Matter can be difference maker for OSU
Editor's note: Before the Sweet 16 tips off, ESPN's Beth Mowins takes a look at one player to watch from each of the No. 2 seeds. Here, she focuses on Ohio State's Caity Matter.
PHILADELPHIA -- It happened only once. But that was enough for Ohio State's Caity Matter.
During a regular-season meeting against Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights had kept Matter quiet. They shadowed the 3-point threat for 38 minutes and kept the game close. But then on one possession, after a timeout, Rutgers showed zone. It was one time too many.
With Ohio State leading by two and 1 minute, 17 seconds to play, Matter got lost in the shuffle. She found a gap in the zone for her first open look of the day and knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Buckeyes a five-point edge they wouldn't relinquish. Ohio State wound up winning by two points, setting up Sunday's rematch in the Sweet 16 (ESPN, 2:30 p.m. ET).
"Rutgers had switched to a zone for the first time," Matter remembers. "They left me open, and I was ready for my shot."
Matter hasn't missed many shots during her career. The senior has established herself as the greatest 3-point shooter in an Ohio State history that includes greats such as Katie Smith. Matter has connected on 268 shots -- that's 804 points! -- from beyond the arc). Her accuracy from downtown (41 percent) is also the best in Buckeye history, and Matter holds the single-game high, too, having nailed eight 3-pointers against Michigan during a game back in January.
In the Buckeyes' second-round victory at Maryland, Matter was 3-for-5 from long range. She tossed in 16 points to help lead Ohio State into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1993. That's the last and only time the program reached the Final Four, where it lost to Texas Tech in the championship.
To take one step closer to another spot in the national semifinals, Matter will try to get herself open against the stingy Rutgers defense again.
"I need to be smart," Matter says. "I have to change speeds and use my screens and read what the defense gives me.
"It helps having Jessica Davenport inside. When she is scoring, it opens up the outside for me. Jessica is also an excellent passer, so when teams sag on her, she kicks the ball to me for open shots."
And all Matter needs is one.
Beth Mowins is a regular contributor to ESPN.com's women's basketball coverage.
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