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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL Buckeyes beat Purdue, 57-51



Published: Fri, February 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Jessica Davenport led the way with 21 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- There's a reason Jessica Davenport has played all 40 minutes in each of the past four games. When she's under the basket, no one can stop her.

Davenport, who had Ohio State's first triple-double over the weekend, came back with 21 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots Thursday night in the No. 4 Buckeyes' 57-51 victory over Purdue.

"We had a lot of defensive intensity," she said. "There's a lot of things we didn't do well on offense, but I think our defense was pretty good."

Good defense

Ohio State held Purdue to 31 percent shooting, forced the Boilermakers into 16 turnovers and altered many of their shots just with Davenport's 6-foot-4 presence in the paint. Davenport, the only Ohio State player to go all 40 minutes in any game this season, also went 9-of-13 against the smaller Boilermakers.

"You're not going to stop her. You can only hope to not let her touch the ball," said Katie Gearlds, who led Purdue with 16 points. "We did a very poor job of denying on the perimeter. It's something we've got to correct."

It was the first win at Mackey Arena in more than 10 years for the Buckeyes (26-3, 13-2 Big Ten). The victory moved Ohio State into a tie with Penn State for second place in the conference standings, a half-game behind Michigan State.

"The game was ugly, and we won it," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said. "From that point of view, I was very pleased."

Purdue never led

Purdue (15-11, 8-7) trailed the entire game, falling behind by 12 in the first half before Gearlds led a modest comeback. She scored Purdue's final basket of the first half and her team's first nine points after the break to bring the Boilermakers within 33-28.

Ohio State then broke open the game with a 3-pointer by Caity Matter and two straight baskets by Davenport.

"We dug ourselves into a hole in the first half," Gearlds said. "Our press worked for a little bit in the second half, but they made the plays when they had to."

The Buckeyes stretched the lead to 46-33 with just over seven minutes to go. Purdue cut the lead to four with nine seconds remaining on two free throws by Gearlds, but Matter iced the game with two foul shots of her own six seconds later.

"Down the stretch, they sustained a couple punches from us," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said. "I think we lost the ball game in the second 10 minutes of the first half."

Brandie Hoskins added 14 points and Matter had 11 for Ohio State. Erin Lawless added 13 for the Boilermakers.




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