(MENAFN) UConn's record streak of reaching 14 straight Final Fours in the women's NCAA Tournament came to an end on Saturday when the second-seeded Huskies were beaten by the third-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes 73-61 in the Sweet 16. The Buckeyes' Cotie McMahon scored 23 points, and their full-court pressure defense forced UConn into 25 turnovers, ending the Huskies' season before the national semifinals for the first time since 2008. Ohio State hadn't made a regional final since 1993.
The Buckeyes had to rally from a double-digit deficit in the first round against James Madison, but their victory over UConn was more convincing. They used their full-court pressure defense to wreak havoc on the Huskies' offense, capitalizing on the lack of ball control to score points and take control of the game.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma acknowledged the team's struggles during a sideline interview, saying, "We picked the worst day to actually be doing the things that we've been struggling with all year long."
The loss marks the first time UConn has been eliminated before the Final Four since 2006. The Huskies' streak of 14 consecutive Final Four appearances is a record in the women's NCAA Tournament and a testament to their dominance over the years. However, this year's team struggled at times, and their weaknesses were exposed by the Buckeyes' aggressive defense.
For Ohio State, the victory over UConn marks a significant milestone for the program. The Buckeyes hadn't made a regional final since 1993 and will now have a chance to advance to the Final Four for the first time since then. They'll face the winner of top-seeded Virginia Tech and fourth-seeded Tennessee in the Seattle 3 Region final on Monday night, with a trip to Dallas at stake.
In conclusion, Ohio State's victory over UConn in the women's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 marks the end of the Huskies' record streak of reaching 14 consecutive Final Fours. The Buckeyes' aggressive full-court pressure defense proved too much for UConn, which struggled with turnovers throughout the game. For Ohio State, the victory marks a significant milestone for the program, which hadn't made a regional final since 1993. They'll now have a chance to advance to the Final Four for the first time in almost three decades.
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