Tori McCoy scored six straight points midway through the fourth quarter to help Ohio State withstand Kentucky's furious rally from a 19-point second-half deficit and escape with an 82-68 second-round NCAA Tournament victory Sunday.
The fourth-seeded Wildcats trailed 50-31 early in third but closed to 65-64 with 6:04 remaining. The fifth-seeded Buckeyes answered with eight straight points behind McCoy.
Ohio State (28-6) held on from there to earn its second straight Sweet 16 appearance in the Lexington Regional next week at Rupp Arena.
McCoy finished with 14 points and a team-high 12 rebounds and Shayla Cooper scored 15 for the Buckeyes, who committed a season-low six turnovers.
Makayla Epps had 21 points and Evelyn Akhator had 14 points with a career-high 23 rebounds in their final games for Kentucky (22-11), which had sought its second consecutive Sweet 16 berth at home.