The Texas Longhorns defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes, 66-63, in the Sweet 16 in the Spokane Region of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on Friday.
Texas guard Joanne Allen-Taylor led Texas with 17 points, scoring most of her points in the first half as the Longhorns (29-6) had to play the majority of the game without guard Rori Harmon, who was in foul trouble early.
Texas also had 10 points from guard Aliyah Matharu, along with nine points and eight rebounds from forward Lauren Ebo.
Texas will play either Stanford or Maryland in the Elite Eight on Sunday. This is the second straight season the Longhorns have reached the Elite Eight under head coach Vic Schaefer. A win on Sunday would put Texas in the Final Four for the first time since 2003.
It was a gritty win for Texas, which was up 60-50 midway through the fourth quarter and seemingly in control of the contest. That was before an 8-0 run by Ohio State that cut the lead to two points with 3:14 left.
But Ohio State couldn’t tie or claim the lead down the stretch. Two free throws by Ebo and a jumper by Harmon kept Texas ahead, but only by a point, 64-63, with 49 seconds left.
Ohio State had a chance to win after that. Buckeyes guard Jacy Sheldon missed a 15-foot jumper, but Taylor Thierry grabbed the rebound and went back up. But Texas forward Aaliyah Moore blocked the shot, Texas guard Audrey Warren collected the loose ball and threw an outlet pass to Harmon, who dribbled around until she was fouled with 10 seconds left.
Her two free throws gave Texas a three-point lead. Ohio State got the ball to Sheldon, but she and the Buckeyes were unable to get a shot away before the buzzer.
Ohio State (25-7), which was making its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2017, fell short of reaching the Elite Eight since 1993, when it reached the national championship game before losing to the Sheryl Swoopes-led Texas Tech Lady Raiders.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.