Duke rallies, stuns Ohio State to reach Sweet 16

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Reigan Richardson scored 28 points and added seven rebounds as No. 7 seed Duke rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit to beat No. 2 Ohio State 75-63 on Sunday and earn a spot in the Sweet 16 of the women’s NCAA tournament for the first time since 2018.

Richardson hit a 3-pointer from the wing to put Duke up 59-57 with 5:21 left. That sparked a 13-2 run by the Blue Devils that put the game out of reach.

Ashlon Jackson scored 13 points and Taina Mair added 11 for the Blue Devils (22-11), who advance to play the Syracuse-UConn winner next in Portland, Oregon.

Duke’s upset win was only the second time in the tournament that a lower seeded team had won. The better seeds were 31-1 in the opening round.

Cotie McMahon paced the Buckeyes with 27 points. Most of those were in the paint. Ohio State attempted just nine 3-pointers and didn’t make one until there were 12.2 seconds left in the game.

Celeste Taylor, who transferred to Ohio State from Duke before the season, scored just six points before fouling out with 6:38 left in the game.

Ohio State’s pressing defense caused problems for Duke early as the Buckeyes built a 16-point lead. But the Blue Devils came roaring back. A 12-2 run cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 36-32 at halftime.

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