SPOKANE, Wash — Joanne Allen-Taylor scored 17 points, and Texas beat Ohio State 66-63 on Friday night to advance to the Elite Eight of the women's NCAA Tournament.
Aliyah Matharu added 10 points for Texas (29-6), which will make its second straight appearance in the Elite Eight. The second-seeded Longhorns have won 14 straight games since their last loss on Feb. 6 — the second-longest active streak behind Stanford.
Taylor Mikesell scored 19 points and Jacy Sheldon had 17 for sixth-seeded Ohio State (25-7), which has not advanced beyond the Sweet 16 since 1993.
Texas made five shots in a row to build a 60-50 lead in the fourth quarter, but the Buckeyes scored eight straight points to pull within two.
Lauren Ebo made a pair of free throws for Texas and Rori Harmon’s basket lifted the Longhorns to a 64-61 lead with just over a minute left.
Tanaya Beacham cut the Texas lead to 64-63, and the Buckeyes called time out with 28 seconds left. Sheldon missed a jumper on the ensuing play and Texas rebounded. Harmon took a hard foul after getting the ball past half court, then sank both free throws for a 66-63 lead with 10 seconds left.
A 3-point attempt by Beacham was blocked by freshman Aaliyah Moore as the game ended.
Texas took the first lead of the game, and the teams traded leads but the Longhorns were up by two at the half. Allen-Taylor had 13 points in the first half to lead all scorers.
The teams traded leads early in the third, until a 9-0 run capped by Matharu's 3-pointer put Texas ahead 44-36. Allen-Taylor ignited the run with a basket and two free throws.
Mikesell's 3-pointer brought Ohio State within 44-43, but the Longhorns built a 50-45 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes came in averaging 78.6 points per game, eighth in the nation, but were hampered by 43% shooting.
Texas: The Longhorns rely on a pressure defense to disrupt their opponents, and allow just 56.5 points per game. They are 25-1 this season when leading at halftime.
Texas plays the winner of the Maryland-Stanford game in the Elite Eight on Sunday.
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