8:00 PM ET, January 5, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Northwestern got off to a strong start but the rest of the game belonged to No. 10 Ohio State.Jessica Davenport scored 22 points, Kim Wilburn added 15 off the bench and Brandie Hoskins had 10 to help the Buckeyes beat the Wildcats 82-54 on Thursday night.The Buckeyes (10-2, 2-1 Big Ten) had to overcome a slow start to claim their 11th straight victory over the Wildcats.Northwestern (4-9, 0-3) charged to a 13-2 lead with 15:54 left in the first half. The Wildcats hit six of their first seven field goal attempts, while Ohio State misfired on its first six shots.A.J. Glasauer scored all seven of her points in the early Wildcat run."We just didn't push the tempo and they made their shots," Buckeyes coach Jim Foster said. "We were walking the ball up and we were slow with our actions."Foster quickly went to his bench to insert Wilburn, who scored 11 of her 15 points in the first half to spark Ohio State."Kim is a real force coming into the game as a change of pace player," Foster said. "We've got a lot of players who can come off the bench with energy."The Buckeyes used their quickness to turn up the defensive pressure, forcing Northwestern into 18 first-half turnovers. Davenport scored five points in a 10-0 run that gave Ohio State a 30-21 lead.The Buckeyes scored the last eight points of the first half and led 44-28 at the break."All of us on the bench were kind of telling each other that we needed to contest shots and get back on defense," said Wilburn, who finished with five steals. "I just wanted to come into the game and put more pressure on the ball."Northwestern got within 44-34 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Sara Stutz to open the second half. But with Davenport dominating inside, Ohio State never relinquished its double-digit lead."Obviously Ohio State is one of the best teams in the land," Northwestern coach Beth Combs said. "We made them think about what they had to do -- at least for about 25-30 minutes."Stutz scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half to lead Northwestern. Ifeoma Okonkwo had eight points and two steals off the bench.But it was Ohio State's bench that dominated, outscoring Northwestern 33-20."That's what makes them [Ohio State] so potent," Combs said. "They've got 10 players who can play, and Wilburn turned it on tonight."Ohio State shot 50.8 percent from the field (33-65), while Northwestern finished at 32.2 percent (19-59), with 27 turnovers.