COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cotie McMahon scored 18 points to help No. 3 seed Ohio State pull away for an 80-66 win over No. 14 seed James Madison in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
McMahon made her team's first 3-pointer with 5:18 left in the third quarter to give Ohio State (26-7) a 44-43 lead, and the Buckeyes didn’t give up the advantage from there on out. They trailed by as many as 16 in the first half before going on a 12-0 run.
Jacy Sheldon scored three of her 17 points during an 8-0 run at the start of the fourth quarter. Taylor Thierry shot 7 of 8 and fouled out with 15 points. Taylor Mikesell added 14 points.
James Madison (26-8) led 26-14 and was making 50% of its shots at the end of the first quarter. The Dukes shot 37.9% in the second half and turned it over 21 times, their most in 10 games.
Kiki Jefferson led the Dukes with 17 points and Jamia Hazell added 10.
The Buckeyes trailed 37-34 and were shooting 31.3% at the half.
James Madison: The Sun Belt Tournament winners gave the Buckeyes a scare in their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2016. Jefferson, the conference player of the year, was held to four points in the second half.
Ohio State: McMahon’s timely 3 was what the Buckeyes needed, although they still shot 2 of 17 from distance. Ohio State has shot worse than 31.3% from beyond the arc in two of its past three games.
Ohio State will play the winner of No. 11 seed St. John’s and No. 6 seed North Carolina on Monday.