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OHIO STATE No. 9 Buckeyes no problem at home



Published: Mon, January 10, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Caity Matter scored 17 in the 15-point win.

COLUMBUS (AP) -- Even with Jessica Davenport all but neutralized underneath, No. 9 Ohio State proved it has a lot of weapons.

Caity Matter scored 17 points to make up for Davenport's rough outing and the Buckeyes beat Liberty 66-51 on Sunday.

Guarded by 6-foot-8 Flames center Katie Feenstra, Davenport -- who averages 18 points -- was scoreless in the first half and finished with just one field goal and six points for the Buckeyes (14-2).

Davenport in check

The 6-4 Davenport went 1-for-6 from the field and had four rebounds, half her season average.

"It's not often she gets the opportunity to play against a bigger player," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said. "You saw the end result of understanding that you need more than a back-to-the-basket game. Hopefully this will be a teaching tool for Jess."

Brandie Hoskins scored 13 for Ohio State, which has won 11 of its last 12 games.

Feenstra scored most of her points after the outcome was all but decided, leading Liberty (7-5) with 17 points and 11 rebounds. She went 7-of-11 from the field and her season shooting percentage dropped to .679.

"[Davenport] is a great ballplayer," Liberty coach Carey Green said. "I think we've got a great player as well. Katie led the nation in field-goal percentage a year ago, and we count on her for a double-double."

Daina Staugaitiene chipped in with 10 points for the Flames, who had won their last four games.

First half

The Buckeyes led 14-0 with just under 9 minutes gone after the Flames missed their first nine shots from the field and had seven turnovers.

"It was the nerves and excitement of playing in front of a big crowd," Liberty's Kristal Tharp said. "We know we can play. We just had to calm down and play the way we know we can play."

Over the next 11 minutes, Liberty outscored Ohio State 24-15 and cut the early deficit to three. The Flames hit 10 of their last 16 shots from the field while the Buckeyes shot 37 percent and turned the ball over eight times in the half.

"We talk until we're blue in the face about defensive intensity," Foster said. "You can't predict when you're not going to make shots. We weren't particularly sharp offensively until the last 10 minutes or so. We played against a good team that will still be playing in March."

Ahead 29-24 at the break after Matter hit two free throws with less than a second left, the Buckeyes pulled away by scoring 11 of the first 13 points in the second half.




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