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SEATTLE, Wash. – The No. 12/12 and third-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes (28-7, 12-6 B1G) beat No. 6/8 and second-seeded UConn (31-6, 18-2 Big East) by a 73-61 margin on Saturday afternoon in Seattle in the NCAA Sweet 16 to advance to the Buckeyes’ first Elite Eight since 1993.
UConn got off to a quick start, but OSU trimmed its deficit to 17-15 at the end of the first quarter with a 6-0 run. Ohio State scored the first 11 points of the second quarter on its way to winning the quarter 21-9 and taking a 36-26 lead into halftime. The Huskies got as close as five points in the third quarter before scoring evened for the quarter and saw the Buckeyes leading 54-44 after 30 minutes. UConn cut the deficit to nine with 4:31 to play but would get no closer.
Cotie McMahon was the first in the game to reach double figures, on her way to 18 points in the first half and 23 in the game. Jacy Sheldon (17) and Taylor Thierry (11) both reached double figures in the third quarter.
How it Happened
UConn built an early 10-2 lead four minutes into the game, forcing an Ohio State timeout. The Buckeyes used back-to-back layups to get within four before the Huskies extended their lead. Ohio State ended the quarter on a 6-0 run to cut its deficit to 17-15 after 10 minutes.
Cotie McMahon opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, giving the Buckeyes their first lead of the game at 18-17 and forcing a UConn timeout. Ohio State scored the first 11 points of the quarter, nine of which came from McMahon, to grab a 26-17 lead with 5:46 to play in the half. The Buckeyes used another 6-0 run to take a 36-23 lead, the largest of the half for either team, and led 36-26 going into the locker room.
The teams traded points the first five minutes of the third quarter with Ohio State leading 44-35 at the media timeout. UConn scored back-to-back baskets out of the break to cut OSU’s lead to 44-39 with under four minutes remaining in the quarter, prompting a Buckeye timeout. Ohio State got to the free throw line down the stretch and ended the quarter with a Taylor Thierry layup and a 54-44 lead.
The Buckeyes started the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run to extend their lead to 62-46 with eight minutes to play, forcing a Huskies timeout. Rikki Harris scored seven-consecutive points on the floor with the OSU lead at 64-46. UConn scored the next five points, forcing an Ohio State timeout with 5:39 to play. The Huskies extended their run to nine to get the Buckeyes’ lead to single digits at 64-55. A three-point play from McMahon ended the OSU scoring drought. Sheldon got to the line down the stretch and capped scoring at 73-61.
Q1: Cotie McMahon coast-to-coast
Q1: Cotie McMahon pass to Taylor Thierry layup
Q2: Cotie McMahon three-pointer
Q3: Taylor Thierry driving layup
Q4: Rikki Harris three-pointer
Q4: Final buzzer
What They Said
The Buckeyes will play No. 1 seed Virginia Tech at 9 p.m. ET Monday, March 27. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Ohio State women’s basketball season tickets for the 2023-24 season are now on sale and can be purchased HERE. Fans with ticketing questions should call the Ohio State Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-BUCKS or email firstname.lastname@example.org.