<
>

Ohio State routs USC behind Davenport's 26 points

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Southern Cal had a plan to stop Jessica
Davenport. So the Buckeyes decided to share the load.

Davenport scored 26 points and Brandie Hoskins added 17 to lead
Ohio State (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) past Southern California (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) 77-58 on Sunday.

Davenport, a first-team All-American center and Big Ten player
of the year the past two years, hit 9-of-14 shots from the field
and all eight of her free throws. She also had six rebounds and
four assists.

"With all the attention we gave Davenport, I still thought she
had a good game," USC coach Mark Trakh said. "And the other kids
played well around her."

Ohio State coach Jim Foster said, "There is a team that really
went at Jess, put a lot of pressure on her and she has a
one-turnover game. For the second game of the season against a
long, athletic, good defensive team, I thought our execution was
good."

Hoskins ruptured her right Achilles tendon in the Buckeyes' NCAA
tournament loss a year ago and went through lengthy rehabilitation.
Besides her points, she had seven assists and five steals for Ohio
State (2-0) in its home debut.

"I feel really good," she said. "I'm just happy to be
playing."

Foster believes it will take a while for Hoskins to adapt to the
pace of games because she wasn't able to play competitively for
several months.

"She's now played in her second game," he said. "She didn't
play all summer. Her adjustments and her play (were) terrific. She
just needs to be out there."

Star Allen added 12 points and freshman point guard Maria
Moeller had 10 points, four assists and six steals.

Chloe Kerr scored 20 points and had nine rebounds and Shay
Murphy added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Women of Troy (1-2).

Southern Cal was coming off a 67-63 upset loss at South Dakota
State on Friday night. In that game, it had 25 turnovers, shot 33
percent from the field and were called for 36 fouls.

Turnovers were also the Women of Troy's undoing against the
Buckeyes. They fell behind 35-24 at the half while turning the ball
over 16 times, and had 22 for the game.

The Buckeyes shot 64 percent from the field in the second half
and 51 percent for the game.

"We did a great job in the second half," Foster said. "The
first half we stood around a little bit too much and didn't move
the ball. But we guarded (on defense)."

Ahead 15-13 midway through the half, Ohio State went on a 10-3
run with the left-handed Davenport scoring the first two baskets on
a right-handed hook and a short jumper. The lead never fell below
nine points in the second half as the Buckeyes pounded inside with
Davenport and scored off turnovers.

"In the first half we were kind of stagnant," Davenport said.
"In the second half we came out and ran our offense and got some
easy shots. Brandie found me a lot of times."

The Buckeyes, with three starters back from a 29-3 team, are
still trying to find their identity. Are they a slowdown, halfcourt
team or one that likes to score points in transition? They were
successful in both regards against Southern Cal.

"I like to think that we're a disciplined basketball team,"
Foster said. "I like to think we're a team that really works on
halfcourt execution. But I also think we sometimes get a little
stereotyped for that -- we can get out there and run."

Trakh took the opportunity to lobby for another one of Southern
Cal's teams -- the football squad, which hopes to play top-ranked
Ohio State in the national championship game.

"By the way," he said during the middle of his remarks about
the game, "if we win out, we should play Ohio State."