LaTech Wins 29th Straight, Beats OSU
RUSTON, La. (AP) _ Cheryl Ford had 25 points and 15 rebounds as Louisiana Tech won its 29th straight game, beating Ohio State 74-61 Tuesday night in the second round of the West Regional.
Fifth-seeded Tech (31-2) extended the longest winning streak in the nation and improved to 36-0 overall in NCAA tournament games.
The Techsters shook off their early sluggishness to end fourth-seeded Ohio State’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 1999. The Buckeyes (22-10) are winless in five games against Louisiana Tech.
In the closing minutes, fans chanted, ``Bring on the Tigers.″ Tech will play LSU in the round of 16.
Trina Frierson scored 18 for Tech and Amber Obaze added 17.
DiDi Reynolds scored 16 for Ohio State, shooting 4-for-5 on 3-point attempts. Caity Matter also scored 16 and Courtney Coleman had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Both Ohio State and Louisiana Tech rely on their inside games and defense. Tech held the Buckeyes scoreless for almost eight minutes in the second half.
Although Ford struggled early as Ohio State double- and triple-teamed her under the basket, she adjusted late in the first half and so did Tech.
Ford picked up her third foul three minutes into the second half, but Frierson took up the slack, scoring three quick baskets to stretch the Techsters’ lead to 55-46 with 14:15 left.
After a couple of turnovers in the first minute, the Buckeyes settled down and led 27-20 with 9:13 left.
Tech tied it at 27 on Ford’s basket with 7:13 remaining and were up 45-39 at halftime.
Before the game, Tech coach Kurt Budke dismissed junior center Sultra Harding from the team. Budke said Harding was released for conduct detrimental to the team.
Tech had already lost Tamaka Clay and Tia Moore to academic problems, leaving them with just eight players for the tournament.