Kevin McGuff Ohio State

Buckeyes Beat Black Bears, Advance To Second Round Of NCAA Tournament

COLUMBUS — Buckeye guard Jacy Sheldon led 2-seed Ohio State (26-5) with 19 points in an 80-57 win over 15-seed Maine (24-10) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on their home court in Value City Arena.

Sheldon also added four assists and four rebounds.

Three other Buckeye scorers were in double figures, as forward Cotie McMahon dropped in 13 points, and guards Taylor Thierry and Celeste Taylor added a dozen a piece.

The Ohio State defensive pressure was key throughout the game, forcing Maine into a season-high 22 turnovers. Taylor had six steals on her own.

The Buckeyes also handled the Black Bears’ zone defense well, collecting 17 assists on their 28 made field goals.

Maine actually held a 14-11 lead in the first quarter following a three-pointer from Adrianna Smith, but it was short-lived. Within the span of about two minutes, that lead was gone thanks to a layup from Thierry and a three from Taylor. The Buckeyes closed the period on a 9-2 run to lead it 22-16 at the first break.

The Black Bears turned the ball over on their first three possessions of the second quarter, allowing Ohio State to build a 26-16 lead. A layup from Maine guard Anne Simon made it 26-18 with 6:56 left in the first half. The Buckeyes then went on a 12-0 run featuring six points from Sheldon and four from Thierry.

Simon led all scorers with 25 points.

A three-pointer from Buckeye Madison Greene with one second remaining in the quarter made it 43-24 Ohio State at the half. Both teams shot over 50% from the field in the first half, but Maine’s 13 turnovers were the difference. The Buckeyes outscored the Black Bears 14-3 on points off of turnovers.

Ohio State also went to the free throw line 14 times compared to zero for Maine.

The Buckeyes scored the first five points of the third quarter, including another Sheldon three-pointer, giving Ohio State their largest lead of the game to that point. The lead then fluctuated between 17-24 points the rest of the quarter.

The lead grew to its largest in the fourth quarter when baskets from Rebeka Mikulasikova, Taiyier Parks, and Emma Shumate made it 80-53 with under four minutes to play.

The Buckeyes outscored Maine 24-10 in points off of turnovers and 15-10 in fast break points.

Ohio State will next play on Sunday against the winner of 7-seed Duke (20-11) and 10-seed Richmond (29-5).

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