7:00 PM ET, November 12, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Jessica Davenport got off to a slow start but got plenty of help from her teammates as Ohio State (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) beat Bowling Green 89-41 on Friday night in the preseason WNIT.Davenport and Ashley Allen each scored 17 points and Ohio State went 13-of-20 from 3-point range."I think that's what happens when you try to take away one part of our offense," Davenport said.The Buckeyes host Saint Joseph's on Sunday in the second round of the 16-team tournament. The Hawks beat Boston University 51-49 on Friday night.Ohio State took control early with a 17-0 run. Davenport, the top freshman in the Big Ten last season, was the focus of the Bowling Green defense and opened up the perimeter for the Buckeyes' outside shooters."Jessica Davenport is such a good player she dictates the defense," Bowling Green coach Curt Miller said. "Our game plan was to sag and make them make shots. When Ohio State makes shots, they make you look silly."Allen, playing her first game after missing almost all of last year and the second half of the 2002-03 season with knee injuries, hit a career-high five 3-pointers and was 6-of-7 from the field."It felt good to return after being out for about a year and a half," Allen said. "That was exciting."Caity Matter chipped in with 12 points and seven assists."Ashley stepped up tonight and hit a lot of 3s, Caity hit her 3s and other players made shots," Davenport said.No Bowling Green player hit double figures, with Casey McDowell and Megan Thorburn each scoring nine points.Ohio State, voted the conference favorite by the Big Ten coaches, trailed 12-8 early on but held the Falcons scoreless for 5:46 during the first half. Bowling Green missed seven shots and committed four turnovers during the stretch."A team is going to counterpunch," Buckeyes coach Jim Foster said. "You've got to do the same until you see what's going to work that night. We've got a lot of people who can shoot the 3."The Buckeyes led 37-23 at the break and then scored 23 of the first 30 points of the second half for a 60-30 lead.Ohio State outscored the Falcons 12-0 in fast-break points, 12-0 in second-chance points and 30-10 in the paint."They're loaded," Miller said, shaking his head. "They're a legitimate Final Four contender of a team. And they looked it tonight."