March Madness: Duke pulls off 16-point comeback, shocks No. 2 Ohio State to advance to Sweet 16


COLUMBUS, OHIO - MARCH 24: Ashlon Jackson #3 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates a basket during the second round of the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament against the Ohio State Buckeyes held at Jerome Schottenstein Center on March 24, 2024 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

It took three days, but one of the top seeds has finally gone down in the women’s tournament.

After trailing by double digits in the first half, No. 7 Duke shocked No. 2 Ohio State, defeating them 75-63 and moving on to its first Sweet 16 since 2018.

Early on the game was all Ohio State. The Buckeyes doubled up Duke in the first quarter, leading 20-10, and at one point had a 16-point lead over the Blue Devils, who went a shocking 11 minutes without a basket in the first two quarters. Despite all that, by the end of the first half, Duke had cut Ohio State’s lead to just eight.

Duke came out of halftime ready to pound the court, and with 1:22 left in the third quarter, it did what was unthinkable just two quarters earlier: the Blue Devils took the lead.

When a lower seed gains a lead on a top seed, there can be a feeling of precariousness, like the lower seed could collapse at any moment. But the Blue Devils never looked like they were playing over their heads, confidently matching Ohio State shot for shot. With just over four minutes left, they took a six-point lead over Ohio State, their biggest of the game, and built on it from there. Ohio State simply couldn’t get any breathing room.

Duke had three players who scored in the double digits, but the standout was Reigan Richardson. She scored a team-high 28 points on 11-for-18 shooting, had three steals, and made all 3-pointers she attempted. Richardson has now scored 58 points over the first two games of the tournament.

This is the second straight game in which the Blue Devils trailed at halftime and came back to win. They trailed by nine at halftime against No. 10 Richmond before coming back to win, 72-61. And on Sunday, they did it again. But this time, they changed the direction of the entire tournament.

In the Sweet 16, Duke will take on the winner of No. 6 Syracuse vs. No. 3 UConn, which tips at 6:00 p.m. ET on Monday.



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