DAYTON, Ohio – Tennessee took a deep breath at halftime Saturday and blew past Ohio State.
The Lady Vols revved the game tempo and managed some defense in rallying for an 85-75 NCAA women’s basketball victory in a Dayton Regional semifinal game at University of Dayton Arena.
Shekinna Stricklen led top-seed Tennessee (34-2) with 20 points. The Lady Vols will play the winner of Saturday’s second game between Notre Dame and Oklahoma in the regional final at 7 p.m. Monday.
Ohio State shot 66.7 percent from the floor and scored 42 points in the first half, the best half of shooting by a UT opponent this season. But the Buckeyes couldn’t maintain the accuracy or scoring in the second half.
Ohio State put on an offensive clinic in the first half, shooting nearly 77 percent for the first 10 minutes, scoring everywhere from the rim to the 3-point line.
Still, the Buckeyes’ biggest lead was just six points. The Lady Vols shot well enough to stay close. A Shekinna Stricklen jumper at the buzzer pulled them within 42-40 at the break.