The Ohio State Buckeyes and Virginia Tech are the latest teams to advance to the Hokies Elite Eight. Here are our recaps of their games.
No. 3 seed Ohio State at No. 2 Buckeyes Yukon Huskies 73-61
Ohio State defeated the UConn Huskies thanks to a dominating second quarter, where Ohio State held UConn to only nine points.
Coty McMahon was a threat and UConn had no answer for the star forward, who finished the night with 23 points and five rebounds. From the guard position, Jesse Sheldon came up big for the Buckeyes; He had 17 points, including converting all ten of his free throw attempts.
Lou López Senechal put in a great effort in the loss, scoring 25 points, but the Huskies were never able to close the gap from the deficit they created in the first half.
Maybe it was just school history, but when it looked like UConn would finally get away, Ohio State shut the door whenever a tiny opportunity presented itself. 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 Mikkel jumper and a Jesse Sheldon 3-pointer. In the closing frames, with less than four minutes remaining, UConn brought it back to a nine-point game, but once again, Mikkel and Sheldon answered. Mikkel went to the hoop with Sheldon’s help and Sheldon hit a pair of free throws to make it a two-point lead once again and punch Ohio State’s ticket to the Elite Eight.
The Virginia Tech Hokies had the game in hand and nearly dropped it in the fourth, but they held on to defeat the Tennessee Lady Vols, 73–64. They dominated in virtually every statistical category and never trailed in more than 18 games.
The Hokies dominated with the tremendous inside-outside combo of Elizabeth Kitley and Georgia Amur. Amur finished with 29 on Saturday points, a career-high for him, and six rebounds. Kitley had 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds in the win.
This Elite Eight berth is the first in school history, so despite being the No. 1 seed, Virginia Tech is in uncharted territory.
Tennessee struggled to get things going offensively through the first three quarters, as their biggest impact was with their offensive press, but Virginia Tech was able to break it down, with D’Asia Greg coming off the bench. Was and kicking some buckets to help out. The Hokies maintained control in the third quarter.
The fourth was a different story entirely.
Tennessee gained momentum in the final minutes of the third and went on a 9–2 run to start the fourth. The 18-point deficit was reduced to two. It was not a fake comeback; Lady Walls was very much in it. Amur was big in this moment for the Hokies. He made a layup and forced a steal to silence Tennessee, and after a pair of free throws from Banana King, the lead was back up to seven.
Tennessee never got closer and after another Amur bucket, the lead was back to two digits and the game was done for all intents and purposes.
Virginia Tech and Ohio State will square off on Monday. The win was historic for the Hokies, but all eyes will be on them in this Elite Eight matchup against the press-adoring Buckeyes. Can they smash it hard enough to make the Final Four or will Ohio State cut down the nets?