2023 Ohio State University
Two programs were on the hunt for history on Monday night as the 3-seeded Buckeyes took on the 1-seeded Virginia Tech Hokies in the Elite Eight. Ohio State was searching for their first Final Four appearance since 1993 and the Hokies were on the hunt for their first ever appearance. Virginia Tech entered the game as three-point favorites over the Buckeyes. The winner advances to the Final Four and will face LSU this Friday at 7PM on ESPN.
Both teams started perfect from the field and traded three's at both ends of the floor as defense was a total non-factor early on in Seattle. The Hokies were the first to get on a run as they led by seven in the first quarter after a couple of empty possessions from Ohio State. But thanks to three triples from Taylor Mikesell the Buckeyes led by three after the first quarter.
Yet again it was the favored Hokies getting out to a quick start in the second quarter as they quickly evened the game back up before both teams traded shots until they reached the half. A hefty amount of fouls allowed Virginia Tech to earn some easy points and they were able to take the lead going into the half after outscoring the Buckeyes by six in the quarter.
Both offenses were locked down in the third quarter as the two combined for almost half of what they had scored in any of the other two quarters. To go along with the strong defense came a lot of fouls for both teams which sent both teams to the free throw line often. Virginia Tech was once again able to get out to a seven point lead as the two teams neared the end of the quarter before the Buckeyes responded with points of their own. But then Georgia Amoore knocked in a huge three-pointer as time expired in the quarter to give the Hokies an eight point advantage with one to go.
Virginia Tech's offense quickly broke the Buckeyes famous press defense early in the quarter as they were able to move down the floor and found their center Liz Kitley behind the defense to grow their lead out to double digits with over eight minutes to play. Ohio State's offense put up a strong effort, but Kitley caught fire late and the Buckeyes couldn't get shots to fall consistently and the defensive fouls continued to add up. Unfortunately the Buckeyes finally ran out of gas after one of the greatest runs by one of the greatest teams the school has ever seen and the Virginia Tech Hokies took down the great ladies from THE Ohio State University.
Final: Virginia Tech Wins 84-74
Player of the Game: Taylor Mikesell
It was Mikesell's shooting that put the Buckeyes in a position to win this game early on and it was her shooting that kept them in it late. The senior put in a memorable final performance for the Buckeyes as she was the leading scorer with 25 points and she did so on 7-10 shooting from three-point range and knocked down every three for Ohio State in the game.
Leading Scorers: Taylor Mikesell (25), Jacy Sheldon (19), Cotie McMahon (18)
Leading Scorers: Liz Kitley (25), Georgia Amoore (24), Cayla King (12), Taylor Soule (12)