After tying the game with 5.1 seconds to play, the Ohio State women’s basketball team fell to North Carolina on a last-second shot in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
After trailing by 21 in the first half, OSU freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell made two free throws to tie the game at 84, but the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (26-8) answered back to seal their 86-84 victory. The loss came on North Carolina’s home court in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Monday night.
No. 5 seed OSU finished the season with a 24-11 record and went 13-5 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes’ second round exit marks their deepest run in the NCAA Tournament since 2011.
The Buckeyes found themselves trailing by double digits less than 12 minutes into the game before falling behind by 20 at the 6:31 mark. North Carolina ended up with a 50-32 lead at the half after OSU shot just 1-for-10 from beyond the 3-point arc.
But that deficit wasn’t a nail in OSU’s coffin, as a 3-pointer from Mitchell pulled the Buckeyes within nine with 5:21 to play.
OSU continued to chip away at the lead, eventually tying the game at 82 on another Mitchell long ball. The reigning Big Ten player of the game tied it for the Buckeyes at the line, but North Carolina freshman guard Jamie Cherry responded with the game-winner moments later.
Mitchell finished the game with 25 points, six assists and six rebounds while junior guard Ameryst Alston added 30 points for OSU.
Sophomore forward Stephanie Mavunga led the Tar Heels with 27 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
North Carolina is now set to take on top-seeded South Carolina on Friday in Greensboro, N.C.