NCAA James Madison Ohio St Basketball

Ohio State forward Cotie McMahon (32) celebrates a basket against James Madison in the second half of a first-round college basketball game in the women's NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, March 18, 2023. Ohio State defeated James Madison 80-66. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — 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.

"We had several open shots in the perimeter and then shots around the basket. We just weren't finishing it," Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. "We looked a little rusty from being off for a couple of weeks and so hopefully this allows us to settle in and we'll get off to a better start on Monday."

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.

"I thought we put it on them pretty good to start," James Madison coach Sean O'Reagan said. "Eventually I just thought we ran out of gas a little bit and when you run out of gas against that press it doesn't bode well for you."

The Buckeyes trailed 37-34 and were shooting 31.3% at the half.


Midway through the third quarter, Ohio State didn't have the lead or a 3-point basket.

McMahon changed both of those on one shot.

The Big Ten Freshman of the Year stepped up and drained the go-ahead 3-pointer that Ohio State used to punch its ticket to the second round.

"We all just needed to see one go in," McMahon said. "I thought it was really important for us to get going after that, and that was the shot that kind of helped us get going."


The Buckeyes have come from behind in each of its past three victories.

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