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OSU WOMEN Buckeyes cruise by IU, lead Big Ten



Published: Mon, February 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Matter scored 18 as OSU now sits alone atop conference standings.

COLUMBUS (AP) -- Indiana chose to double-team Ohio State star Jessica Davenport -- and Caity Matter made the Hoosiers pay.

Matter scored 18 points and ignited a quick start for No. 2 Ohio State by hitting her first four shots in a 78-46 win on Sunday.

"They kind of lost track on the break of where I was," Matter said.

It was the 11th straight win for Ohio State (22-2, 9-1 Big Ten) and came before 10,434, the third-largest women's basketball crowd in 7-year-old Value City Arena.

The victory, combined with No. 23 Penn State's 50-44 loss to Purdue, gave the Buckeyes sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

The Buckeyes have been chasing the Nittany Lions ever since losing their conference opener in Happy Valley.

Remaining focused

Coach Jim Foster said he's certain his team won't change its focus now that it is finally on top.

"Quite frankly, we spend no time thinking about that stuff," Foster said. "All year we have only focused on what's in front of us."

Davenport was hounded by multiple Indiana defenders all day but still finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Ten players scored for the Buckeyes.

"[Davenport] is really tough to stop," Indiana coach Kathi Bennett said. "At the beginning of the game it wasn't Jessica that hurt us. It was their transition game and Caity Matter."

Ohio State played its second game without starting forward Michelle Munoz, who is out with an injured right ankle. She is listed as day-to-day.

Annika Boyd had 12 points for Indiana (9-12, 2-9), which has lost six of seven and nine of 11.

Owning Indiana

The Buckeyes pounded the Hoosiers 52-30 just 16 days earlier, holding Indiana to a school record-low eight points and 12.9-percent shooting in the first half. The 30 points were the fewest ever for Indiana in a game.

Indiana exceeded those eight points by the 10:39 mark on Cyndi Valentin's two free throws, but still trailed 22-10 because Matter had already outscored the Hoosiers.

"I got some open shots," Matter said. "That can open things up inside and Jess did a good job of getting open after that."

Matter hit her first four shots from the field -- including three 3-pointers -- to account for half of the Buckeyes first 22 points.

"In the first half we executed well," Foster said. "They were doing a good job taking Jess out but we were still getting quality shots."

Ahead 24-16 with 6 minutes left in the opening half, Ohio State stretched its lead with an 11-2 run to close the half. Indiana was then limited to just two field goals -- both by Sarah McKay -- in the first 81/2 minutes of the second half and the Buckeyes pulled away to a 55-24 lead.

"We moved the ball well and a lot of people had opportunities to score and took advantage of them," Davenport said.

Ohio State, leading the nation in field-goal percentage (51.8), relied on substitutes for most of the second half. The Buckeyes finished at 44.2 percent, one of their lowest shooting outings of the season.

Their defense, however, forced Indiana into 21 turnovers while holding the Hoosiers to 34-percent shooting.

"From the first day we said our maturity will decide our success," Foster said. "We're becoming a mature team."




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