COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Her first two shots were rejected, giving Ohio State center Jessica Davenport reason to wonder how the rest of the afternoon might go.
As it turned out, there was really no need to worry. After a shaky start, Davenport and the Buckeyes dominated Holy Cross on Sunday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.Davenport had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Brandie Hoskins scored 14 to lead No. 8 Ohio State to an 86-45 victory.Holy Cross came in as a decided underdog, but the Crusaders had their confidence fueled in the opening minutes when Lisa Andrews swatted away Davenport's first two attempts and the Buckeyes went 2-for-9 from the floor."Those two blocks showed we could stop her," Andrews said. "But she's a big girl, and she can move very well. She's a presence out there."The 6-foot-4 Davenport recovered to make 10 of her final 14 shots and control the glass against the smaller Crusaders."It was a pretty tough, physical game," she said. "I was nervous early, but as the game went on, I did a better job of loosening up."So did the Buckeyes, who trailed before early before Davenport contributed eight points in a 20-2 run that put Ohio State ahead for good."We just ran our offense," said guard Caity Matter, who scored 12. "We were getting good shots and we executed well. I think there might have been a little bit of nerves for some in the beginning, but we settled down and we were fine."Ohio State (29-4) started the second half with a 15-0 run to take a 57-24 lead and then cruised to the finish. The 29 wins surpasses the school mark set by the 1984-85 team and matched by the 1992-93 team, which advanced to the Final Four.The second-seeded Buckeyes next face Maryland on Tuesday. Because of the lopsided score and perhaps because Ohio State hasn't won in the second round since 1993, coach Jim Foster pulled his starters with plenty of time left so they would be fresh on Tuesday.Davenport, the Big Ten player of the year, did all her damage in 27 minutes."It's tough to simulate Davenport in practice," Holy Cross coach Bill Gibbons said. "She really plays like she's 6-8 or 6-9 with those long arms."Andrews scored 13 points for 15th-seeded Holy Cross (20-11), which fell to 1-10 in NCAA Tournament play. The Patriot League champions were done in by Davenport and 29 percent shooting."We had to have a real good shooting game to win, and unfortunately we picked a bad day to have our worst one of the year," Gibbons said.Over the first 11 minutes, the Crusaders had six turnovers and were 3-for-13 from the field. The Buckeyes, in contrast, went 9-for-10 after their slow start.A 9-2 spree that got Holy Cross to 24-15, but Davenport followed with a putback and Hoskins scored four straight points to put Ohio State up by 15.The Buckeyes used 18-for-30 shooting to take a 42-24 lead at halftime. Ohio State was 0-for-6 from 3-point range at the break but was credited with 34 points in the lane.After the break, the Buckeyes expanded their scoring range. Davenport began the game-clinching 15-0 run with a hook, and Matter and Ashley Allen added 3-pointers in a surge that lasted more than five minutes.The Buckeyes played without forward Michelle Munoz, who watched from the bench with a foot injury. Munoz, who started 27 games for the Big Ten regular-season co-champions, was not needed.