All Scores

Ohio State takes No. 5 Tennessee by storm: What we learned from the upset

Ohio State guard Jacy Sheldon attempts to shoot over Tennessee guard Jasmine Powell. (Joseph Scheller/USA TODAY Sports)

The students could only wait so long.

After all, they had just witnessed No. 14 Ohio State defeat No. 5 Tennessee in the season opener for both teams. Not since 2008 had a team outside the top 5 started its season with an upset against a top-5 opponent.

Finally, security guards and stadium ushers stepped aside, and the Buckeye student section stormed the court, meeting their team to jump, cheer and capture the moment on iPhone videos.

Ohio State went from trailing by eight points at halftime and looking overmatched by the length and size of Tennessee to dominating the second half and securing an 87-75 victory over the Volunteers.

And though the win came in the first game of the season – far too early to determine overall success – Ohio State’s grit and intensity gave fans plenty to cheer about.

The Buckeyes put on a brilliant defensive performance. They pressed for most of the contest, with guards Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Mikesell providing pressure at the top, and forced Tennessee to commit 29 turnovers. That number is bad no matter how you look at it, but it gets worse when you consider Tennessee’s number of made field goals: 28. A game with more miscues than makes is rarely going to end in a victory.

Sheldon led the defensive effort with a career-high eight steals, while Emma Shumate came off the bench to provide rim protection, finishing with three blocks.

After advancing to the Sweet 16 last season, both squads have Final Four aspirations. The first game of the season isn’t indicative of late season success, but it provides a baseline for both squads.

Here’s what we learned from Ohio State’s historic victory.

Ohio State

The Buckeyes play a brand of defense that opponents will struggle with in the postseason.

Once Ohio State gets into Big Ten play, there will be squads that figure out how to beat it — but those are opponents who are familiar with Ohio State’s style and personnel. In the tournament, the Buckeyes likely will face unfamiliar opponents, and that works in their favor. The kind of high-intensity defense Ohio State plays is difficult to replicate in practice, and the real thing often catches teams off guard.

Early in the game, Ohio State struggled to finish around the rim (going 12-of-31), and even more so from beyond the arc (1-of-10), but they stayed within their offense and adjusted in the second half. Tennessee’s length and athleticism seemed to be an issue for Ohio State early, but once the Buckeyes got their defense working, the offense followed.

Sheldon and Mikesell will once again lead this team. Sheldon finished with 14 points and eight assists to go with her eight steals, and Mikesell led the team in scoring with 25 points (including four 3-pointers). But the Buckeyes also got an excellent showing from Rebeka Mikulášiková, who finished with 17 points and nine rebounds – a huge increase from 9.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season. Her improvement might be the difference between another Sweet 16 finish and a Final Four run.

img
Tennessee's Jordan Horston attempts to block Ohio State's Taylor Mikesell. (Joseph Scheller/ USA TODAY Sports)

Tennessee

Tennessee needs to hope that the 29 turnovers were a result of opening-game jitters and not a bigger issue. Because if the Vols don’t take better care of the ball, it will be a long season of disappointment.

Another issue was the foul trouble Tamari Key endured. The 6-foot-6 center provides an excellent target on offense and a rim protector on defense, but she can’t do either of those things if she plays 13 minutes, as she did Tuesday. Finding a way to keep her on the floor will be crucial going forward; otherwise, Tennessee’s size advantage is much easier to neutralize.

Two positives for Tennessee were the play of Jordan Horston and Jasmine Powell. Horston led her team with 20 points and 13 rebounds – though she did commit seven turnovers. But the most important part of Horston’s game was simply that she played. After injuries kept her out of the NCAA tournament, the Vols are celebrating her return.

Meanwhile, Powell, who made her debut after transferring from Minnesota, fit right into the Volunteer offense. She went 7-of-12 for 19 points, and when she got downhill, no one on Ohio State could stay in front of the guard. But like Horston and the rest of the Vols, she had turnover problems, with five miscues.

Sun’s Alyssa Thomas Ejected After Flagrant 2 on Sky Rookie Angel Reese

Angel Reese said there were "no hard feelings" stemming from Alyssa Thomas's flagrant foul. (Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Angel Reese might have gotten knocked down on Saturday, but she got right back up again. 

Connecticut’s Alyssa Thomas was ejected from the Sun’s 86-82 win over Chicago following a flagrant foul 2 on Reese — the first of her career. While the two were battling for a rebound, Reese took a clothesline hold around the neck courtesy of Thomas before hitting the ground.

After the game, Reese told reporters that there were "no hard feelings" and she appreciated Thomas for playing her hard beneath the basket.

"I know she purposely probably didn’t do it towards me," Reese said. "But just being able to come out there and just be strong and stand on two feet, it was going to be a tough game and that’s what I’m built for. And my teammates had my back throughout the whole game. So I was prepared for it."

She also didn’t buy into the idea that it was a "Welcome to the WNBA" moment, but thanked Thomas "sending a message" because it helped her get back up and "keep pushing."

"It’s not just because I’m a rookie. I’m a player. I’m a basketball player. They don’t give a damn if I’m a rookie. I mean, I want them to come at me every day. I want them to come at everybody," she added. "I mean, they’re not supposed to be nice to me. I hope y’all know that. They’re not supposed to be nice to me or lay down because I’m Angel Reese or because I’m a rookie."

Reese finished the game with 13 points, five rebounds, and two assists over 33 minutes.

Barcelona to Face Lyon in Champions League Rematch This Weekend

UEFA Women's Champions League Final"Barcelona FC - Olympique Lyonnais"
Saturday's game will be the third UWCL final meeting for Barcelona and Lyon, having previously gone up against each other in 2019 and 2022. (ANP via Getty Images)

The UEFA Women's Champions League final kicks off in Bilbao on Saturday, with a couple of familiar foes set to face off for the trophy.

Olympique Lyonnais Féminin, making its 11th final appearance since 2010, will go head to head with a Barcelona side making its fourth final appearance in a row.

This will be the third time these two teams meet in the UWCL title game, having previously appeared in the 2019 and 2022 finals. Lyon won both of those prior games against Barcelona, alongside a total of eight Champions League trophies. That’s double that of any other club, with Eintracht Frankfurt coming in a distant second with four. 

Should Barcelona win, this would be the team's third title — breaking a tie for the third in the UWCL total titles race. 

But as these teams return to the UWCL final, it also marks the end of an era for both clubs. The game will be the last for both club managers, as Barcelona’s Jonatan Giráldez and Lyon’s Sonia Bompastor depart for new jobs after the season's end.

Giráldez is set to leave for the NWSL's Washington Spirit, while Bompastor will take over for incoming USWNT coach Emma Hayes at Chelsea. Both coaches have earned one UWCL trophy during their tenures, while Bompastor also brought two Champions League trophies to Lyon as a player. She was the first coach to win a UWCL trophy as both a coach and player.

This season, Barcelona is looking for its first quadruple, having won a fifth Liga F title alongside the Copa de La Reina, and the Spanish Supercopa. 

"We hope he can go out with the four trophies because we know how competitive and ambitious he is," Barcelona midfielder Patri Guijarro told ESPN. "It has been a winning era with him in charge and for him to go out with all four trophies would be historic and incredible."

But Lyon's Damaris Egurrola is excited about her team's chances of overcoming Barcelona once again — and to do it in front of family and friends.

"Lyon have something special," she told Forbes ahead of the weekend's final. "We have a great team and we have the players with enough talent to win any match."

The game will be a homecoming for Egurrola, who began her professional career with Athletic Bilbao.

"I’ve been thinking of this day and night," she said. "I’ve been dreaming of playing this match. Having the opportunity to play in San Mames is amazing. This is where it all started for me."

The UEFA Women's Champions League final kicks off Saturday, May 25th at 12 PM ET and is free to stream on DAZN.

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek Headlines a Stacked 2024 French Open

Iga Swiatek serves against Coco Gauff during the group stage of the 2023 WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico
Iga Swiatek serves against Coco Gauff during the group stage of the 2023 WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico. (Robert Prange/Getty Images)

The 2024 French Open starts on Sunday, with a match schedule that promises to wrap the short clay court season up in style.

Looking for her fourth title at the major is three-time Roland Garros champion and World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, considered the favorite to win the whole Slam. Three of her four major titles have come at the French tournament. 

Swiatek's career record at the French Open is a dominating 28-2, and she's currently on a 16-game winning streak fueled by victories at tune-up tournaments in Madrid and Rome.

But that doesn't mean she won't face some serious challengers along the way. Get to know some of the Polish tennis champ's strongest competitors.

Aryna Sabalenka

Sabalenka is ranked No. 2 in the world and faced Swiatek in the finals at both Madrid and Rome. She lost in three sets in Madrid, which included a close third-set tiebreak, before losing in straight sets at the Italian Open. 

She enters the French Open having won the Australian Open in January, successfully defending her title in the first Slam of the season. At last year’s French Open, Sabalenka reached the semifinals — a career best — before being ousted by Karolina Muchová in three sets.

Season record: 25-7

Coco Gauff

Currently sitting at No. 3 in the world, the highest-ranked American on the schedule is none other than Coco Gauff. Gauff won her first major at the US Open last year, and reached the semifinals of this year’s Australian Open. She faced Swiatek in the semifinals of the Italian Open last week, losing in straight sets. 

But her first major final came at the French Open in 2022, before being ousted by Swiatek in the quarterfinals at last year’s French Open. The two are on a crash course for a meeting before the finals, as Gauff anchors the other quadrant on Swiatek’s side of the draw, should they both advance deep into the competition.

Season record: 25-8

Chicago Sky Upset New York to End Liberty’s Unbeaten Streak

chicago sky's angel reese on the court against new york liberty
Angel Reese registered a near double-double against a strong Liberty side. (Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Liberty’s unbeaten streak came to an end on Thursday as Angel Reese and the Chicago Sky got the upset win over New York with a final score of 90-81. 

Angel Reese stood out with a near double-double, registering 13 points and nine rebounds. She’s currently the only rookie this season to exceed 10 points in her first three games, and the first player in Sky history to begin their career with three consecutive double-digit scoring games, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The outcome may not have come as a surprise to Liberty stars Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones, who sung Reese’s praises ahead of the game.

"She’s a workhorse," Stewart told The Post. "She doesn’t stop. She’s tough, she’s strong, she’s tough to box out and good at cleaning up for her team offensively and defensively."

"I feel like she’s an energizer bunny," Jones added. "She doesn’t stop moving, she doesn’t stop crashing the boards. Just someone that is gonna be relentless in her approach to getting to the glass and playing tough."

It was the first time Chicago has met New York this season. The game was especially meaningful for new Chicago head coach Teresa Weatherspoon, who led the Liberty for seven years as a player and joined the team's Ring of Honor in 2011.

"This place means a lot to me... I played in that jersey, I adored that jersey, I adored every player that I had an opportunity to play with. The love that I received even today was overwhelming," Weatherspoon reflected after the game.

Following the win, Sky guard Dana Evans had some kind words for her coach.

"I mean, it's just special. She's special," Evans said. "She just breeds confidence in each and every one of us. We love her. We just wanted to go so hard and play hard for her, and I feel like this one was really for her. We really wanted this for her more than anything."

Thursday's victory brings Chicago's record to 2-1, a somewhat unlikely feat given that their offseason featured starter Kahleah Copper getting traded to Phoenix. The Connecticut Sun are now the only undefeated team left in the league this season, and will formidable foes for the Sky as they take their winning streak on the road to Chicago this weekend.

Start your morning off right with Just Women’s Sports’ free, 5x-a-week newsletter.