No. 3 seed Ohio State Buckeyes over No. 2 UConn Huskies 73-61
Ohio State defeated the UConn Huskies thanks to a dominant second quarter where Ohio State held UConn to just nine points.
Cotie McMahon was a menace and UConn had no answer for the star forward, who ended the night with 23 points and five rebounds. From the guard position, Jacy Sheldon came up big for the Buckeyes; she had 17 points, including converting on all ten of her free throw attempts.
Lou Lopez Sénéchal gave a great effort in defeat, scoring 25 points, but the Huskies could never close the gap from the deficit that was built in the first half.
Maybe it was just the school’s history, but while it felt as though eventually UConn would go on a run, Ohio State closed the door whenever even a small opportunity appeared. In the third, with 3:51 left, UConn cut the lead to five, but Ohio State responded with a 5-0 run featuring a Taylor Mikesell jumper and a Jacy Sheldon 3-pointer. In the closing frame, with under four minutes to go, UConn brought it back to a nine-point game, but once again, Mikesell and Sheldon responded. Mikesell went to the hoop thanks to a Sheldon assist and Sheldon hit a pair of free throws to make it a double-digit lead once again and punch Ohio State’s ticket to the Elite Eight.
No. 1 seed Virginia Tech Hokies over No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols 73-64
Virginia Tech Hokies had the game in hand and nearly gave it up in the fourth, but they held on and defeated the Tennessee Lady Vols 73-64. They dominated virtually every statistical category and never trailed in the game leading by as many as 18.
The Hokies dominated with a tremendous inside-outside combo of Elizabeth Kitley and Georgia Amoore. Amoore ended Saturday with 29 points, a career-high for her, and six rebounds. Kitley had 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds in the win.
This Elite Eight berth is the first in the school’s history, so despite being a No. 1 seed, Virginia Tech is in unknown territory.
Just that kind of game for Georgia Amoore pic.twitter.com/EwSjgF5rCf— Mark Schindler (@MG_Schindler) March 26, 2023
Tennessee struggled to get things going offensively through the first three quarters, as the biggest impact they had was with their aggressive press, but Virginia Tech was able to break it, with D’asia Gregg coming off the bench and hitting a few buckets to help the Hokies maintain control in the third quarter.
The fourth was a different story entirely.
Tennessee took the momentum they had in the closing minutes of the third and went on a 9-2 run to start the fourth. The 18-point deficit was cut down to two. This wasn’t a fake comeback; the Lady Vols were very much in it. Amoore was big in this moment for the Hokies. She made a layup and forced a steal to calm Tennessee down and after a pair of Cayla King free throws, the lead was back up to seven.
Tennessee never got closer and after another Amoore bucket, the lead was back to double digits and the game was, for all intents and purposes, done.
Virginia Tech and Ohio State will face off against each other on Monday. The win was historic for the Hokies, but all eyes will be on them in this Elite Eight matchup against the press-happy Buckeyes. Can they break it enough to make it to the Final Four or will Ohio State be cutting down the nets?