Ohio State Shifting Focus To NCAA Tournament After Upset By Maryland

By March 11, 2024 (3:29 pm)Basketball

Ohio State’s run in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament ended sooner than anybody – the Buckeyes included – expected, with eighth-seeded Maryland notching an upset of top-ranked Ohio State on Friday.

The Buckeyes were beat down on the boards 55-31 in the loss and shot just 35.9 percent from the field, a stunning result given that Ohio State entered the tournament with just one loss in 2024, though it was the previous weekend at Iowa.

But with the hopes of a conference tournament championship slashed, the Buckeyes looked to pick themselves up and move forward. Senior guard Jacy Sheldon, who had 10 points in the loss, said following the game that the work to rebound from the upset would begin just hours later.

“(It starts) tomorrow,” she said. “It’s not over. We have a lot to prepare for coming up. We have to shift our focus after today.”

Ohio State still has high hopes for the NCAA tournament, hoping to build off last year’s appearance in the Elite Eight. While the chances of a one seed have evaporated with back-to-back losses entering Selection Sunday, the Buckeyes are still in line for one of the top 16 seeds that will allow them to host games through the first two rounds.

If Ohio State wants to get back to the Elite Eight, however, it will have to play better than it has over the past couple of weeks. The keys will be rebounding and getting consistent performances from the likes of forward Cotie McMahona nd guard Celeste Taylor, who have come through in big moments for the Buckeyes this season.

And while it’s a new position for Ohio State this season coming off back-to-back losses, but for the veterans on the team like Sheldon that have experienced these situations, the team will lean on them for guidance as The Big Dance approaches.

“Moving forward, everyone hates losing, especially this team,” Sheldon said. “I think moving forward, people have been here before and have played in March Madness in that tournament before. I think that does help.”

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