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No. 1 Virginia Tech avoid upset, advance to face No. 3 Ohio State Monday in Elite Eight

The Buckeyes know their opponent for the next round of the NCAA Tournament

Tennessee v Virginia Tech Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Soon after Ohio State women’s basketball’s 73-61 win over the UConn Huskies, there wasn’t much time for the Buckeyes to celebrate. The Scarlet & Gray sat behind the backboard watching a matchup between the SEC and ACC. No. 1 seed, the Virginia Tech Hokies, battled the No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers.

In the final Sweet Sixteen game in Seattle, Washington, the Hokies started strong, withstood a comeback and defeated the Volunteers. Virginia Tech now faces Ohio State Monday.

Virginia Tech began the game with a 9-0 run, similar to the Huskies pushing the Buckeyes down eight in the first game of the day. However, the Hokies kept the pressure up. Tennessee did their best to trim the lead, cutting it to five points halfway through the second quarter, but both sides failed to hit shots going into halftime.

The Hokies scored the final eight points in the second quarter, the only points in the final 4:25 of the half.

Led by ACC Player of the Year, forward Elizabeth Kitley, the Hokies increased the lead to 18 points, hitting the first two shots of the second half. Even so, Kitley, a finalist for Naismith National Player of the Year, wasn’t offensively leading the Hokies. It was guard Georgia Amoore. Through three quarters, Amoore led everyone on the floor with 22 points. The guard from Australia also added four rebounds and three assists.

Tennessee wasn’t going down so easily though. The Volunteers outscored the Hokies 18-14 in the third quarter and started the first two minutes of the final quarter scoring nine of the first 11 points.

Hurting the Hokies were turnovers. Virginia Tech began the corner giving the ball away three times in the first four minutes of the quarter, turning into six fastbreak points in the quarter.

That and misses from Virginia Tech cut the game close. Substitute guard Jasmine Powell, from Detroit, Michigan, hit a huge three-point shot. That make from beyond the arc cut the Hokies lead to one point, the lowest its been since the first shot of the game was made back in the first quarter.

Tennessee closing the deficit scarred the Hokies, and they responded. After an eight-point run, Virginia Tech scored eight of the next 11 points themselves, extending their lead to seven points with four minutes remaining in the game.

Ohio State and Virginia Tech have played only once in the storied history of both programs. Back on Dec. 21, 2018, the Buckeyes fell to the Hokies 81-73, with none of the current slate of Scarlet & Gray players on the roster at the time.

This season, the Buckeyes are 2-0 against ACC teams, defeating the Louisville Cardinals and North Carolina Tar Heels. The Hokies are perfect against the Big Ten themselves, although they played just once in a win against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Dec. 1, defeating Big Red 85-54 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

In a local note for the Volunteers, Columbus local, guard Jordan Horston, led Tennessee in scoring on the night with 15 points. The Columbus Africentric School star will have to wait until next season to beat the Buckeyes, with Ohio State traveling south in the 23-24 non-conference schedule.