Ohio State ends LSU's season in second round of NCAAs
BATON ROUGE - The 3-seed LSU women's basketball team fell to 6-seed Ohio State, 79-64, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The energy in the Pete Maravich Center did not disappoint as game time approached. With high stakes and packed bleachers, LSU's Faustine Aifwa won the opening tip against Ohio State University. Aifuwa's winning tip helped Khayla Pointer to quickly score a three-pointer less than one minute into the game, which made the crowd go wild. OSU finally scored on the board with a pair of free throws from Rikki Harris, which jump started their scoring capabilities.
A seventh turnover by LSU allowed Jacy Sheldon to secure the lead for the Buckeyes (12-8.) LSU could not make any successful shots for the remainder of the first quarter, although they showed tremendous grit. After OSU's Taylor Mikesell scored her team's first three-pointer of the game, the Buckeyes led by seven.
As the teams entered the second quarter, LSU fought hard to catch up. Pointer scored a layup after a long point drought; however, OSU continued to prevail.
With six minutes remaining in the quarter, Pointer and Autumn Newby worked together to score a layup that allowed the Tigers to only trail by three. Not even 20 seconds after the layup, Buckeye Rebeka Mikulasikova shot a three-pointer to make it 26-20 OSU. The Tigers pressed on as Jailin Cherry scored two jumpers and Pointer scored a layup, but it was still not enough to lead. OSU led 34-26, going into halftime.
Three minutes into the third quarter, OSU had a 12 point lead. Finally, Cherry scored on the fast break to put some Tiger points on the board, 40-28. After a media timeout, the teams continued to fight foul for foul. Pointer secured three free throws for her team, these were the only points scored by LSU since the five-minute mark.
OSU's Tanaya Beacham and Sheldon both scored to make the game 57-33. As the end of the third came closer, Tiger fans continued to cheer on their team, waiting for more points, Aifuwa and Ryann Payne scored two points each; however, by the fourth quarter the Buckeyes still led 57-37.
At the start of the fourth, Cherry and Pointer both scored for the Tigers. OSU fought to make sure LSU would not gain any momentum, which led to multiple fouls and turnovers on behalf of both teams. LSU struggled to get free throw points on the board, but Pointer scored once again to help her team get to 50 points on the board (67-50.)
After scores by LSU's Cherry, Payne, Pointer, and Newby, the Tigers kicked it into gear. Trailing by only 11, LSU did whatever they could to score; however, it was not enough in comparison to Ohio's power on the court. With one minute remaining, Sheldon scored a quick layup to end the game 79-64 LSU.
LSU's stat leader was Pointer with 32 points, two rebounds, four assists, one block, and one steal.
OSU's stat leader was Sheldon with 23 points, three rebounds, eight assists, and three steals.
The road to the Final Four ended at home for the Tigers, as the Buckeyes closed out their time in Baton Rouge with a win.