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Women’s basketball: Ohio State selected as No. 5 seed in Lexington region, plays No. 12 seed Western Kentucky

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Ohio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell drives to the basket and attempts a layup against Purdue in the Big Ten tournament semifinal in Indianapolis on March 4. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports Director

The Ohio State women’s basketball team (26-6) has been selected to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament as the No. 5 seed in the Lexington region and will play No. 12 seed Western Kentucky on Friday.

The Big Ten regular-season champion Buckeyes will play the first two rounds in Lexington, Kentucky with a possible matchup against the No. 4 seed Kentucky Wildcats in the second round.

This is OSU’s 24th appearance all-time in the NCAA tournament and the program’s third straight appearance. Last season, OSU lost as a No. 2 seed to No. 6 seed Tennessee in the Sweet 16.

OSU finished at No. 11 in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll.

The Buckeyes are coming off a Purdue upset in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament on March 4. The Boilermakers halted OSU’s momentum, ending their 12 game win streak.

Big Ten Player of the Year Kelsey Mitchell leads the charge for OSU with 23 points per game, which ranks sixth nationally. Mitchell also averages 2.8 assists per game and is shooting 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3.

Senior forward Shayla Cooper averages 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Redshirt sophomore guard Sierra Calhoun is one of OSU’s top outside threats, splashing in 39 percent of her 3-point attempts this season.

It’s still a question whether or not redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavunga will be available for the NCAA tournament. The Big Ten’s leading rebounder went down with a foot injury in the final month of the season and hasn’t played since Feb. 4 at Wisconsin.

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