Jim Foster is headed home to Philadelphia and Ohio State is headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1992-93.
Foster’s OSU women’s basketball team used a balanced offensive attack and staunch defense to turn back host Maryland 75-65 in an NCAA Tournament second round game Tuesday night at College Park, Md.
“When you focus on what is in front of you and take care of your business on a daily basis, good things will happen for you at the end of the season,” said Foster, who will take his ninth team to the Sweet 16. “We look forward to going to Philadelphia.”
The Buckeyes, seeded second in the Philadelphia Region, improved to 30-4 – notching the school’s first 30-win season.
“We’re very excited,” OSU assistant Kelly Meury told WOSU-AM. “This is a big win for us. We’re looking forward to going to Philly.”
The Buckeyes held Maryland (22-10) to 41.5 percent shooting (27 of 65). Offensively, OSU put four players in double figures. Brandie Hoskins led OSU with 22 points (on 10-of-15 shooting) and six rebounds. Caity Matter added 16 points, hitting 3 of 5 three-point tries.
Jessica Davenport, a Naismith Award finalist, dealt with double teams and foul trouble. But she still finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Stephanie Blanton had 12 points (on 5 of 6 shooting) and also grabbed five rebounds.
And, for good measure, Ashley Allen had eight points, eight assists and five rebounds for the Buckeyes. OSU had assists on 17 of its 30 made field goals, while committing just seven turnovers.
“It’s a team game,” Foster said. “If you are willing to share the ball and are an unselfish player and the people you put the ball in to can put it in the basket, this is a fun game to play.”
Ohio State advances to its seventh Sweet 16 in its 15th NCAA appearance, breaking a string of three straight losses in second round games dating to the 1992-93 Final Four season.
The Buckeyes will meet third-seeded Rutgers (27-6), which outlasted Temple 61-54 Tuesday night. That game will be Sunday at approximately 2:30 p.m. at Temple’s Liacouras Center. It will be televised by ESPN. OSU took a nonconference 52-50 win over Rutgers in January in Columbus.
The winner of that game will face the winner of the other semifinal between top-seeded Tennessee (28-4) and No. 4 seed Texas Tech (24-7). The Lady Vols defeated Purdue 75-54 Tuesday in Knoxville to give coach Pat Summit her 880th career win, more than any other coach in NCAA men’s or women’s basketball history.
Crystal Langhorne had 22 points and 16 rebounds for the seventh-seeded Terrapins (22-10), who were trying to win their first second-round NCAA Tournament game since 1992. It was Langhorne's 18th double-double of the season. Kayika France and Ashley Newman each had 12 points for Maryland, which was 13-3 at home at the Comcast Center this season.
But leading scorer Shay Doron, averaging nearly 18 points per game, was held to nine after going 3 for 15 from the floor.
Davenport had 10 of her points in the first half. The half saw seven ties and 10 lead changes before Allen’s three-pointer to beat the shot clock off a feed from Matter with one second left gave OSU a 35-34 halftime edge.
There were eight more lead changes in the first five minutes of the second half before Matter canned a three-pointer to put OSU up 48-46 and give the Buckeyes the lead for good with 15:26 left.
Hoskins converted an Allen steal into a layup for a 50-46 lead with 14:57 left. After Newman scored a pair of baskets and cut the lead to 53-50 with 12:27 left, OSU went on an 11-3 run to get some breathing room.
Allen started it with a trey from the top of the key. She then stole the ball again and fed Hoskins for another layup. After Maryland’s Langhorne had a layup and a free throw, Matter made a baseline jumper, Allen hit a foul line jumper and, finally, Matter buried a clutch baseline jumper off an inside-out feed from Alice Jamen to put the Buckeyes up 64-53 with 4:25 left.
Even with Davenport on the bench for over three minutes with three fouls, OSU held Maryland without a made field goal for over 5-1/2 minutes as they expanded their lead.
OSU enjoyed its biggest lead when Hoskins hit a baseline jumper to make it 71-59 with 2:12 left.
* Ohio State improved to 28-1 when leading at the half.
* Foster improved to 28-18 in his 19th NCAA appearance.
* Ohio State previous single-season win mark was the 28 contests won by the 1992-93 national runner-up squad that finished with a 28-4 record. The 1984-85 team also recorded 28 wins against three losses.
Purdue holds the all-time Big Ten mark for wins in a season with 34 in 1998-99.
* OSU is now 17-14 all-time in NCAA play.
The Buckeyes advanced to the Final Four in 1992-93 and to at least the Sweet 16 for five straight years between 1985-89. That includes two Elite Eight appearances (1985 and '87).
* Matter became the 10th player in OSU women’s history to move past 1,500 points in her career, finishing the night at 1,515 points.
* Ohio State has played in 11 second-round games in its 15 appearances in the NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes now boast a 7-4 mark in those contests.