Feb. 18, 2003

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Ohio State (17-7; 8-5 Big Ten) tips off against Illinois (14-9; 6-6 Big Ten) at 8 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Assembly Hall in Urbana-Champaign, Ill.

Ohio State leads the all-time series with Illinois 30-13. Until Jan. 23, when these two teams met and the Buckeyes won 82-74, no member of the Ohio State squad had experienced a win while wearing the Scarlet and Gray over an Illinois team since Jan. 8, 1999, when the Buckeyes broke a four-game losing streak and captured a 70-67 win in Columbus. The last time an OSU team won at Illinois was Jan. 28, 1995 (88-72).

The Ohio State women’s basketball team (14-3; 5-1 Big Ten) beat Illinois (11-5; 3-3 Big Ten), 82-74, Jan. 23 in front of a season-high 3,468 people at Value City Arena and improved to 9-0 in Columbus. Ohio State relied on the even scoring force of five Buckeyes notching double-figures for the first time this season. Senior Courtney Coleman, sophomore Caity Matter, freshman Kim Wilburn, sophomore Ashley Allen and junior LaToya Turner scored 18, 16, 15, 10 and 10 points, respectively. The Buckeyes outscored the Fighting Illini, 50-28, in the paint due largely to Coleman’s perfect 7-for-7 night. This was Coleman’s second consecutive flawless performance from the floor after she shot 5-for-5 at Northwestern Jan. 19.

The first half was a back-and-forth battle between the two squads with eight ties and 10 lead changes. Illinois’ Aminata Yanni, who had 17 points in the first 20 minutes of play and was held to two in the second half, hit a 3-pointer at the 10:43 mark to send her team up by five points, the largest lead of the game thus far for either team. However, Buckeye classmates Matter and Allen answered with back-to-back treys to take a one-point lead.

Illinois once again established a five-point advantage over the next three minutes, but Matter, who was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc in the first half, answered once again and was followed by a Wilburn layup to tie the game at 31. After one more scoring spurt, the Illini took a four-point lead (35-31) off two free throws by Karen Hagberg and a jumper by Janelle Hughes with 4:47 left in the half. Ohio State proceeded to lay a 14-1 run on Illinois to close out the half and take a 45-36 lead into the locker room.

The Buckeyes kept their momentum in the second stanza and eventually extended their lead to 17 points twice, the first off an Allen layup (6:49) and the second after two Turner free throws (5:55). Despite trailing by at least ten points over the next four minutes, Illinois never gave up and in the final three minutes closed the game to within as few as five points twice. Angelina Williams hit two 3-pointers in a row to bring her team to within eight points and Hughes knocked down another shot from behind the 3-point line to creep within five, but Ohio State hit 8-of-10 shots from the charity stripe to maintain its lead and capture its fifth win in conference play this season.

Wilburn, a freshman from Southfield, Mich., scored a then-career-high 15 points off a 7-of-11 stroke. Senior DiDi Reynolds was 5-for-5 from the free-throw line, including two with nine seconds left.

Illinois is 14-9 overall and 6-6 in the conference. Most recently, the Fighting Illini fell to UC-Santa Barbara, 77-72, at home and Purdue, 79-67, in West Lafayette.

One of their biggest wins in league play was over Minnesota, 94-80. Additionally, Theresa Grentz’ team opened the season with a 78-65 victory over UW-Green Bay, who beat the Buckeyes at Green Bay (74-64) Dec. 7.

Illinois is led by four players who all average double-digits: Angelina Williams (15.0), Cindy Dallas (13.2), Aminata Yanni (13.0) and Tiffanie Guthrie (11.3). Dallas is the team’s leading rebounder with 9.7 boards an outing.

Theresa Grentz began her 29th year in the coaching profession and her eighth at the helm of the Illinois program. Entering this season, Grentz had earned a 592-241 record, which established her as the eighth all-time winningest coach in NCAA history. The Glenolden, Pa., native has an all-time 131-86 record at Illinois, including a program-best 24-8 mark in 1996-97. She was a two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (1997 and 1998), a four-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year and 1987 Converse National Coach of the Year award and 1997 IBCA Coach of the Year award, among numerous additional coach of the year honors.

Inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 and the NIKE Hall of Fame in 1992, Grentz has a plethora of honors ranging from a Loyal Daughter of Rutgers inductee (1991) to the Woman of Distinction by the Delaware-Raritan Girl Scout Council (1993). Referred to as a “pioneer” of women’s basketball, Grentz led Macs of Immaculata College in the early 1970s to three AIAW National Championships and played in the first-ever televised women’s basketball game when Immaculata won its third title on March 23, 1974. Grentz and her husband, Karl, have two sons, Karl, Jr. (23) and Kevin (15).

Freshman Kim Wilburn has accumulated 72 steals this season, including two at Minnesota Feb. 16, which earned her the record for steals by an Ohio State freshman. Martha Baker previously owned the mark for most steals by a rookie Buckeye with 71, which was set during the 1975-76 season.

Wilburn ranks first in conference games with 3.62 steals per game and is tied for second place in all games among Big Ten leaders with 3.00 swipes per game. The next closest player in Big Ten games is earning 2.75 steals per game, almost one fewer than Wilburn.

Ohio State head coach Jim Foster served as an assistant coach for Illinois’ Theresa Grentz twice at the international level. The two worked together at the 1990 World Championship/Goodwill Games for the United States’ gold-medal team and in 1992 for the United States Olympic Team, which captured a bronze medal.

Ohio State’s Jim Foster and Illinois’ Theresa Grentz both hail from Pennsylvania and began their collegiate coaching careers at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Grentz was the head coach for two seasons (1974-75 and 1975-76) and two years later, Foster began a 13-year tenure for the Hawks from 1978-1991. Grentz’ second head coaching position was at Rutgers, where she stayed for 19 seasons. Rutgers and St. Joseph’s both were in the Atlantic 10 conference.

Ohio State women’s basketball player Courtney Coleman was named the Big Ten Player of the Week Feb. 10. Coleman, a senior forward form Cincinnati, Ohio, was a major force behind the Buckeye’s two victories over then-No. 15/16 Minnesota (66-58) and Wisconsin (63-40) in Value City Arena.

Coleman, who has lead the country all year in the category of field goal percentage for both men and women, averaged 17.0 points off a combined 14-of-22 effort from the field. Coleman was 7-of-8 vs. the Gophers, played 35 minutes in each game and averaged 8.5 boards an outing. Her nine-rebound effort against a much taller Wisconsin team, who started three players standing at 6-7, 6-5 and 6-3, led the game and her eight boards vs. the Gophers was a Buckeye high mark. Additionally, Coleman was a combined 6-of-8 from the line over the two games.

This is the first such honor for Coleman, who had found her way into the Buckeye record books throughout her four-year tenure at Ohio State.

Junior forward LaToya Turner suffered a radial head fracture in her left arm and will be sidelined four-to-six weeks. The injury occurred during the Minnesota game Feb. 6 in Value City Arena.

A starter for first-year head coach Jim Foster’s Buckeye squad and the 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Turner was averaging 8.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 26.0 minutes of action per game. A native of Pickerington, Ohio, Turner was redshirted last season after having arthroscopic knee surgery Dec. 11. She also missed the majority of the 2000-01 season after Jan. 12 surgery for a torn ACL in her left knee.

After a 63-40 victory over Wisconsin, Ohio State moved to 12-0 overall in Columbus. That home mark is the best for a Buckeye squad since the 1992-93 team went 16-0 and defended St. John Arena.

So, how have they done it? First year head coach Jim Foster and his coaching staff have been perfect in Columbus by beating: Wayne State (100-57), then-No. 19/24 Arizona (84-65), Virginia (73-60), Youngstown State (76-45), Austin Peay (76-60), Northwestern (82-49), then-No. 17/18 Texas (70-66), Michigan State (70-65), Illinois (82-74), Iowa (74-59), then-No. 15/16 Minnesota (66-58) and Wisconsin (63-40).

As of Feb. 10, senior Courtney Coleman and sophomore Caity Matter were leading the country with their shooting percentages. Coleman was atop of the field-goal percentage list with a .711 (138-194) stroke and not only was she the best female shooter in the country, the six-foot-one-forward’s mark also led the Division I men. As of the last NCAA rankings, Matter had the best 3-point stroke in the country with a .484 (74-153) average.

Not only are these two Buckeyes the leading scorers for Ohio State – Matter averages 15.6 and Coleman averages 14.7 – but these two women also hold the top spots in Ohio State history. Coleman’s .608 (558-918) career percentage ranks her as the best field-goal shooter in Buckeye history and Matter’s .456 (99-217) is the best among OSU record holders from 3-point land.

Ohio State is ranked first in the Big Ten with 10.63 swipes per outing. The Buckeyes are led by frosh Kim Wilburn, who averages a league-leading 3.62 steals per Big Ten game, almost one better than the second-ranked players.

In the last three games, the Buckeyes have picked off 35 steals compared to Wisconsin, Michigan State and Minnesota’s combination of 15 swipes.

Senior Courtney Coleman is ranked third in the Big Ten with 3.29 offensive boards an outing. The 6-1 forward moved to seventh overall on the Buckeye career records list with 705 total boards after collecting four caroms at Michigan State Feb. 13. Her grand total is 710 career rebounds.

In conference games, sophomore Ashley Allen ranks second with a 1.59 assist-to-turnover ratio. Allen has racked up 91 total assists in 24 games this season compared to her freshman campaign, when she earned 53 total assists in 29 contests.

Ohio State is shooting .383 (250-367) from behind the 3-point line this season. The percentage ranks second among Big Ten schools. Sophomore Caity Matter, who is ranked eighth with 15.6 points per game, is largely responsible for the Buckeyes’ hot hand from downtown. She leads the league in treys made per game (3.38) and shooting percentage from behind the arc (.482 – 81-168).

Additionally, in conference games, Matter is one of two players that hits over half of the 3-pointers she attempts. Matter is ranked second in Big Ten contests, with a .515 (51-99) shooting average from 3-point territory.

Matter’s contributions are not too surprising considering she currently holds the top spot in 3-point percentage among the Buckeye career record books with an overall .456 (99-217) stroke.

In the 82-74 victory over Illinois Jan. 23, Ohio State relied on the even scoring force of five Buckeyes notching double-figures for the first time this season. Senior Courtney Coleman, sophomore Caity Matter, freshman Kim Wilburn, sophomore Ashley Allen and junior LaToya Turner scored 18, 16, 15, 10 and 10 points, respectively.

Two times this season the Buckeyes have accomplished something that no member of the team had ever experienced before. The team’s road win at Wisconsin (57-42) Jan. 16 and the 82-74 victory over Illinois Jan. 23 was a first for this set of Buckeyes. No member of the current Ohio State team had previously earned a victory in Madison or a victory over Illinois – home or away.

Ohio State, who began with a bit of a struggle in the turnover category, has traded in their turnover woes for a third-place turnover margin ranking with a +3.33 mark. The Buckeye are averaging 16.7 turnovers an outing and forcing teams to give up the ball 20.0 times per contest. In conference games, the Buckeyes are ranked second with a +4.08 and average of 15.8 turnovers per game, while forcing Big Ten schools to 19.9 turnovers per contest.

Junior Erika Christenson had a career afternoon vs. Wisconsin Feb. 9 with four points and three rebounds in 16 minutes of play. The 6-4 center has seen more playing time lately due to the absence of junior LaToya Turner, who went down with a broken arm against Minnesota Feb. 6.

While junior LaToya Turner averaged 1.57 rejected shots an outing, which ranked third among Big Ten leaders before she broke her arm Feb. 6 vs. Minnesota, and senior D’wan Shackleford has 13 blocked shots on the season, the smaller Buckeyes are stepping up to swat stuff as well.

Freshman Kim Wilburn has seven blocked shots to her name as a Buckeye, including two against Minnesota Feb. 19. Sophomore Ashley Allen, who stands at five-feet-nine-inches tall, has recorded a blocked shots in six games this season.

Freshman Kim Wilburn has proven she belongs at the point of the Ohio State offense with a 1.62 assist-to-turnover ratio in 24 games, including 19 starts, for the Buckeyes. Her ratio is ranked third among league leaders.

Sophomore Caity Matter and senior DiDi Reynolds are tied for fifth place in the Ohio State career records list with 99 total 3-pointers made apiece. Entering the last game against Minnesota (Feb. 16), the two Buckeyes were also tied with 98 treys apiece.

Sophomore Caity Matter earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors for her performances at Wisconsin (Jan. 16) and at Northwestern (Jan. 19). Matter was a combined 12-for-21 (.571) from behind the 3-point line, averaged 25.0 points, 5.5 boards and had only one turnover in a total 63 minutes of play. Matter’s award marked the first time since Nov. 20, 2000, that an Ohio State player was named Big Ten Player of the Week when teammate LaToya Turner earned the honor as a freshman.

Some notes about the Buckeye’s 17-7 record:

The Buckeyes’ 17-7 start is the best since the 1995-96 season,when Ohio State also went 17-7 in the first 24 games of the year.Since the NCAA began keeping statistics during the 1981-82 season,Jim Foster’s 17-7 record is the best start for a first-year headcoach since Nancy Darsch went 19-5 in 1985-86 in her first 24 gamesduring her first season at the helm of the Buckeye program. TheBuckeyes’ 8-5 Big Ten record is the best conference beginning foran Ohio State team since the 1998-99 season when the team was also8-5 13 games into the Big Ten portion of their schedule. The lasttime an Ohio State team was 12-0 at home was during the 1992-93season.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 3-3 vs. ranked teams this season. Ohio State beat No. 15/16 Minnesota, 66-58, (Feb. 6), captured a win over then-No. 17/18 Texas, 70-66, Jan. 5 in St. John Arena, and was victorious over then-No. 19/24 Arizona (84-65) Dec. 15 in Value City Arena. The squad fell at No. 14/15 Penn State Jan. 30 (68-53), at No. 9/10 Purdue (67-62) Feb. 2 and at No. 17/18 Minnesota (73-50) Feb. 16.

Senior DiDi Reynolds is an impressive 26-27 from the free-throw line this season.

The Bascom, Ohio, native has steadily improved over her four years. As a freshman, the shooting guard shot .688 (11-16), her second season she was .765 (26-34) from the charity stripe and last year, she was .841 (37-44) from the line.

In addition to DiDi Reynolds, sophomore Caity Matter is also a nearly flawless 33-36 on the year from the charity stripe. Her freshman year (2000-01), the Bluffton, Ohio, native was 22-for-25 from the line and ended the year with eight consecutive makes from the line, which extended her total consecutive free-throws made to 31 until she missed the last free throw she took against Michigan State Jan. 9.

Matter missed a stretch of 16 games her freshman campaign due to injury and came back to help the Buckeyes capture the 2001 WNIT Championship. She redshirted last season after she fractured her third metatarsal during a Nov. 11 practice.

In two consecutive games at Northwestern (Jan. 16) and vs. Illinois (Jan. 23), senior forward Courtney Coleman did not miss a field goal. She was 5-for-5 in Evanston and 7-for-7 against the Illini.

Three of freshman Kim Wilburn’s career-best 18 points against then-No. 15/16 Minnesota Feb. 6 came at the buzzer before the half when she nailed her first 3-pointer while wearing the Scarlet and Gray. Her trey brought the Buckeyes to within four points at the midway mark and Ohio State eventually captured the victory over the Gophers 66-58.

Making a name for herself in the steals category this season, freshman Kim Wilburn is now showing her offensive side. The Southfield, Mich., native went 8-for 10 and upped her career-high mark for points with 18 against then-No. 15/16 Minnesota Feb. 6. Her previous best offensive performance was 15 points against Illinois Jan. 23 off a 7-for-11 night from the field. The rookie Buckeye point guard is averaging 6.1 points per game.

Ohio State’s attendance of 6,389 against Iowa in Value City Arena Jan. 26 shattered the season-high mark for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is averaging 3,419 people at all games, 3,179 in Columbus and 4,032 on the road.

Sophomore Caity Matter, who has a total of 80 3-pointers 23 games into her sophomore season, has earned the record for the most 3-pointers drained by a sophomore in Ohio State history. Former teammate Lauren Shenk held the previous record with 51 shots hit beyond the arc during her sophomore campaign in 1999-00.

Sophomore Caity Matter was unstoppable behind the 3-point line at Wisconsin. She scored 27 points and nailed seven treys. Seven makes from downtown ties the school single-game record, which is held by former All-American Katie Smith.

Sophomore Caity Matter has made her way into Ohio State history in only 41 games wearing Scarlet and Gray. During the 2000-01 season, Matter was a starter 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.

After fracturing her third metatarsal in her left foot during practice Nov. 11, 2001, Matter was granted a medical redshirt for the 2001-02 season.

Lauren Shenk, a former women’s basketball player at Ohio State, has been named the 2003 Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete Award recipient by The University & Northwest Sertoma Club of Columbus. The Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete Award is given to the outstanding man and woman in each of the three collegiate divisions for demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics and community service. Shenk, a standout on the Ohio State squad from 1999-02, is the first women from Ohio State to win the award. Previous Buckeye award winners are football players Robert Hoying (1996) and Greg Smith (1993).

Shenk became the 20th member of the Ohio State 1,000-point scoring club with a 16-point effort against the University of Michigan Jan. 10, 2002. Shenk, who began studies last autumn at the OSU College of Medicine, was a 2002 Big Ten Medal of Honor Finalist, a two-time Verizon/CoSIDA Women’s Basketball District IV Academic All-American, a GTE/CoSIDA Women’s Basketball District IV Academic All-American, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a four-time OSU Scholar Athlete.

The Buckeyes were 5-0 against French and Swiss opponents during their 12-day tour through Europe. 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.

Courtney Coleman and 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.

Senior Courtney Coleman was named the captain for the Ohio State women’s basketball team this season. The senior forward has made her mark on the Ohio State record books and is leading the nation in field-goal percentage.

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.

Junior Emily Haynam 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 at 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.

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.

Three Buckeye players return to the hardwood after being granted medical redshirts for the 2001-02 season – junior LaToya Turner, sophomore Caity Matter and freshman Brandee Gibbs. Additionally, junior Tanya McClure was granted a medical redshirt for the 2000-01 season and was injured the majority of the 2001-02 season.

The No. 22/24 Ohio State women’s basketball team (17-7; 8-5 Big Ten) lost to No. 17/18 Minnesota (19-4; 8-4 Big Ten), 73-50, Feb. 16 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. Seniors D’wan Shackleford and Courtney Coleman scored 14 and 12 points and pulled down seven and five boards, respectively. Shackleford also earned five steals in a season-high 39 minutes of action vs. the Gophers.

The game opened up with Ohio State and Minnesota trading leads five times in the first four-and-a-half minutes. The fifth lead change was in favor of the Gophers after Janel McCarville nailed two of her 20 total points to send her squad up 8-7 with 15:24 left in the half. Minnesota’s Tanisha Gilbert and Lindsay Whalen hit two consecutive buckets to take a five-point advantage, but Ohio State’s DiDi Reynolds and sophomore Caity Matter hit back-to-back 3-pointers to earn the final Buckeye lead of the game (13-12) with 11:51 left until the midway mark. Minnesota outscored Ohio State 18-7 over the next eight minutes and 14 seconds to earn a 10-point edge (30-20), the largest of the stanza, and eventually went into the locker room up nine after OSU’s Shackleford made two layups in the final 1:03.

The second half was all Minnesota, as they did not trail by less than 10 in the closing 20 minutes. The Gophers shot 57.1 percent (28-49) compared to the Buckeyes’ 40.4 mark (21-51) from downtown, Minnesota made 58 percent of the shots they took, while Ohio State could only connect on 33 percent of their pulls from beyond the arc. Additionally, Minnesota went 10-for-16 from the free-throw line, while the Buckeyes were just 5-of-14, including an 0-for-5 stroke in the second half.

Reynolds added seven points to the Ohio State scoring effort and freshman Kim Wilburn tallied five points, five assists, two blocked shots and two steals. Junior Tanya McClure added four points, three steals, two assists and no turnovers in 11 minutes. Sophomore Caity Matter distributed a season-best five assists.

In addition to McCarville’s 20 points, the 6-2 sophomore grabbed 17 boards. Minnesota was also paced by Corrin Von Wald, who tallied 20 points and went 5-for-5 from 3-point land, and Lindsay Whalen, who notched 14 points.