After getting beaten badly in the paint and shooting just 25 percent from 3-point range in the game's first twenty minutes, leading to a 37-35 Iowa lead at halftime, Ohio State came out with a hotter hand from the perimeter in the second half, but it was all for not as they fell to the Hawkeyes, 84-74.
After failing to hold on down the stretch, Ohio State fell for the second time in as many games, and Iowa added a valuable resume win to their tournament portfolio. Entering this one, no team had scored 70 on Ohio State in regulation. The Hawkeyes finished with 84.
The Buckeyes, who suffered their first home loss of the season, had a cold hand from the perimeter early, missing seven of their first eleven jumpers. Only senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. and junior forward LaQuinton Ross connected from the outside in the game's first ten minutes.
Iowa, one of the highest-scoring teams in the country and one of the deepest, established its strength in the paint in the game's first four minutes. The Hawkeyes scored their first 16 points at the rim, with seniors Roy Devyn Marbleand Melsahn Basabe getting five easy finishes early.
The energy seemed to shift after the under-12 timeout, though, as freshman forward Marc Loving, sophomore guard Amadeo Della Valle, and junior forward Sam Thompson began pressing the issue for Ohio State and driving to the hole and erasing an early 4-point deficit to take a 23-19 lead. Iowa also got away from what worked early, settling for perimeter shots and missing 9 of 14 over eight minutes before a Marble drive to the basket cut the lead to 23-21 at the under-8 timeout.
Sloppy play by the Buckeyes out of the under-8, with every possession resulting in either a turnover or a low-quality perimeter shot, swung the momentum back to Iowa, allowing Fran McCaffery's squad to go on an 8-2 run to retake the lead 29-26 with just under four minutes remaining.
The half ended with the Buckeyes ratcheting up the defensive intensity, sparked by senior guard Aaron Craft, and making a concerted effort to get to the rim offensively. The teams traded buckets with Iowa taking the lead.
The Hawkeyes were paced by Marble's 12 points, which led all scorers in the first 20 minutes. Ross led Ohio State with 10 points, with Smith and Thompson chipping in 8 apiece
The Buckeyes' defense did manage to slow Iowa's usually prolific offense, holding the Hawkeyes to just 14% shooting from the 3-point line. Troubling, though, was the team's meager three offensive rebounds in the half.
The Buckeyes got two early drive-and-kick 3-pointers from Craft and Ross to start the second half, plus an old-fashioned 3-point play from Ross on a long rebound and a breakaway dunk from Smith to key a 10-4 run and take a 45-41 lead at the under-16 timeout.
Iowa, which had a 30-18 first half scoring advantage in the paint in the first half, started the second frame trying to reestablish itself at the rim. The Hawkeyes first 12 second half points came from point-blank range or at the free throw line as a result of attacking the interior.
The defensive intensity for Thad Matta's squad, though, was decidedly greater after the break. Using what CBS analyst Clark Kellogg called "saran wrap defense," the Buckeyes used poke-aways, ball-hawking, and solid interior toughness to jumpstart their offense. Aggressive drives and drive-and-kicks, resulting in long distance makes for Ross and Della Valle and a couple of Ross free throws led to a 53-46 Ohio State lead after the first eight minutes.
Three consecutive 3-point makes for Iowa, by Mike Geselle, Aaron White, and Jarrod Uthoff, brought Iowa back to even at 55-55 just prior to the midway point in the half, but a Loving dunk and free throw put the Buckeyes back in front 58-55 at the 10-minute mark.
A frenetic pace caused by missed open looks and runouts by both sides ensued until the under-8 timeout. Five straight points by Iowa's Josh Oglesby tied the game at 62 with just under seven minutes remaining, after which careless ball handling by Ohio State resulted in layups for Uthoff and White and a 6-0 Hawkeyes run for a 68-65 lead.
With Iowa beginning the final four minutes in the double bonus, Marble stretched the Hawkeyes lead to 5, 70-65, after a hand-check foul on Craft. The Buckeyes responded with a 3-point play from Williams after being fouled on a ferocious dunk, but gave up a tip-in to Basabe and turned the ball over prior to a White runner, putting themselves in a 74-68 hole.
Craft played his signature defense down the stretch, forcing turnovers and diving all over the floor, but he missed two critical free throws in the final two minutes. Meanwhile, Basabe hit three from the stripe and Iowa never looked back. Craft eventually fouled out, and the Hawkeyes iced the game at the charity stripe, making seven of eight in the final minute.
Iowa shot 47.5 percent from the floor for the game, a success rate few teams have experienced against Ohio State this season. The Hawkeyes also made 21-26 from the free throw line and held a 40-31 rebounding advantage. Fran McCaffery's squad had five players score in double figures, paced by Marble's 22.
Ultimately, 17 turnovers by the Buckeyes, including six by Craft, were too much to overcome. Ross led Thad Matta's squad with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Williams had a strong second half to finish with 11 and 6. The team shot just 33.3 percent (7-21) from the 3-point line, though, and were under 45 percent from the floor for the game.
Next up for the Buckeyes is a trip to Minneapolis on Thursday in which they'll face first year head coach Richard Pitino and the Golden Gophers.
|MARBLE,ROY DEVYN *||22||3||4||3||2||3||3||7||13||8||11||2||33||12|
|SMITH JR.,LENZELLE *||10||3||1||1||2||3||7||3||3||1||4||28||-7|