OSU WOMEN Buckeyes turn back Badgers
Jessica Davenport scored 36 points to lead Ohio State to a Big Ten road win.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Ohio State's Caity Matter understands the Buckeyes are at their best when they keep Jessica Davenport involved in the offense.
"Getting the ball to her early and often bodes well for us," Matter said after Davenport scored a career-high 36 points to lead No. 3 Ohio State to an 86-67 victory over Wisconsin on Thursday night.
Davenport stayed active from start to finish, scoring 18 points in each half to help the Buckeyes (20-2, 7-1 Big Ten) roll to their ninth straight victory. She was 15-of-21 from the field as the Buckeyes used a 56-24 scoring advantage in the paint.
"I was just taking what the defense was giving me," Davenport said. "That worked out well tonight. We just kept moving the ball and my teammates found me in good position to make shots."
Ohio State also features a solid perimeter attack, but the Buckeyes didn't need it.
"We feel we're an inside-outside team and we're going to have that mentality," said Ohio State coach Jim Foster, whose team tied a season low with just two 3-pointers.
Matter added 14 points and Brandie Hoskins had 12 for Ohio State. Ashley Allen had eight assists for the Buckeyes, who were equally impressive on the defensive end.
Kim Wilburn matched a career high with seven steals and Matter added five as Ohio State forced 22 turnovers.
Freshman Jolene Anderson scored 24 points to lead Wisconsin (7-10, 1-6), which has lost its last 18 games against ranked opponents.
The Badgers tried virtually everything to stop Davenport but were simply outmatched.
Davenport also had nine rebounds, including five of Ohio State's 21 on the offensive glass.
"It was her strength and her height, she could back us down," Wisconsin coach Lisa Stone said. "We did not neutralize her."
Davenport matched her season scoring average by halftime as Ohio State built a 45-29 lead.
The Buckeyes started slow before using a 17-2 run to take control of the game. Davenport scored nine points during the run, which gave Ohio State a 19-7 lead with 10:06 remaining in the first half.
Wisconsin began the second half with a 9-2 run to pull to 47-38, but Davenport ended Wisconsin's hopes of an upset. Davenport scored 10 points to key an 18-4 run that gave Ohio State a 65-42 lead with 11:48 to go.
"For the first time I think all year, we came out in the second half and jumped on them," said Wisconsin's Stephanie Rich, who had 12 points. "It was just a big energy boost for us. But they're a great team and they didn't really back down to that."
The victory allowed Ohio State to move into a first-place tie with Penn State, which lost at Northwestern.
"We're still a relatively young basketball team in terms of experience," Foster said. "I won't have a senior until next year, so we're still in a teaching mode. I like where we are, but I think were still on an upward spiral."