7:00 PM ET, February 7, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Midweek nonconference games in February are usually about as popular with players as extra wind sprints.Yet No. 7 Ohio State welcomed a chance to change things up and evaluate where it was heading into the final weeks of the season.Brandie Hoskins scored 20 points and Jessica Davenport added 18 to lead the Buckeyes to a 79-48 victory over Wright State on Tuesday night."We got good tournament experience," Davenport said of the quick turnaround from Sunday's game at Indiana. "We treated this game like it was a tournament. We had one day of preparation and then had to come in and play a game."The Buckeyes (19-2), who won their 10th game in a row, did not pull away until the final minutes. The Raiders (10-13) had only one field goal in the last 11 minutes and were outscored 26-3 over that span."We wanted to play people and look at some different combinations," said Ohio State coach Jim Foster, who had 11 players score. "Out-of-the-conference games you get some opportunities to do some things that you might not normally have."Kim Wilburn added 10 points for Ohio State, which has won its last 17 games against in-state opponents."We had to pick up our defense and switch things around and it worked for us," Wilburn said of the second-half turnaround.The nonconference game came at an awkward time for preoccupied Ohio State, which is caught up in a tight Big Ten race. The Buckeyes trail first-place Purdue by a half-game.Rhea Mays scored 14 points -- hitting 4-of-10 3-pointers for Wright State, which had won its last two games. The Raiders fell to 0-9 against teams from the Big Ten.Even Wright State coach Bridgett Williams said her team got a lot out of the game."In the middle of the conference, a game like this helps to understand the level of play you need to be at at this time of year," she said.Mays hit a 3-pointer for the left wing at the 11-minute mark to pull Wright State to 53-45. But that was just about it offensively for the Raiders, who were only able to muster a free throw by Whitney Lewis and a field goal by Kendra Agee with 9 seconds left."It was just a matter of time for Ohio State to step up with the level of experience they have," Williams said.Hoskins added, "We changed up the defense. We kept our composure, started getting some baskets and started stopping them on defense."The Raiders missed 16 consecutive shots until their late field goal. The Buckeyes shifted from an aggressive, helping man-to-man defense to a sagging man-to-man that all but eliminated any easy baskets."We got the opportunity to work on some things, to try different combinations of players, to work on some little defensive adjustments -- especially in the second half," Foster said.Davenport, who has been the Big Ten's player of the week three times in the last four weeks, played only sparingly for the Buckeyes. She was 6-of-11 from the field and all made all but one of her seven free throws, plus had six rebounds and three blocked shots in 25 minutes.The Buckeyes hit 54 percent of their shots from the field while limiting Wright State to just 33 percent. They also held a 40-29 advantage on the boards.After Wright State opened the scoring on a 3-pointer by Mays, the Buckeyes ran off the next 10 points -- six by Davenport and four by Hoskins -- and never trailed again.Ashley Allen and Wilburn finished a combined 6-for-7 from the field, including 4-of-5 on 3-pointers, with eight assists, seven steals and only one turnover."I thought our point guards were practically perfect," Foster said. "That's as good a play as we've had from our point guards as we've had in four years here."
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