Ohio State basketball had a rough go at things Saturday night in an 85-72 loss to Iowa.
Iowa was without Peter Jok, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, because of a back injury. The Buckeyes didn’t get off to a particularly well start in this one, shooting 2-for-12 by the under-16 timeout. Iowa wasn’t shooting much better at 2-for-8, and the game was pretty sloppy for about the first six or seven minutes of the first half.
Both teams started picking up offensively after the slow starts. The Buckeyes and the Hawkeyes were trading baskets, with the Buckeyes not playing great defense. Iowa started to get into a rhythm, and you wouldn’t have noticed that they were missing the conference’s leading scorer. With Iowa up 25-19 midway through the first half, there was an energy from the fans that hadn’t been there all game.
That quickly went away as the game slowed down, and got back to its sloppy form. The Buckeyes kept pace with Iowa, though that was particularly difficult to do as the first half reached its latter minutes. The Buckeyes played with a bit more energy after a defensive change from Ohio State, and it made things more difficult for the Hawkeyes.
However, Iowa would close out the first half strong and go into the locker room up 40-29.
Trevor Thompson, who had a pair of fouls in the first half, picked up his third within the first 30 seconds of the second half. Thad Matta opted to keep him on the floor.
The Hawkeyes came out with more energy than the Buckeyes in the second half, beating them to basketballs they had no business getting to. Between that and the zone Iowa was playing, things were tough in the second half for Ohio State.
Lyle and Kam Williams started heating up offensively, but Iowa continued to keep the Buckeyes at a distance. The Hawkeyes extended their lead to 61-48 with 11 minutes left to go in the game, and the home crowd grew loud yet again. Iowa would further extend that lead to 67-50 over a matter of a few minutes, and you could sense comfort by the Iowa fans.
Trevor Thompson fouled out of the game with just under seven minutes to go in the game with the Buckeyes down 72-54. He had no points in his 13 minutes of play. Shortly after he fouled out, David Bell had four quick points for Ohio State, and they found themselves down 12, but Iowa refused to give up, and maintained their lead to the end.
3 things we learned
1. Turnovers hurt early. In the first half, Ohio State had eight turnovers against six for Iowa. It wasn’t a glaring difference, but it was the capitalization of the turnovers that hurt. Ohio State had just two points off of Iowa’s six turnovers, with the Hawkeyes having 11 points off of the Buckeyes’ eight turnovers.
The Buckeyes were more careful with the basketball in the second half, but Iowa continued to shoot at a high clip, and for a team like Ohio State, it’s almost impossible to overcome that. Had it not been for those turnovers in the first half and the points that Iowa got off of them, perhaps the second half could have been a different contest than the blowout that it was.
2. Ohio State didn’t take advantage of Peter Jok’s absence. You would imagine that Iowa — a team that came into the game with an 11-10 record — would have trouble without the Big Ten’s leading scorer in Peter Jok. That was hardly the case in this game, with the Hawkeyes shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half, and 43 percent from deep.
In the second half, Iowa looked even better. Scoring was pretty evenly distributed, with four players having at least six points in the second half for the Hawkeyes. It wasn’t a great look for the Buckeyes to not be able to even slow down the Iowa offense despite missing their best player, and for a team that hasn’t been all that great this season, it was a disappointing loss for Ohio State.
3. The offense had no rhythm. It was almost painful to watch. In the first half, the Buckeyes — as previously mentioned — hadn’t played with a lot of urgency. Part of that was it appeared there was no method to their madness on offense. Nobody was moving, passes weren’t crisp, and it was just an overall bad brand of basketball.
In the second half, JaQuan Lyle appeared to be fed up at one point, yelling at a couple of his teammates. He had a pretty good reason to be upset, as he stood dribbling the ball as the rest of his teammates watched him, going nowhere. As the second half progressed, Ohio State started shooting better and attacking the zone, but it was way too late, as the game was pretty much out of reach midway through the half.