The Ohio State women’s basketball team stormed into the 2024 NCAA Tournament with a commanding 80-57 victory over the Maine Black Bears on Friday afternoon, igniting their postseason campaign.

Ranked #2 in the Portland 3 Region, the Buckeyes capitalized on their home-court advantage, courtesy of Columbus being selected as one of the opening weekend locations. Their opponents, the Maine Black Bears, entered the contest as the 15th seed but found themselves outmatched from the get-go, as Ohio State asserted their authority early on.

Led by the dynamic performance of Jacy Sheldon, who tallied an impressive 19 points, the Buckeyes set the tone from the opening whistle. They surged ahead with a 22-16 lead in the first quarter. Ohio State continued to assert their dominance in the second quarter, outscoring Maine 21-8 and heading into halftime with a formidable 43-24 advantage.

Although Maine attempted to make adjustments during halftime, their efforts fell short against a well-rested and determined Buckeyes squad. Ohio State extended their lead even further in the third quarter, stretching their halftime advantage to 21 points, leaving the Black Bears with an insurmountable deficit to overcome.

Head coach Kevin McGuff demonstrated his confidence in his team’s performance by resting starters and giving valuable minutes to his bench players in the latter stages of the game. The Buckeyes showcased their depth and versatility, with three additional starters joining Sheldon in double-digit scoring. Taylor Thierry contributed 14 points, Celeste Taylor added 12, and Cotie McMahon chipped in with 11, underlining Ohio State’s balanced offensive attack.

With their decisive victory secured, the Buckeyes now turn their attention to the next challenge on their postseason journey. They are set to host the winner of the matchup between 7th-seeded Duke and 10th-seeded Richmond on Sunday, as they continue their quest for NCAA Tournament glory.