Jan. 13, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two overlooked players finally got some attention for No. 5 Ohio State.
Marscilla Packer and Michelle Munoz – the Buckeyes’ ninth- and seventh-leading scorers – had all of the points in an 11-0 first-half run to power Ohio State to an 80-57 rout of No. 21 Iowa on Thursday night.
“We have plenty of people on the team, one through 14, who can score,” captain Caity Matter said. “They were all the leading scorers on their high school teams. They got us some easy baskets.”
The Hawkeyes (13-3, 2-3 Big Ten) have lost three in a row after opening 13-0.
Coach Lisa Bluder didn’t think the loss could be blamed on her team’s shortcomings.
“Ohio State’s a very good basketball team,” she said. “They deserve their ranking. They just don’t have a lot of weaknesses. That’s a team that I think has the opportunity to go very, very far.”
Jessica Davenport led Ohio State (16-2, 4-1), which won its fifth consecutive game, with 19 points. Matter and Brandie Hoskins each had 13 points, and Munoz scored 12. Packer hit her first three 3-pointers and finished with nine points.
Munoz, the daughter of Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, has started every game but seldom is a star on offense. She came in averaging just 4.5 points a game.
“I have to take advantage of the opportunities when they come,” she said. “Coach says I have to be aggressive at both ends. The great thing about our team is that if somebody’s not getting the job done, somebody else can come in and do it.”
The Buckeyes improved to 11-0 at home this season.
Jamie Cavey had 17 points, Johanna Solverson added 15 and Crystal Smith had 10 for the Hawkeyes, who had as many turnovers (21) as field goals.
“That’s been a staple of this team,” Ohio State coach Jim Foster said of the Buckeyes’ defensive intensity. “We play hard. We get after it and we’re able to make adjustments. And one of the reasons we’re a pretty good defensive team is because our offense has a lot in it and we have to defend against ourselves everyday in practice.”
Ohio State led 15-13 midway through the half, then went on an 8-3 run, with Davenport scoring the first four points in the spurt.
“Everyone can play defense (for them), and then there’s always somebody else on the team who can score,” Cavey said.
After the Hawkeyes’ Smith hit a layup to end a 2-minute scoring drought, the Buckeyes ran off 11 points in a row. Packer, just in from the bench, hit two 3-pointers and Munoz scored on a layup and a 3 of her own to push the lead to 34-18.
“It’s like they smell blood,” Bluder said. “When they forced a turnover, it got them all excited to get some more.”
Down 39-24 at halftime, Iowa drew to 54-42 with a 9-2 run – the last five points by Solverson. But Ohio State pounded the ball inside to Davenport and her three-point play at the 11:31 mark preceded another 3-pointer by Packer, touching off a 12-0 streak.
Iowa was scoreless for more than 4 minutes as the lead climbed.
“We were talking a lot on defense, getting in the passing lanes, coming up with loose balls and trying to disrupt their offense,” Hoskins said.
The Buckeyes hit 54 percent of their shots from the field and were 9-of-19 from behind the arc. They converted Iowa turnovers into 25 points.
AP Sports Writer