March 25, 2023

Ohio State Advances to Elite Eight for First Time Since 1993

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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.

Highlights

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

Game Notes

  • Ohio State improves to 31-26 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
  • This is the Buckeyes’ fourth Elite Eight appearance in program history and first since 1993.
  • This is Ohio State’s first win of the all-time series with UConn and first-ever postseason meeting between the two teams.
  • This win breaks UConn’s Division I records of 16-straight Elite Eight appearances and 14-straight Final Four appearances.
  • This is the 21st game of the season and fifth-consecutive game that the Buckeyes have totaled at least 10 steals, finishing the game with 13 steals today.
  • This is the Buckeyes’ 19th game this season forcing at least 20 turnovers, forcing 25 today.
  • Cotie McMahon scored in double figures for the 25th time this season and has scored in double figures in every game of the postseason. McMahon finished with 23 points, her 14th 20-point game of the season.
  • Jacy Sheldon scored 17 points as she’s reached double figures in all three of the Buckeyes’ NCAA Tournament games this season.
  • Taylor Thierry reached double figures for the 27th time this season and totaled 11 points.
  • Q1: The Buckeye defense forced eight turnovers during the opening quarter, six of those coming from steals.
  • Q2: Ohio State’s defense forced 10 turnovers in the second quarter to bring the first-half total to 18 forced turnovers. OSU also totaled 11 steals in the first half.
  • Q3: The OSU defense continued its tough defense with six forced turnovers in the quarter.
  • Q4: Ohio State won the rebounding battle 13-10 in the fourth quarter.

What They Said

  • View today’s press conference transcript HERE.

Up Next

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 athletic.tix@osu.edu.

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