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Ohio State outworks Indiana for a victory



Published: Fri, January 21, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Third-ranked Ohio State improved to 5-1 in the Big Ten.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Ohio State's usually reliable shooters were off Thursday night. So the Buckeyes shifted to Plan B.

No. 3 Ohio State used a balanced scoring attack, getting 12 points each from Jessica Davenport and Michelle Munoz, and a dominant defense to rout Indiana 52-30.

"They work extremely hard, so our goal tonight was not to get outworked," Buckeyes coach Jim Foster said. "Otherwise, we knew it was going to be a long night."

Dominating start

The Buckeyes (18-2, 5-1 Big Ten) never gave Indiana a chance.

They coasted to a seventh consecutive victory, protecting the highest ranking in school history. Ohio State also ended a four-game skid in Bloomington that dated to Jan. 15, 1999, by clamping down on Indiana's shooters.

The Hoosiers (8-8, 1-5) scored a school record-low eight points in the first half when they shot just 12.9 percent from the floor. The 30 points also broke the school record for fewest points in a game. The previous records for fewest points in a half and a game were both set earlier this month against Purdue.

Although the Hoosiers were better in the second half, they still wound up shooting just 24.1 percent, their second-worst effort of the season.

"We had to be so much more patient and execute so much better," Hoosiers coach Kathi Bennett said. "I thought we did that in the first five minutes, but our shots didn't go down."

The Buckeyes, who lead the Big Ten in scoring at 75.8 points per game and the nation with a 52.2 percent field goal percentage, were forced to take a different approach Thursday because of Indiana's harassing defense.

Caity Matter hit just one 3-pointer and was one of three Ohio State players to finish with seven points. Davenport, one of the Big Ten's top post players, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out a career-high five assists, and Munoz matched her season-high by hitting 5 of 9 shots and two 3-pointers.

Team deserves credit

The team approach worked perfectly.

"Jessica has gotten really good when she sees double and triple teams of finding the open person," Munoz said.

This one was every bit as lopsided as the score indicated.

Only two Hoosiers reached double figures. Cyndi Valentin scored 15 points to become the ninth player in Indiana history to top 1,000 points in her junior season. Jamie Gathing added 10 points.

Ohio State held a 48-28 rebounding advantage and blocked seven shots, but the Hoosiers' first-half funk was so bad it seemed contagious.

"I think people tend to lose confidence when that happens," Valentin said. "But when that happens, you've got to turn around and pick up your defense or you're going to dig a deeper hole."

For the Buckeyes, it didn't seem to matter what Indiana did.

Ohio State wiped out an early Indiana lead with a 22-0 spurt during a 15:23 stretch of the first half. When the drought finally ended, on Gathing's short jumper with 13 seconds left in the half, the Hoosiers trailed 26-8.




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