UConn’s 14-year Final 4 streak ends with Sweet 16 loss to Ohio State

UConn’s record streak of reaching 14 straight Final Fours ended when third-seeded Ohio State beat the No. 2 seed Huskies 73-61 on Saturday in the Sweet 16 of the women’s NCAA tournament.

Cotie McMahon scored 23 points and the Buckeyes (28-7) forced UConn (31-6) into 25 turnovers, ending the Huskies’ season before the national semifinals for the first time since 2008. UConn hadn’t been eliminated this early since 2006.

The Buckeyes stopped their own Elite Eight drought. Ohio State hadn’t made a regional final since 1993. The Buckeyes went on to lose in the title game that year.

They’ll play the winner of top seed Virginia Tech and fourth-seeded Tennessee on Monday night in the Seattle 3 Region final with a trip to Dallas at stake.

Ohio State, which had to rally from a double-digit deficit in the first round against James Madison, used full-court pressure to wreak havoc on the Huskies’ offence.

Canadian Aaliyah Edwards was held to four points and seven rebounds in the loss.

“We picked the worst day to actually be doing the things that we’ve been struggling with all year long,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in a sideline interview during the game.

South Carolina secures 41st straight win

Kamilla Cardoso had 10 points while reigning national champion South Carolina turned in its latest overwhelming defence-and-rebounding-first performance to beat UCLA 59-43 on Saturday in the Sweet 16.

Aaliyah Boston had eight points, 14 rebounds and two blocks for the Gamecocks (35-0), the top overall tournament seed and the headliner in the Greenville 1 Region. It marked South Carolina’s 41st consecutive victory, securing the program’s sixth trip to the Elite Eight under Dawn Staley.

Canada’s Laeticia Amihere chipped in four points for South Carolina.

The Gamecocks will play for their fifth trip to the Final Four in Monday’s regional final against 2-seed Maryland.

Charisma Osborne scored 14 points to lead the fourth-seeded Bruins (27-10) UCLA, which was in the Sweet 16 for the eighth time and first since 2019.

Maryland off to Elite 8 for 1st time in 8 years

Diamond Miller scored 14 of her 18 points in the final two quarters to lead second-seeded Maryland over depleted Notre Dame 76-59 and reach the Elite Eight for the first time in eight years.

Shyanne Sellers also had 18 points for the Terps (28-6), which used a third-quarter burst to put away the third-seeded Fighting Irish (27-6).

Sonia Citron led the Fighting Irish with 14 points — their only double-figure scorer — while Canadian Cassandre Prosper finished with eight points and six rebounds. Notre Dame was again without leading-scorer Olivia Miles, who injured a knee in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

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