Buckeyes cruise to 18th victory

Brandie Hoskins paced Ohio State to a 72-62 win over Indiana.
COLUMBUS (AP) -- Brandie Hoskins scored 19 points and seemed to make all the clutch baskets to lead No. 5 Ohio State past Indiana 72-62 Thursday night.
Hoskins led the way as the Buckeyes took control late in the first half and then she hit several big shots down the stretch to help Ohio State (18-1, 7-0 Big Ten) clinch the school's best start, exceeding the previous mark of 17-1 in 1973-74 on the way to an 18-2 season.
Star Allen added 16 points, including four late free throws for some breathing room, while Jessica Davenport had an off night but still finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four blocks.
The win was Ohio State's 11th in a row since falling at No. 9 LSU on Dec. 10.
Sarah McKay had 16 points, Leah Enterline 12 and Whitney Thomas 10 for the Hoosiers (13-8, 2-6), who have lost four in a row and six of eight after an 11-2 start. It was their third straight game against a ranked opponent, following back-to-back losses against rival Purdue.
Extend league win streak
Ohio State stretched its winning streak to 24 in a row against Big Ten teams since losing to Purdue Jan. 1, 2006. The Buckeyes also won their 25th home game in a row. Their 7-0 Big Ten start is their best since the 1986-87 team won its first 13 league games.
The Buckeyes took the lead for good late in the first half. Leading 20-19, they closed with a 17-6 run -- while Davenport was on the sideline.
Hoskins -- scoreless to that point -- had 10 points in the surge, getting it going with a three-point play and later adding a 3-pointer and two end-to-end driving layups.
The Hoosiers shot just 32 percent from the field in the opening half. Davenport blocked three shots and redirected a couple of others.
Ohio State built its 37-25 halftime lead to 44-29 thanks to four more points by Hoskins before Indiana came back. The Hoosiers cut it to 44-38 with a 9-0 run with four players scoring.
With both teams playing hard defense but careless with the ball, the Buckeyes ran off the next eight points to push the lead back up to 16. But Kim Roberson's 3-pointer with 5:02 left cut the lead to 61-55.
Hoosiers close gap
Jamie Braun's shot behind the arc with 1:47 left narrowed the gap to 65-60, but Hoskins hit a 12-foot jumper at the other end.
Star Allen then hit four free throws in the last 42 seconds to hold off the Hoosiers.
Davenport, the Big Ten's leading scorer and rebounder, was just 3-of-10 from the field and 6-of-10 from the foul line -- both stats well below her season averages of 66 percent and 80 percent.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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