College Basketball

UNC women survive Ohio State 86-84 to advance to Sweet 16

North Carolina’s Allisha Gray, left, and Stephanie Mavunga, right,  defend as Ohio State’s Ameryst Alston drives to the basket Monday night during the first half of an NCAA tournament  second-round game  in Chapel Hill.
North Carolina’s Allisha Gray, left, and Stephanie Mavunga, right, defend as Ohio State’s Ameryst Alston drives to the basket Monday night during the first half of an NCAA tournament second-round game in Chapel Hill. AP

Freshman guard Jamie Cherry swished a 15-foot jumper with less than a second remaining, sending fourth-seeded North Carolina to an 86-84 victory over fifth-seeded Ohio State on Monday night in the second round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament in Carmichael Arena.

The Tar Heels (26-8) will play No. 1 seed South Carolina (32-2) on Friday night at the Greensboro Coliseum in the regional semifinals.

Second-seeded Florida State and either Arizona State or Arkansas-Little Rock will play in the other side of the bracket.

Ohio State (24-11) rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit and had trailed by as many as 23 before rallying in the second half behind guards Ameryst Alston with 30 points and Kelsey Mitchell with 25.

Mitchell, the nation’s leading scorer at 24.9, twice tied the score in the final minute. She drilled her third 3-pointer of the night with 40 seconds left, giving her an NCAA season record of 127, and added two free throws with 5.1 seconds left.

Cherry rushed the ball up the floor after taking the inbounds pass and hit her game-winner with 0.6 seconds remaining.

Stephanie Mavunga led UNC with a career-high 27 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds. Allisha Gray added 20 points, and Brittany Rountree had 15, with her scoring all coming on a 5-of-7 effort from 3-point range.

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