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OHIO STATE WOMEN Defense sparks Buckeyes' 72-39 win



Published: Fri, February 11, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Eleven players scored for Ohio State, which remained unbeaten at home.

COLUMBUS (AP) -- Ohio State's supporting cast was too much for Michigan.

Ashley Allen got second-ranked Ohio State going after a lethargic start, scoring half the points in a 10-0 run to spur the Buckeyes past Michigan 72-39 Thursday night for their 12th straight win.

"You can try to stop who you think their leading scorers are, who they run their offense through, and then all of a sudden, almost anybody coming off the bench can really do a lot of things," Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett said.

Jessica Davenport had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Ohio State (23-2, 10-1 Big Ten), which improved to 15-0 at home this season. Kim Wilburn added 10 points in a reserve role. Eleven Buckeyes scored, nine had assists and 10 had rebounds.

"We have a lot of different looks," Buckeyes coach Jim Foster said. "We can have a different team on the floor than the one they prepared to play."

Buckeyes take control early

Tabitha Pool scored 10 points and was the lone player in double figures for the Wolverines (5-18, 1-11), who have lost five in a row and 14 of 15.

Ohio State struggled in the first 10 minutes and led just 14-10 after the Wolverines' Ta'Shia Walker hit a turnaround in the lane. It was defense that turned things around for the Buckeyes.

But Allen, the Ohio State's ninth-leading scorer, revived her teammates with several solid minutes of inspired play. Davenport, shut down by multiple defenders, started a 10-point run with a free throw and then blocked a shot at the other end before Kim Wilburn scored on a transition basket. Allen then stole the ball from Walker and dribbled the length of the floor for a layup. After another turnover by the Wolverines, Davenport banked in a short shot before Allen hit a 3-pointer from the top of the circle.

Turnovers hurt Wolverines

Allen finished with seven points, four assists and four steals.

"We were just trying to stay in the passing lanes," Allen said. "You do that and you can get a couple of layups."

Burnett said things were going well before the Wolverines started throwing the ball away. Ohio State capitalized.

"We really thought we played a pretty good few minutes to start the basketball game, until we turned the ball over and gave them some easy looks," she said. "They're lethal in the open floor."




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