The Ohio State women’s basketball team came out victorious in its first NCAA Tournament game since 2012.
Junior Ameryst Alston and freshmen Kelsey Mitchell and Alexa Hart each scored at least 20 points to power the fifth-seeded Buckeyes (24-10) to a 90-80 win against James Madison in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Saturday. The 12th-seeded Dukes (29-4) hadn’t lost a game since Feb. 22 while the Buckeyes were coming off a loss in the Big Ten Tournament.
The win sends the Buckeyes through to the second round, where they are scheduled to take on four-seed North Carolina on the Tar Heels’ home court Monday.
Four players scored in double digits in the first half as the Buckeyes opened up a 47-43 advantage. Alston and JMU junior guard Precious Hall each had 18 in the opening 20 minutes and Mitchell and Hart added 10 and 11 points, respectively.
After scoring the final six points of the first half, OSU scored the first six of the second, extending its lead to 10.
JMU junior guard Ashley Perez cut the lead down to three at the 6:18 mark with her fifth 3-pointer of the second half. OSU scored the next six points before Perez hit her sixth long ball, but the Buckeyes’ lead ballooned back to double digits with just over a minute to play.
Alston’s 28 points tied Hall for the game high while Mitchell totaled 23 points and Hart tacked on 20. Perez finished with 20 points of her own on 6-of-9 shooting from deep for the Dukes.