Jessica Davenport exploded for a career-high 29 points as the seventh-ranked Ohio State women's basketball team downed Canisius 98-50 Thursday night at Value City Arena.
The Buckeyes (8-1) forced 31 turnovers in the win over Canisius (5-5).
Cansisius kept the score close through most of the first half, trading runs with the Buckeyes until Ohio State’s defense clamped down and held the Golden Griffins scoreless over the final 4:03 of the period.
During that same span, the Buckeyes used a bucket from Debbie Merrill and a Marscilla Packer 3-point goal to open up some breathing room with an 11-2 run as the half came to a close at 39-25. In the first period, Ohio State forced 18 Canisius turnovers and converted them into 19 points. Jessica Davenport led all scorers with 12 points and was followed closely by Merrill’s 11 points.
Davenport took over in the second stanza as Ohio State pulled away to victory. After a transition lay up by Merrill, a 3-point play by Davenport gave Ohio State a 58-36 lead with 11:19 to play in the game. It was the first of three 3-point plays for Davenport over the next 2:20 as she scored her 17 second-half points in a span of less than six minutes from 13:10 to the 7:45 mark.
After connecting on just 38 percent (14-34) of its shots in the first half, Ohio State buried 57 percent (17-30) in the second period. The Buckeyes also utilized the free throw line, making a season-high 15 of 17 attempts in period No. 2. Defensively, Ohio State continued to disrupt Canisius on its offense end, leading to 12 more Golden Griffin turnovers and another 24 points.
For the game, Ohio State held a decisive 42-14 lead in points in the paint and marked a season-high with 25 FT on 33 attempts. Ohio State dished out 23 assists, led by Merrill’s five and another five from Packer. The Buckeyes committed just 13 turnovers.
Individually, Davenport also pulled down 10 rebounds to record her fifth double-double of the season and 23rd of her career. She went 9-16 from the field and made 11 of 14 from the FT line. Merrill scored her highest total in a Buckeye uniform for the second consecutive game, topping the 15 she had against Sacred Heart Tuesday with 19 points vs. the Golden Griffins. On defense, Kim Wilburn, just the second Buckeye all-time to record 300 career steals, tied a career-best with eight thefts Thursday.
After a week break, Ohio State remains at home to start Big Ten play vs. Penn State at 7 p.m. Dec. 29 in VCA. The two teams shared the Big Ten regular season title a year ago.