Almost a week after being snubbed with only an 8 seed in the NCAA tournament, Ohio State’s women’s basketball team finally got their chance to dance as they faced 9th seeded Florida. The Gators were a bubble team and thus were thrilled to see their name announced on Monday. The Buckeyes were less thrilled by where their name was called, not only were they given a worse seed than they expected, they were placed so that a first round win would most likely earn them a matchup against top overall seed Baylor, a team that has looked unstoppable this season. The mental state of Ohio State would play a big role in today’s game, did the seeding slight anger the Buckeyes and give them a chip on their shoulder or will they come out flat, still wondering what they could have done to get a better seed.
Florida opened up playing a high pressure, trapping defense that frustrated Ohio State and forced turnovers on their first three possessions as the Gators jumped out to a 12-2 lead early. The Buckeyes finally got their offense going and put together a 12 to 5 run to cut the Gator lead to 17-14. Florida quickly responded with a 13 to 3 run to extend their lead to 30-17 with a bit more than seven minutes remaining in the half. The teams began trading baskets but the Buckeye defense could not get stops to let them go on a run and cut into the lead. The Buckeyes got a little bit of a spark thanks to a late defensive stop that let them score the final four points of the half and go into the locker room down only 39-31.