Lexington, Ky.— Ohio State’s season came to an end on Friday after its 99-76 loss to Notre Dame in the Sweet 16.
Kelsey Mitchell led the way in scoring for the Buckeyes with 18 points, while five other players had at least eight points on Friday night. Shayla Cooper led all comers with 13 rebounds, the seventh double-digit rebound effort for the senior in 2016-17. Notable for OSU was the return of Stephanie Mavunga to the court; she hadn’t appeared in a game since Feb. 4 due to injury, but she came off the bench tonight and scored four points, including her very first shot.
Ohio State jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, led in part by Mitchell’s eight points and perfect 3-for-3 effort from the field. As a team the Buckeyes were 5-for-9 from beyond the arc in those first 10 minutes of action, the last of which came from Makayla Waterman- her first career three-pointer. Cooper dominated on the boards that quarter as well; she hauled in all of OSU’s nine rebounds, equaling the amount Notre Dame had in the first quarter of play.
The Fighting Irish didn’t stay down for long, though. They outscored the Buckeyes 26-17 in the second quarter thanks to a robust 62.5 shooting percentage. Leading the charge for Notre Dame was its long range shooting; ND made eight of its first 11 shots from beyond the arc. Ohio State started well from long range too, making five of its first 10 threes.
After a quick 9-3 Ohio State run coming out of halftime, Notre Dame extended its lead to 80-65, thanks in large part to a 16-7 rebounding advantage in the third quarter. The fourth quarter saw much of the same as the Fighting Irish pulled away en route to their 99-76 victory.