six assists and four steals.

Senior D’wan Shackleford has been a solid force from the bench for the Buckeyes this season. After a 12-point, six-rebound effort at UW-Green Bay, “Shack” came alive in the second half of play at Ohio University Friday night by scoring 13 of her 15 total points, grabbing a game-best eight rebounds and rejecting four shots.

Sophomore Caity Matter, who is leading the Big Ten in three-pointers made per game (3.0), is making her way into OSU history. She has a total of 37 three-pointers over 23 games, including 19 treys in six games thus far in the 2002-03 campaign. Nineteen three-pointers drained is one more than the Bluffton native, who redshirted last season and missed 16 games her freshman year due to injury, made throughout the entire 2000-01 season.

Jim Foster’s 2002-03 Buckeyes have outrebounded every team they have taken on this year. They are averaging 36.0 boards to their opponent’s 25.3 caroms a game.

Ohio State is second among league leaders in field goal percentage with an average shooting mark of .533. The Buckeyes also rank third in scoring defense (allowing only 57.2 points by opponents), scoring margin (plus 18.8 points an outing) and total assists (19.8 average).

Individually, senior Courtney Coleman leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage with a .844 average from the field (38-45). Sophomore Caity Matter is the conference leader in three-pointers made (3.0 per game) and free-throw percentage with a perfect (10-10) record from the charity stripe. Junior LaToya Turner is the second-leading shot blocker among Big Ten competitors with an average of 2.2 blocked shots an outing.

Junior Emily Haynam was selected to the 2002 Fall Academic All-Big Ten team recently. Haynam, a journalism major, became a two-sport athlete when she joined the OSU soccer team as a goalkeeper last spring. She was successful on the soccer field and garnered Big Ten Player of the Week honors for her shutout performances at Wisconsin (Oct. 18) and Minnesota (Oct. 20). The Buckeye soccer team was defeated by Notre Dame, 3-1, in the first round of the program’s inaugural trip to the NCAA Tournament and went 10-11-1 for the season. Ohio State was 6-3 with Haynam in goal.

Senior Courtney Coleman was named to the Coors Classic all-tournament team. Coleman was solid offensively for Jim Foster’s Buckeyes by scoring 17 and 18 points against Villanova (Nov. 29) and Hartford (Nov. 30), respectively. The two-time second team all-Big Ten selection shot 16-for-18 from the field, was 3-for-4 from the free-throw line and collected 10 rebounds over the two nights. This was Coleman’s fourth time in as many events to be named to the all-tournament team. Coleman was a member of the Great Alaska Shootout, WNIT and Women’s Sports Foundation Classic all-tournament teams.

For the second time this season, every Buckeye got on the scoreboard Nov. 30 in the consolation game of the Coors Classic in Boulder, Colo. against Hartford. Foster’s team also had every player score in the season opener at Duquesne, Nov. 22.

The Buckeyes took care of a business against Hartford Nov. 30 in a fashion that is becoming par for the OSU team. A 20-0 run in the first half against the Hawks gave the Buckeyes control of the game and the squad never looked back. Ohio State also went on two scoring runs (21-0 each time) in the first half during the first couple games of the season over Duquesne (Nov. 22) and Wayne State (Nov. 26) to gain control of those contests.

Seniors Courtney Coleman and junior redshirt LaToya Turner will have their eyes set on continuing their solid play on the hardwood this season by racking up points and rebounds. Courtney Coleman has a total of 13 double-doubles (6 sophomore year; 7 junior year) and Turner, who was injured the majority of last season, earned three during her freshman campaign and two before she was redshirted her sophomore year. Turner earned her fourth career, and the first of her junior year, double-double vs. Wayne State with 23 points and 11 caroms.

The Ohio State Buckeyes have new leadership for the 2002-03 season as Jim Foster takes over at the helm of the program. Foster, the seventh head coach at Ohio State, has 24 years of experience in women’s basketball at both St. Joseph’s (Pa.) University and Vanderbilt University. Throughout his coaching career, the Abington, Pa., native has posted a 504-225 record and has made 17 postseason appearances, including one NCAA Final Four, four Elite Eight and three Sweet Sixteen trips.

Foster most recently was at Vanderbilt, where he was the head coach for 11 years and posted a 256-99 record (.721), captured three postseason SEC tournament crowns, earned his 500th career victory last season and made back-to-back NCAA Elite Eight appearances in 2001 and 2002. Foster’s entire Commodore coaching staff – Pete Gaudet, Kelley Meury and Chavonne Hammond – also are new to the Ohio State program this year.

The Buckeyes were 5-0 against French and Swiss opponents during their 12-day tour through Europe in August. While abroad, the Buckeyes held a 28-point scoring margin of victory, averaged 74.4 points per game and held opponents to 45.8 points per contest on their way to an undefeated record overseas.

Senior Courtney Coleman and junior LaToya Turner paced the Buckeyes abroad with an average of 15.6 and 14.6 points an outing, respectively. Sophomore Ashley Allen showed her versatility by running the point, dishing out assists and averaging 8.6 points per game, including a 16-point effort against Martigny (Switzerland). Allen also earned five assists, four steals and two rebounds in the Martigny victory.

Unfortunately, the European trip came at a cost as sophomore Charisse Crews suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in her right knee while competing abroad with the Buckeyes during their trip through Europe. Crews went down Aug. 30 in Montreux, Switzerland, against Martigny (OSU’s third game of the trip) during the third quarter after scoring seven points that night. Crews underwent surgery in September and is out indefinitely.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team beat Ohio University, 64-36, Friday night at The Convo in Athens, Ohio. The Buckeyes lead by as many as 30 points at one point in the game and shot .500 from the field.

Sophomore Caity Matter (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) opened up the game for Ohio State by draining the first three shots she took from beyond the arc. Matter outscored the entire Ohio University squad herself in the first half of play with 17 points in 16 minutes. Matter finished the night with 19 points (7-9 FG, 4-5 3FG, 1-1 FT), four rebounds, two steals and no turnovers.

Senior D’wan Shackleford came off the bench and contributed four blocked shots, a game-high eight boards and 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half. In her first collegiate start, freshman Kim Wilburn (Southfield, Mich./Detroit Country Day) scored a career-best 8 points off a perfect 4-for-4 night from the floor and a personal-best six assists along with four steals. Senior Courtney Coleman (Cincinnati, Ohio/Hughes) added 8 points, all of which came in the second half

“It was a very physical ball game,” OSU head coach Jim Foster said. “They let you play and (the Ohio State players) worked hard.”