2:00 PM ET, December 17, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Buckeyes can feel confident heading into a showdown with No. 3 Oklahoma.Jessica Davenport had 16 points and five Ohio State teammates also were in double figures as the No. 8 Buckeyes defeated winless Howard 97-52 on Sunday.The Buckeyes, winners of two in a row, go on the road to face the Sooners (9-0) on Wednesday.Davenport, who had just two points in the first half, finished strong."I became more aggressive," she said. "We were able to get some fast break baskets and that made them (Howard) play more tentative defensively. That left some open spots for me."Star Allen finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Ohio State (9-1). Brandie Hoskins had 11 points, and Ashlee Trebilcock, Marscilla Packer and Andrea Walker scored 10 points apiece."I'm learning more and more about tempo," Allen said. "Like everyone else, I came out playing too fast, and during one of our time-outs, the coaches just said to slow down."Ohio State shot 67 percent from the field and outscored Howard (0-11) in the paint by 62-28.The Buckeyes led 18-17 with 10:32 left in the first half when Hoskins hit a 3-pointer to start a 33-6 run that gave Ohio State a 51-23 lead at the half.With the game out of hand, Ohio State coach Jim Foster said he told his players to avoid a let down."It doesn't matter who you're playing against. Whether the game is close or not, you still have to stay unselfish and play with intensity," Foster said.Shannon Carlisle scored 18 points and had seven steals for Howard. Christina Aden finished with nine points for the Lady Bison, who shot 38 percent from the field."When you deal with a team so superior in size, depth and experience you have to preach no fear," said Howard coach Cathy Parson. "We played fearless for the first seven or eight minutes then ... Ohio state turned it on and you see the outcome."Parson said she liked how her team confined Davenport in the first half."We know Jess is one of those players who is strategically positioned. She's not going to overrun anything," Parson said. "If you can confine her, you can have success. We confined her in the first half, then she found some open space in the second half."