BATON ROUGE, La. – The sixth-seeded Ohio State women’s basketball team (24-6, 14-4 Big Ten) beat Missouri State (25-8, 14-4 MVC) by a 63-56 margin on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Jacy Sheldon led the Buckeyes with 25 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals, shooting 7-of-12 from the floor and 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Taylor Mikesell also scored in double figures with 14 points, adding on three rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Each has scored in double figures in 28 games this season.
Ohio State trailed by as many as four with seven minutes to play in the game and trailed by one with 3:37 to play before a Mikesell triple gave the Buckeyes the lead for good. A second-chance layup from Missouri State with 41 seconds remaining kept the game at one score with Ohio State leading 58-56. A layup from Sheldon and free throws down the stretch sealed the victory.
How it Happened
Missouri State scored first with a pair of free throws two minutes into the game. Taylor Mikesell tied the game to get Ohio State on the board. The Buckeyes trailed 6-4 at the media timeout. The Bears extended their lead to 9-4 out of the timeout and held the 14-5 advantage after 10 minutes.
Braxtin Miller got to the line to start the second quarter as the Buckeyes scored the first three to trim the deficit to 14-8. Missouri State scored the next six points to extend its lead to 20-8. Jacy Sheldon and Rikki Harris made back-to-back three-pointers to force a Missouri State timeout as the deficit was cut to 20-14 midway through the quarter. A Mikesell triple sent OSU into the media timeout down 22-17. After a jumper from the Bears out of the timeout, Ohio State closed the half on a 14-2 run in the final 2:38 to take a 31-26 lead into the locker room.
Sheldon opened the second half with a pair of free throws and Ohio State held a 35-28 lead with 8:41 remaining in the quarter. Missouri State put together an 8-0 run to take the 36-35 lead midway through the quarter. Rebeka Mikulášiková beat the shot clock to give OSU the lead back. The teams traded points before Mikulášiková hit a three-pointer to close the quarter and give the Buckeyes the 44-43 lead heading into the final quarter.
Missouri State opened fourth-quarter scoring to take a 47-44 lead before Sheldon got to the line to get the Buckeyes back within one. A three-point play gave the Bears the 50-46 lead with seven minutes to play and forced a Buckeye timeout. Tanaya Beacham caught the inbounds pass under the basket for an easy layup, getting Ohio State within two with six minutes to play. OSU trailed 50-49 midway through the quarter. Sheldon gave the Buckeyes the 51-50 lead with a driving layup in transition with four minutes to play. OSU called timeout with 2:12 to play after a Mikesell three-pointer put the Buckeyes in the lead, 54-52. Thierry made a pair from the line on the ensuing possession. Sheldon got to the line with a 56-54 lead and less than a minute to play and made both to force a Missouri State timeout. The Bears scored a second-chance layup to cut Ohio State’s lead to 58-56 as the Buckeyes then called timeout. Missouri State called another timeout after Sheldon’s layup with 29 seconds remaining. The Buckeyes defensive stop forced a Bears’ foul as Sheldon sunk another pair of free throws. The game ended on free throws with the Buckeyes winning 63-56.
- Jacy Sheldon was the first in the game to reach double figures, doing so in the first half of play. This is her 28th game of the season scoring at least 10 points and 15th 20-point game.
- Taylor Mikesell scored in double figures for the 28th game this season.
- Q2: Ohio State shot 11-of-16 (.688) from the floor during the quarter, including making its last six attempts leading into halftime.
- Q2: The Buckeyes defense forced eight turnovers in the second quarter and scored 13 points off of those turnovers. OSU had seven steals in the second quarter.
- Q2: Six of Ohio State’s seven baskets as part of the 14-2 run came on the fast break.
COURTESY OSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS