Blaming a slow start for Ohio State’s first-round NCAA tournament loss would be an oversimplification.
Certainly the 16-4 run with which No. 11 seed Florida State opened the game hurt the Buckeyes in Des Moines, Iowa, but not much else went right for sixth-seeded Ohio State the rest of the way on Saturday night, either.
The result was a 60-49 loss that sent Ohio State home after one game in the Big Dance for a second season in a row.
Tanae Davis-Cane led all scorers with 27 points. She shot 10 for 26 from the field, including 5 of 9 from three-point range. Mara Freshour chipped in with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Seminoles.
Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender countered with 21 points, but no other Buckeye ever found any type of rhythm at the offensive end. She also had nine rebounds.
She was the only Buckeye to score in the first 10 minutes of the game and led them with nine at the half.
But Davis-Cane had 12 in the first 20 minutes, helping the Seminoles to a 30-22 halftime advantage.
She stretched the lead back to 10 with a steal and breakaway layup to open the second half, and the ‘Noles would go on to lead by as many as 20.
Down 53-33 with 9:22 to play, Ohio State responded with an 11-0 run, but the Buckeyes comeback ran out of steam after they got as close as 53-44 with 5:32 to go. From that point, Ohio State scored only five more points.
In her final collegiate game, OSU senior Marscilla Packer had 13, but she struggled with her shot. She missed 9 of 13 shots, including 7 of 10 three-pointers, although she did contribute six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
As a team, the Buckeyes shot 35.3 percent from three-point range (6 of 17), just slightly better than their overall field goal percentage of 35.1 percent (20 o 57). They committed 17 turnovers, including 11 in the first half.
Florida State advances to face No. 3 seed Oklahoma State on Monday night.
Ohio State lost to a lower-seeded team in the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year.