Dec. 12, 2002

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Ohio State (3-2, 0-0) tips off at Ohio (1-3, 0-0 MAC) at 7 p.m. Friday night at The Convo ( 13,168) in Athens, Ohio. The Buckeyes return home to play host to the No. 19/24 Arizona Wildcats (4-1, 0-0) in the first of four games played in Value City Arena this month.

Ohio State leads the all-time series with Ohio University, 20-0.

Last year, OSU hosted OU on Nov. 18, 2001, and the Buckeyes came away with an 85-60 victory in the season-opener at Value City Arena. Junior Courtney Coleman paced the field with 21 points off 10-of-12 (.833) shooting from the floor. Classmate DiDi Reynolds registered not only her first collegiate start but her first collegiate double-double with career-highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Tomeka Brown also finished in double-figure scoring with 13 points.

The visitors stayed with the Buckeyes through the first 22 minutes of the game, posting an 8-2 run to open the second half and close within two, 45-43, with 18:14 remaining.

Ohio State, however, countered the effort, clogging the Bobcat’s passing lanes and commanding the boards to establish a 16-3 run and its largest lead thus far in the game, 61-46, at the 12:50 mark. The Buckeyes pounded Ohio on the boards 30-14 in the first half and 51-25 for the game.

Coleman and Reynolds combined for 25 first-half points to give the Buckeyes a 43-35 halftime lead.

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.

Ohio (1-3, 0-0) captured it’s first and only win thus far of the 2002-03 season by squeaking by Detroit, 64-60, Dec. 8, at Calihan Hall in Detroit. Junior wing Candace Bates led the Bobcats with 22 points. Freshman Lindsay Wight started for the second straight game and finished with 14 points and seven rebounds before fouling out. The 5-11 forward had scored 27 points in the previous two contests against Austin Peay and Tennessee-Martin. Sophomore wing Andrea Johnson scored 13 points, including the final six Ohio points to seal the victory, and sophomore forward Erin Isbell netted 10.

Ohio fell short to Morehead State, 96-86, in the home and season-opener and lost at Austin Peay (69-39) and at Tennessee-Martin (75-66).

Last season, Lynn Bria, who is in her fourth season at the helm of the Ohio University program, led the Bobcats to its most wins in four years as they finished with a 13-16 mark and defeated Bowling Green in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. That success came on the heels of a MAC quarterfinal appearance in 2000-01, when Ohio was 9-20 for the year. In her first year at Ohio, Bria almost tripled the number of wins the team had the previous year.

Bria has posted a 109-143 record in nine seasons as a collegiate head coach and a 33-53 mark in her first three years at Ohio.

The Charleston, W. Va., native was named Ohio’s ninth head coach on April 13, 1999, after three years at Central Florida. She left there as the second-winningest women’s basketball coach in school history and led the Golden Knights to their second-ever NCAA Tournament bid in 1999. In 1998-99, UCF won the Trans America Athletic Conference regular season and tournament before an NCAA Tournament loss to eventual Final Four participant Louisiana Tech. The Knights finished 20-10 overall and 13-3 in league play. Bria’s three-year regular-season record in TAAC play was a stellar 33-15 (.687).

Bria was hired as an assistant at UCF in the summer of 1996 by then-head coach Jerry Richardson and had not yet begun working when Richardson was killed in an automobile accident. The tragedy left Bria UCF’s interim head coach in her first season. Despite filling an unforeseen role, she posted a 13-15 record in her first season and 17-11 the following year.

As a basketball and tennis player at Charleston, Bria was named first-team All-West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletics Conference as a senior in basketball and was twice named to the honorable mention team. She helped the Golden Eagles to the NAIA national tournament twice in her four seasons and was also named to the conference all-tournament team as a junior. As a tennis standout, Bria was named all-conference as a senior and helped the team to the national tournament.

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.

Sophomore Caity Matter scored a personal-best 24 points off 4-for-7 shooting from three-point land at UW-Green Bay Dec. 7. Her previous career-high mark of 17 points against Arkansas-Pine Bluff came her freshmen season in one of her first games wearing Scarlet and Gray. Matter was a starter her initial year at OSU until an injury caused her to miss a stretch of 16 games. She averaged 6.4 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field, 37 percent from three-point range and 88 percent from the free-throw line.

Unfortunately, injury followed into the Bluffton native’s second season at OSU and she was ultimately granted a medical redshirt for the 2001-02 season after fracturing the third metatarsal in her left foot during practice Nov. 11, 2001.

Senior D’wan Shackleford has made an impact from the bench for the Buckeyes this season. Shackleford has seen action in every game this season and is averaging 5.8 points and 5.3 rebounds a game including a 12-point, six-rebound effort at UW-Green Bay.

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. Haynam 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.

Senior Erika Christenson was awarded another year of eligibility from the NCAA recently. The Fairborn, Ohio, native transferred from Indiana University last year and will begin competing for the Buckeyes in December. Christenson also will play for Ohio State during the 2003-04 season.

During the 2001-02 season, current Buckeye senior forward Courtney Coleman joined the ranks of the 1,000-point club last season as the 21st member to be inducted. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native broke through against Illinois Feb. 13, 2002.

The Buckeyes (3-2) lost to UW-Green Bay (6-1), 74-64, Dec. 7 at the Phoenix Sports Center in Green Bay, Wis. Sophomore Caity Matter scored 24 points off 4-for-7 shooting from three-point land and senior D’wan Shackleford came off the bench to add 12 points and six rebounds to the OSU effort.

The game was a seesaw battle in the second half with four lead changes and one tie. Ohio State shot 59.1 percent from the field, sixty percent from the three-point line and outrebounded the Phoenix 30-24, but with 24 OSU turnovers compared to UW-Green Bay’s 16, the Buckeyes fell short by allowing the Phoenix to score 30 points off turnovers.

In the first half of play, with two three-point Ohio State leads, UW-Green Bay went up by as many as eight points before the Buckeyes tied the game at 25 with 2:22 to go in the half on a DiDi Reynolds layup off a full court pass from senior LaToya Turner. OSU subsequently went ahead by one (27-26) on a Shackleford two pointer underneath the bucket. Another Shackleford score and a Brandee Gibbs bucket down the lane sent Foster’s team up by three once more, but UW-Green Bay’s Natalie Yudt hit a trey at the buzzer to tie the contest at 31 going into halftime.

Sophomore Ashley Allen scored eight points and Coleman scored six points and collected six boards against UW-Green Bay.

The Phoenix were lead in the first half by the sharp shooting of Abby Scharlow, who buried all four threes she took in the first half and both treys she took in the second half (6-6 overall). Scharlow ended up with a game-high 25 points. Kristy Loiselle, Chandra Johnson and Natalie Yudt scored 17, 14 and 11 points, respectively, for the Phoenix.