The 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament continued Monday with the final two Elite Eight games.
One-seed South Carolina kicked off the night, beating 2-seed Maryland in Greenville, South Carolina. Later, another No. 1 was in action, as top-seeded Virginia Tech knocked off 3-seed Ohio State in Seattle.
The first two Final Four teams were decided Sunday, when No. 3 LSU took down No. 9 Miami (Fla.), followed by 2-seed Iowa defeating 5-seed Louisville. The Final Four takes place Friday, followed by the national championship game Sunday.
Here are the highlights!
FINAL: No. 1 Virginia Tech 84, No. 3 Ohio State 74
Virginia Tech and Ohio State combined for 5 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the game. Kayana Traylor began the 3-fest 16 seconds into the game for Virginia Tech.
Meanwhile, Taylor Mikesell sunk Ohio State’s first 3-ball.
Going around everyone
Taylor Soule went baseline for the reverse layup, putting Virginia Tech up seven points.
Buckeyes take the lead
Ohio State went on a 15-5 run to end the first quarter. Jacy Sheldon gave the Buckeyes the lead and posted their final four points of the quarter. Ohio State took a 25-22 lead.
Mikesell going off
The Ohio State guard went off in the first half, totaling 19 points and making 5 3-pointers, one of them shown below.
Shortly before halftime, Soule got a physical bucket off the dribble.
Virginia Tech led 48-45 at halftime.
Elizabeth Kitley executed an and-1 in the paint, giving the Hokies a six-point lead midway through the third quarter.
After winding down the clock, Georgia Amoore was able to get off and make a 3-pointer going to her right just before the third quarter buzzer.
Virginia Tech led 63-55 after the third quarter.
Turning defense into offense
Trying to stay in the game, Ohio State’s Cotie McMahon stole the Virginia Tech inbounds pass, brought the ball down the floor and passed it to Mikesell in the corner, who made the 3-pointer. The Buckeyes trailed by 10 with 3:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Sheldon got to the rim off the dribble, but her layup was blocked by Kitley.
FINAL: No. 1 South Carolina 86, No. 2 Maryland 75
SC starts strong
Brea Beal made the first 3-pointer of the game midway through the first quarter, giving South Carolina an 11-5 lead.
Big Maryland run
Abby Meyers drilled Maryland’s first 3-pointer and then got a steal on the other end of the floor. Meyers passed the ball to Faith Masonius, who ran down the court for the layup. The quick five points were part of a 12-0 Terrapins run, which put them up 19-13.
Maryland led 21-15 after the first quarter.
What a dime
Meyers continued to put her imprints on the first half early in the second quarter when she got a pair of South Carolina defenders to fall for pump-fakes and then made a slick assist to Masonius.
SC back in front
Zia Cooke scored nine points, three of those buckets shown below, as part of an 18-5 South Carolina run to end the first half. The Gamecocks led 38-30 at halftime.
Meyers pulled off a reverse layup before halftime, two of her 14 first-half points.
Spinning and winning
Maryland’s Diamond Miller got a bucket out of the post to cut South Carolina’s lead to six points.
Making it work
After corralling the ball under the rim, South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso found a way to get off and make the underneath basket. The inside bucket put South Carolina up 15.
The Gamecocks led 62-50 after the third quarter.
South Carolina put on a passing clinic a couple of minutes into the fourth quarter when it made a series of passes to set up Cardoso for the inside bucket.
Aliyah Boston got the inbounds pass and then found an open Beal, who hit a 3-pointer to put South Carolina up 16.
No. 2 Iowa 97, No. 5 Louisville 83
Fear the Bird
Louisville came out breathing fire, beginning the game on an 8-0 run and forcing an Iowa timeout just 2:15 into the first quarter. Hailey Van Lith chipped in six of those points.
Caitlin Clark promptly got the Hawkeyes into the game, going on a 7-0 run by herself.
Her second bucket came off a steal, which she turned into a layup.
What a shot!
They may have been playing in Seattle, but Clark hit this 3-pointer from Iowa City.
3-ball is falling
In what was an electric first quarter, Chrislyn Carr hit a trio of 3-pointers for Louisville.
Clark went off in the first quarter, scoring 15 points, but she also recorded four scintillating assists.
Iowa led 25-21 after the first quarter.
Louisville’s Mykasa Robinson used the crossover to divert just enough attention off Olivia Cochran, who laid in the underneath bucket off the Robinson assist.
What a half
Clark finished the first half with 22 points, eight assists and two steals, helping the Hawkeyes take a 48-43 lead into halftime.
Meanwhile, Van Lith put up 17 points of her own, three of which are shown below.
Trying to stay in it
Louisville cut Iowa’s lead to one, but then the Hawkeyes went on an 11-0 run thanks to a pair of 3-balls from Gabbie Marshall. Trying to narrow the gap, Van Lith later got Louisville to within 10 points with her third 3-pointer.
Iowa led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter thanks to its second 11-0 run and led 78-59 after the quarter.
It continued to control the game in the fourth, as Marshall forced a turnover and Clark found her down the court for the score.
Louisville cut Iowa’s lead to 10 when Cochran scored out of the post for her 20th point of the night. Cochran finished with a double-double (20 points and 14 rebounds).
In the end, though, the Hawkeyes prevailed.
No. 3 LSU 54, No. 9 Miami (Fla.) 42
She’ll be taking that!
LSU struck first when Alexis Morris forced a steal and then turned the turnover into points off the assist from Angel Reese.
Knifing through the defense
Morris scored LSU’s first four points, her second bucket coming off a coast-to-coast layup.
The Tigers led 10-8 after the first quarter.
The Jasmyne Roberts Show
Roberts scored eight of the Hurricanes’ first 12 points and later scored eight consecutive points for Miami, the first bucket of that run shown below.
Roberts finished the first half with 16 of Miami’s 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field.
Making it work
Reese got the steal and made a remarkable pass to keep the ball inbounds. One pass later, Sa’Myah Smith got a fastbreak bucket on the other end of the floor for LSU. The bucket began a 6-0 run for the Tigers.
LSU led 26-20 at halftime.
Shortly after the halftime break, Kateri Poole threw the ball inside to Reese, who somehow caught the pass with one hand behind a defender’s head and got the underneath basket.
Even though LSU scored off the ensuing inbounds pass, Miami’s Lazaria Spearman emphatically denied Smith’s inside shot attempt.
LSU led 38-27 after the third quarter.
With the double-team closing in on Morris, she found a wide-open Poole in the corner, who knocked down the first 3-pointer of the game for either team. The long ball gave LSU a 16-point lead with 7:10 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Making a run
Miami went on an 8-0 run to cut LSU’s lead in half midway through the fourth. Spearman and Lashae Dwyer each chipped in four points on the run.
Morris cannot be stopped
Morris sliced and diced her way into the paint for a nifty layup, ending Miami’s 8-0 run.
On a roll
A few minutes later, Morris evaded a double-team and crossed up Spearman to get the layup.
She finished the night with a team-high 21 points.
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