SEATTLE (WCMH) — Ohio State’s road to the Final Four came to an end Monday night after an 84-74 loss to top-seed Virginia Tech in the Seattle 3 regional final.
Elizabeth Kitley scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Georgia Amoore added 24 points and top-seeded Virginia Tech advanced to the Final Four for the first time in school history.
For the seventh time in the past 10 Final Fours, there will be a first-time participant and it’s the champions of the ACC, adding another accomplishment to the best season in school history.
Playing in its first regional final, Virginia Tech (30-4) won its 15th straight game and will head to the Final Four having not lost in more than two months. The Hokies will face LSU in the national semifinals on Friday in Dallas.
Kitley, the Hokies 6-foot-6 center and leading scorer this season, took over on the interior in the second half. She scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter and her three-point play gave Virginia Tech a 70-60 lead.
Amoore hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game to push the lead to 13. Ohio State pulled within six in the final minute, but the Hokies were nearly perfect at the foul line down the stretch.
Amoore shook off the scare of a potential leg injury in the first half to score 16 points in the second half. She had a career-high 29 in the regional semifinal win over Tennessee. Cayla King added 12 points, all in the first half for the Hokies.
Taylor Mikesell led Ohio State (28-8) with 25 points, but 19 of those came in the first half. Mikesell didn’t score in the first 16 minutes of the second half before hitting a 3-pointer with 3:35 remaining.
Jacy Sheldon scored 19 and Big Ten freshman of the year Cotie McMahon added 18. But the pressure defense that Ohio State used to befuddle UConn into 25 turnovers in the regional semifinal was easily handled by Amoore and the Hokies in the opening minutes and mostly abandoned by the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes defeated James Madison and North Carolina in Columbus before executing an upset win over Connecticut to make its first Elite Eight in three decades. The Buckeyes’ loss to the Hokies ends its 2022-23 season with a 28-8 record along with a Big Ten tournament runner-up finish and its best March Madness in 30 years.
Virginia Tech is into its first Final Four and will face the LSU Tigers on Saturday in Dallas for a spot in the national title game. The other national semifinal will pit the undefeated and defending champions South Carolina against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Tip-off times for Friday’s games will be announced later.
The national championship game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas will be played on April 2.