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Ohio State overcomes slow start to beat Purdue

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The first time Jessica Davenport touched
the ball against Purdue, she turned it over. She started the second
half the same way.

Davenport regrouped from those early lapses to pick up 24 points
and 12 rebounds to help Ohio State (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today; No. 9 AP) recover from a sluggish
start to beat No. 20 Purdue 63-50 on Sunday.

"My teammates told me where the double-teams were and I had to
turn away from them," Davenport said. "It's a work in progress."

Brandie Hoskins added 13 points and six assists for the Buckeyes
(12-2), who were coming off a 69-62 loss at Penn State on Thursday
night in their Big Ten opener.

Katie Gearlds had 12 points and Erin Lawless 10 for Purdue
(8-4). Lawless had a career-high 29 in a 72-67 win over Wisconsin
on Thursday.

The Boilermakers had won the last four meetings with Ohio State
and nine of the last 10. Troubled by ballhandling problems -- they
totaled 24 turnovers -- they trailed by as many as 19 points and
never got the lead below double figures in the last 13 minutes.

"I've got to leave before coach (Kristy Curry) gets in here,"
Gearlds said with a grin as she hurried out of the postgame
interview room.

Curry said she wouldn't yell or curse at her players, but said she
was disappointed in their many mental mistakes.

"It's obviously our perimeter play -- we're not taking care of
the ball. And it's pretty much a widespread disease for us," Curry
said. "She (Davenport) is going to get the number of points she
got. But we've got to come back down the floor and score."

Ahead 20-17 after a dismal first half for both teams, the
Buckeyes pulled away with 6-0, 7-2 and 9-0 runs in the first 11½
minutes of the second half. Ohio State shot 58 percent from the
field in the final 20 minutes after hitting 28 percent in the
opening half.

"We had a lot more movement on offense," said guard Ashley
Allen. "That really opened up the floor not just for Jess but for
everyone."

After hitting just eight of their first 30 shots from the field,
the Buckeyes hit 12 of their next 20 to pull away.

Davenport scored eight of Ohio State's first 10 points in the
second half to expand the lead to 30-22. She hit 12-of-15 free
throws while Purdue only got to the line 10 times, making seven.

"We executed in the second half," Buckeyes coach Jim Foster
said. "We just ran our offense and got some good opportunities for
Jess and found some openings for Brandie and the others in the open
court."

Purdue went 8½ minutes without scoring a point in the opening
half -- yet Ohio State didn't take advantage. The Buckeyes were just
3-for-15 from the field over the same period, turning a 6-5 deficit
into a 13-6 lead.

The Boilermakers had 17 turnovers before they picked up their
ninth point but closed the half with a 9-0 run.

Caity Matter chipped in with 10 points for the Buckeyes, who ran
their home record to 8-0 this season.

"We just played a team that has everyone returning. We were 3-1
against them a year ago and I said they were the most talented team
in the league," Curry said. "There won't be a tougher task on the
road than this."