No. 5 Tennessee Falls To No. 14 Ohio State In The First Major Upset Of The Season

The madness of college basketball has already started.

By Elisha Gunaratnam

For some teams, going against a team ranked nine spots higher in national rankings might be intimidating. For Ohio State, it’s just another game. Despite being down big in the first half of their contest against Tennessee, the Buckeyes kept their composure, went on an 18–0 run, and defeated the Lady Vols 87–75 in the first major upset of this year’s women’s college basketball season.

Tennessee guard Jordan Horston, right, looks for a shot as Ohio State guard Rikki Harris (1) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana)

Tennessee had a strong start to Tuesday night’s game, scoring 22 points and out-rebounding Ohio State 15–6 in the first quarter. They were helped by Ohio State’s poor shooting, with the Buckeyes only hitting 38.7% of their shots from the field and only 10% from behind the arc during the first half of the game. The Lady Vols held onto a 41–33 lead going into the locker room at halftime.

The game took a turn in the third quarter. Ohio State’s full-court press started to overwhelm Tennessee, and the Lady Vols got careless with the ball. Taylor Mikesell, who chose to return to school for one last season after the Buckeyes’ Sweet 16 loss in 2022, led Ohio State’s comeback and scored 15 points in the third quarter alone—including the three-pointer that gave her team the lead. The Buckeyes went on an 18–0 run, and Tennessee was never able to regain its footing. 

As the clock ticked down, some fans began to head to the exits. But when the final buzzer rang, a large portion of the Ohio State student section stormed the court in celebration of the Buckeyes’ statement win to open the season.

“Pretty incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a court storm for a women’s basketball game before,” Mikesell said. “Being a part of it, especially, was awesome.”

Mikesell was the high-scorer in the game, finishing the contest with 25 points. Jordan Horston led Tennessee with 20 points and 13 rebounds. 

The Lady Vols struggled with turnovers in SEC play last season, and their 29 turnovers that led to 37 points on Tuesday night are certainly something that needs to be addressed if they want to avoid plummeting in national rankings. 

Basketball fans can expect to see some movement in the AP Top 25 rankings with Tennessee and South Dakota State (No. 23) losing to nationally ranked teams. 

It didn’t take long for the madness of college basketball to kick in, and with clashes between Tennessee and Indiana, and UConn and Texas going down next Monday, more big upsets could be on the way.

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