No. 24 Arizona Falls To No. 10 Ohio State, 78-45

Nov. 17, 2004

AP Sports Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Caity Matter exploited Arizona's defense by hittingfour 3-pointers and scored 20 points to lead No. 10 Ohio State to a 78-45victory in the semifinals of the Women's NIT on Wednesday night.

The Buckeyes (3-0) advance to play at No. 11 Notre Dame on Saturday night inthe championship game. The Fighting Irish beat No. 6 Duke 76-65 in the othersemifinal on Wednesday night.

Arizona, ranked 24th, came in shooting 47 percent from the field andaveraging 77.5 points but managed just 34 percent against the Buckeyes'pressure defense.

Matter hit 7-of-12 shots from the field and both of her free throws andadded four assists and four rebounds. Brandie Hoskins added 14 points and sixassists, Jessica Davenport had 15 points and Michelle Munoz, daughter of ProFootball Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, scored 10 for the Buckeyes.

Shawntinice Polk led the Wildcats (2-1) with 16 points and Dee Dee Wheelerhit double figures for the 36th consecutive game with 13 points.

The game figured to be a showdown between Polk, a 6-foot-5 junior, andDavenport, a 6-4 sophomore. With both defenses sagging inside to lock up thecenters, Matter opened things up with her outside shooting and triggered thequicker Buckeyes' fastbreak.

Ohio State led 17-15 midway through the first half before Hoskins scored sixpoints in a 10-2 run. After Munoz drove for a layup, Hoskins scored on aspinning move in the lane, then followed her own miss on a breakaway and hitanother bucket. Stephanie Blanton closed the spurt with two free throws.

Ahead 36-23 after closing the first half on a 19-8 run, the Buckeyes pickedup where they left off. Munoz opened the half with a 3 and Matter later addedbaskets behind the arc on consecutive possessions from almost the same spot topush the lead to 49-25.

The Wildcats never got closer than 22 points, with Ohio State leading by asmany as 39. Arizona had 23 turnovers, resulting in 32 points for the Buckeyes.

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