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UConn’s Final Four streak ends with 73-61 loss to Ohio State

Rikki Harris #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the UConn Huskies in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Climate Pledge Arena on March 25, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.
Steph Chambers
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Getty Images
Rikki Harris #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the UConn Huskies in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Climate Pledge Arena on March 25, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.

The University of Connecticut's record streak of reaching 14 straight Final Fours ended when third-seeded Ohio State beat the No. 2 seed Huskies 73-61 on Saturday in the Sweet 16 of the women's NCAA Tournament.

Cotie McMahon scored 23 points and the Buckeyes (28-7) forced UConn (31-6) into 25 turnovers, ending the Huskies' season before the national semifinals for the first time since 2008. UConn hadn't been eliminated this early since 2006.

The Buckeyes stopped their own Elite Eight drought. Ohio State hadn't made a regional final since 1993. The Buckeyes went on to lose in the title game that year.

They'll play the winner of top seed Virginia Tech and fourth-seeded Tennessee on Monday night in the Seattle 3 Region final with a trip to Dallas at stake.

Ohio State, which had to rally from a double-digit deficit in the first round against James Madison, used full-court pressure to wreak havoc on the Huskies' offense.

This has been the most trying year of UConn coach Geno Auriemma’s Hall of Fame career. UConn was beset by injuries and illnesses to both players and coaches, including a torn ACL that sidelined star Paige Bueckers all season. It got so bad the Huskies had to postpone a game when they didn’t have enough scholarship players. They also saw their unbelievable run of 30 years without consecutive losses come to an end.

“We picked the worst day to actually be doing the things that we’ve been struggling with all year long,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in a sideline interview during the game.

Lou Lopez Senechal scored 24 points for the Huskies, Azzi Fudd had 14, and Ohio State transfer Dorka Juhasz finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

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