10:00 PM ET, March 17, 2007
Maples Pavilion, Stanford, California
STANFORD, Calif. -- Nobody will overlook Marist anymore. The Red Foxes would not be bullied into an early exit this March.They drew offensive fouls and scrapped with a bigger, more physical Ohio State team, shocking the heavily favored Buckeyes 67-63 on Saturday night to reach the second round for the first time in school history.Julianne Viani made six 3-pointers, including three in an 18-5 second-half run that also featured a 3 by Meg Dahlman, and finished with 24 points as Marist (28-5) earned a Monday night date with Middle Tennessee and the Blue Raiders' nation-long 27-game winning streak.
Marist came to play and exhibited a lot of grit from the tip-off. But the real turning point occurred about five minutes into the game when the Red Foxes' Meg Dahlman took an elbow from Ohio State senior Jessica Davenport.
No foul was called, but the incident occurred right in front of Marist's bench, and Red Foxes fans in the crowd and seemed to fire up everybody. Dahlman, whose head snapped back from the impact, slowly made her way back down the floor but kept playing. And from then on, Marist seemed to play with a "we took your best shot and now we're coming right back at you" mentality. The Red Foxes never backed down and were fearless. They made the big shots when needed and hung right with the Buckeyes, trailing just 34-30 at halftime.
Marist did a terrific job containing Davenport. The Red Foxes, very poised and well-prepared, came out in a 2-3 zone and brought a lot of post help in to double- and triple-team Davenport. The Kodak All-American was constantly surrounded by red jerseys and committed 11 turnovers under the pressure.
Julianne Viani was outstanding for Marist, nailing six 3-pointers, and point guard Alisa Kresge played all 40 minutes, dishing eight assists with only three turnovers. Ashlee Trebilcock was really the only Buckeye to have a great game (23 points, six rebounds).
This was the kind of game and Marist is the kind of team the women's tournament needs. And now, with Marist -- which ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in fewest turnovers -- and Middle Tennessee -- which forces 26 turnovers per game -- meeting in the second round, we are guaranteed of a non-BCS school reaching the Sweet 16.
-- Beth Mowins
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||23-50 (.460)||22-52 (.423)|
|3P Made-Attempted||9-19 (.474)||7-18 (.389)|
|FT Made-Attempted||12-16 (.750)||12-18 (.667)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||13 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|