Davenport carries No. 6 Buckeyes to 26th straight home win

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Iowa had difficulty stopping Ohio State's Jessica Davenport even before losing it's biggest player.

Davenport took advantage of a height advantage inside, scoring 22 points to lead the Buckeyes (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today; No. 5 AP) past the Hawkeyes 85-49 on Sunday.

Iowa was without 6-foot-6 Megan Skouby, who broke her hand in practice on Saturday. That left the middle almost wide open for Davenport.

"I don't know if I can say Megan is her physical equal," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "There's not many people in America who are Jessica Davenport's physical equal. But at the same time it was obviously a big loss when we lost Megan."

The win was the Buckeyes' 26th in a row at home to tie a school record. It was also Ohio State's 14th straight win since falling 75-51 at No. 9 LSU on Dec. 10, and 27th in a row against Big Ten teams.

Davenport, the conference's top scorer and rebounder, also became only the second Big Ten player with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

"It's a nice accomplishment over four years I guess," the long-armed 6-5 center said. "But I'm just glad we got the win tonight."

She hit 6 of 7 shots from the field, 10 of 11 free throws and also had five rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals in 29 minutes.

Davenport had scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds when the Buckeyes edged the Hawkeyes 73-67 on Dec. 31 in Iowa City.

She received a standing ovation in the second half after it was announced to the crowd that she had reached 1,000 rebounds.

"I got kind of shy about it -- they were trying to get me to stand up," she said with a grin. "It was nice that the fans acknowledged me, that they appreciate the hard work myself and my teammates have put in over the years."

Brandie Hoskins added 16 points, six assists and four rebounds, Star Allen had 11 points and Marscilla Packer 10 for the Buckeyes (21-1, 10-0 Big Ten), off to their best start ever. They have won 36 of their past 37 regular-season games.

Wendy Ausdemore had 12 points and Lindsey Nyenhuis 11 for the Hawkeyes (11-12, 3-7), who have lost five in a row.

Skouby is one of the few post players in the Big Ten who can match up with Davenport. She broke her left (non-shooting) hand during practice on Saturday and could be sidelined for up to a month. She was replaced in the starting lineup by 6-2 Stacy Schlapkohl.

The Hawkeyes scored first but the Buckeyes then ran off the next 16 points -- Davenport taking over inside to score seven points.

Iowa recovered from that early drought of nearly 6 minutes to pull to 25-18 before Stephanie Blanton hit a 3 from the right corner and Allen made a short shot off an assist from Maria Moeller.

"Every practice we're going out with the intention of getting better," Hoskins said. "That's why we're getting better on defense and on offense."

Up 45-32 at the half, Ohio State then went on a 14-0 run to start the second half.

The Buckeyes converted Iowa's 23 turnovers into 41 points and held a 38-4 upper hand in scoring in the paint.

"We made a lot of plays in transition," coach Jim Foster said. "We made great decisions, pushed tempo and we really filled lanes."

The Buckeyes' home winning streak matches a school record set in 1987-88. The streak equals the second-longest in the country, tying Bowling Green at 26 behind LSU's 42-game streak.

Ohio State's senior class of Davenport, Hoskins and Blanton ran its record to 101-19.

Bluder said Davenport has earned a spot among the best ever in the Big Ten.

"She was an All-American her junior year, then setting these type of records, she should definitely go down as one of the best players in the conference ever, there's no doubt," she said. "It'd be wrong if she didn't."