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OSU WOMEN Fast start powers Buckeyes to victory



Published: Mon, January 31, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Jessica Davenport scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds by halftime.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Jessica Davenport is feeling more comfortable providing Ohio State's scoring punch from the low post.

Davenport, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, scored 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the No. 3 Buckeyes to a 69-55 victory against Illinois on Sunday, three days after she scored a career-high 36 points at Wisconsin.

"I just let it come to me," Davenport said. "My teammates kept finding me while the defense was scrambling."

Davenport scored 13 of her team's first 18 points and had 21 points and 10 rebounds by halftime. The Buckeyes (21-2, 8-1 Big Ten) never trailed on the way to their 10th consecutive victory and first in Champaign since Jan. 28, 1995.

"We talked about it before the game, that we haven't won here in a while," said Caity Matter, who scored 14 points.

Brandie Hoskins had 12 points and seven assists for the Buckeyes, who had 21 assists on 30 baskets.

"It's just making the extra pass, finding the open person, not caring who's scoring the points," Hoskins said.

Illinois leader

Tiffanie Guthrie had 18 points for Illinois (12-7, 4-5), which lost for the third time in four games. Erin Wigley scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

"She's been talking about stepping up," Illini coach Theresa Grentz said of Wigley.

"She fought, she was aggressive on the offensive boards. She got to the free-throw line five times. They're all positives that are going to help her game and help us."

Illinois' leading scorer Angelina Williams scored 13 points, but was just 4-of-15 from the field.

Illinois fell behind 14-7 on Matter's 3-pointer with 14 minutes to go in the first half, but a 6-0 run closed the gap to 14-13 with 12:19 remaining.

The Buckeyes scored eight of the next 10 points to assume control again and took a 35-24 halftime lead on Davenport's layup in the final second.

Ohio State led by double figures throughout the second half, using a 13-4 run to take its biggest lead at 65-42 with 5:48 remaining. Illinois put together a 13-4 run to close the game.

Buckeyes starting forward Michelle Munoz missed the game because of an injured right ankle.




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