7:00 PM ET, January 25, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio State coach Jim Foster doesn't want to talk about where his team might be in March. He's more concerned about Monday.Brandie Hoskins scored 19 points and seemed to make all the clutch baskets to lead Ohio State (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) past Indiana 72-62 Thursday night.The victory set up a battle for first place in the Big Ten with Purdue (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) on the Boilermakers' home floor.Foster completely ignored a question dealing with Indiana coach Felisha Legette-Jack's comment that the Buckeyes have enough talent to make it to the Final Four. All he's worried about is his team's next game."We play Purdue Monday," he said. "We've got to get better the next three days and then go play them. We can grow."Hoskins led the way when the Buckeyes took control late in the first half, and then she hit several big shots down the stretch to help Ohio State (18-1, 7-0 Big Ten) clinch the school's best start, exceeding the previous mark of 17-1 in 1973-74 on the way to an 18-2 season."That's a great accomplishment, but the worst thing we can do is to be happy with it," Hoskins said.Star Allen added 16 points, including four late free throws for some breathing room, while Jessica Davenport had an off night but still finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four blocks."You can't stop everybody when you have a finely oiled machine, as Ohio State has," Legette-Jack said. "We had to pick and choose our poison. We played it from the inside out and Brandie did a great job of creating off the dribble, getting open shots and playing like the senior she is. She's an incredible player. Most of the players are on the Ohio State team."The win was Ohio State's 11th in a row since falling at No. 9 LSU on Dec. 10.Sarah McKay had 16 points, Leah Enterline 12 and Whitney Thomas 10 for the Hoosiers (13-8, 2-6), who have lost four in a row and six of eight after an 11-2 start. It was their third straight game against a ranked opponent, following back-to-back losses against rival Purdue."They're just a good team," Foster said in explaining his team's difficulties putting the Hoosiers away. "They came in at 13-7, with a win at Kentucky and they beat Kansas. They have a style they're comfortable with."Ohio State stretched its winning streak to 24 in a row against Big Ten teams since losing to Purdue Jan. 1, 2006. The Buckeyes also won their 25th home game in a row. Their 7-0 Big Ten start is their best since the 1986-87 team won its first 13 league games.The Buckeyes took the lead for good late in the first half. Leading 20-19, they closed the half with a 17-6 run -- while Davenport was on the sideline.Hoskins -- scoreless to that point -- had 10 points in the surge, getting it going with a three-point play and later adding a 3-pointer and two end-to-end driving layups."It's part of being a senior, being able to step up and handle the pressure," Hoskins said. "I didn't force anything and tried to take what they gave me."Ohio State built its lead to 44-29 thanks to four more points by Hoskins before Indiana came back. The Hoosiers cut it to 44-38 with a 9-0 run with four players scoring.With both teams playing hard defense but carelessly with the ball, the Buckeyes ran off the next eight points to push the lead back up to 16. But Kim Roberson's 3-pointer with 5:02 left cut the lead to 61-55.Jamie Braun's shot behind the arc with 1:47 left narrowed the gap to 65-60, but Hoskins hit a 12-foot jumper at the other end."They were leaving Brandie open and she's got a very, very good medium-range jumper that she was making," Foster said.Allen then hit her free throws in the last 42 seconds to hold off the Hoosiers.Davenport, the Big Ten's leading scorer and rebounder, was just 3-of-10 from the field and 6-of-10 from the foul line -- both well below her season averages of 66 percent and 80 percent."It was me forcing things and putting the ball on the floor when I shouldn't have," she said. "My shot selection wasn't the best. It all came into play."
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||20-55 (.364)||27-53 (.509)|
|3P Made-Attempted||6-21 (.286)||5-10 (.500)|
|FT Made-Attempted||16-20 (.800)||13-17 (.765)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||12 (0/0)|