COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Things were going well for No. 16 Oklahoma
until Brandie Hoskins broke out of her slump and Jessica Davenport
hit the shot of the game.
Davenport made a turnaround jumper with 3.4 seconds left to give
Ohio State (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP) a 75-71 victory over No. 16 Oklahoma on Monday night in the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge.
"When I got the ball, I turned in my shoulder and I didn't
imagine a defender on me," Davenport said. "I practice that shot
every day. I just took my time and made it."
Davenport took a bounce pass from Ashley Allen, spun and hit a
12-footer over the Sooners' freshman force underneath, Courtney
Paris, to give the Buckeyes (11-2) a 73-71 lead.
"Maybe you lose a game by a bucket, a free throw, a rebound or
a loose ball -- there are all kinds of things working up to the
loss," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "She just made a tough
After two timeouts, the Sooners (12-4) had difficulty getting
the ball in before Chelsi Welch's inbounds pass was intercepted by
Allen, who hit a layup in traffic for the final margin.
A fullcourt pass went out of bounds and Ohio State was able to
toss the ball in before celebrating the victory.
"A quality season is defined by winning ugly games," Ohio
State coach Jim Foster said. "When you're making all your shots
and there is a flow, it's all there, it's easy for everybody. ...
When you look back, a great season sometimes comes down to winning
Hoskins scored 16 points -- all in the second half -- to lead the
Buckeyes. Davenport finished with 15, as did Marscilla Packer.
Debbie Merrill added 12 points and nine rebounds, holding her own
underneath while Davenport sat out large chunks of the second half
with foul trouble.
"She [Hoskins] was making plays," said Welch. "It was like
she was hitting every shot in the second half."
Paris, the daughter of former Michigan and NFL offensive lineman
Bubba Paris, lived up to her billing. Averaging 21.3 points and
14.7 rebounds coming in, she had 23 points and 14 rebounds. Welch
had 13 points and Leah Rush 10 for the Sooners, who had a
three-game winning streak snapped.
She said she will be a better player for having measured herself
against Davenport, a first-team All-American.
"I haven't played against a girl like Jess yet, so it was good
for me," she said.
Paris said on Davenport's final shot she did everything she
could to stop her.
"We went over that in practice -- push her out, don't let her in
the key. She made a great shot. I've got much respect for her,"
Paris said. "I was right in her face but she made a big one."
Ohio State trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half and
eight in the second before mounting a comeback that was almost
entirely driven by Hoskins.
In the opening half, Hoskins was scoreless, missing all four of
her shots from the field. The Buckeyes' second-leading scorer
finally hit her first basket at the 17:21 mark of the second half
and suddenly began to assert herself.
Hoskins had been in a rut for 4½ games before breaking out. Over
that span, she had hit just 34 percent of her shots from the field
and 29 percent -- including a 1-for-9 effort -- at the line.
"Brandie's in a transitional phase," Foster said, holding back
a grin. "She was the old Brandie Hoskins in the first half, and
the new Brandie Hoskins in the second. The new Brandie Hoskins is
tougher to guard."