The Ohio State Buckeyes were on the road on Thursday night to battle the Iowa Hawkeyes. When all was said and done, the Buckeyes controlled a steady lead against their Big Ten foe, and won the game, 92-81. The Bucks improved to 12-4 (3-0) on the season with the win in Iowa City; the Hawkeyes now fall to 9-8 (0-4).
It was a big night on the offensive front for the visiting Buckeyes, as five players crossed over the 10-point plateau.
Keita Bates-Diop was the leading scorer in the game for the Scarlet and Gray, putting up 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting. He also had 13 rebounds and one assist. Double doubles have been a constant theme for the forward this season, and once again, he led the team on the rebounding front.
Jae’Sean Tate wasn’t too far behind him with an 18 point scoring output. Tate went 6-of-11 from the field, scoring 11 of his points in the first half.
Kam Williams put together a 13-point effort in Iowa City, and had a team-high three made three-pointers. Williams also chipped in three rebounds, too.
C.J. Jackson scored 12 points in the contest—with all of them happening in the second half. Jackson did a little bit of rebounding and assisting, getting two and four, respectively.
The last of the double-digit scorers was forward Kaleb Wesson. One-half of the Wesson duo, the freshman got exactly 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. From the free throw line, he went 2-of-2.
The leader in the assist category on the night was Andrew Dakich, who ended the games with six dishes. He had five of them in the first half. On the scoring front, the Michigan graduate transfer went 1-of-2 from the field and ended the game with two points.
Ohio State hit 53 percent of the shots inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, while the home team connected on 43 percent. Both teams connected on seven shots from the three-point range, but the Buckeyes did it on 17 shots, while the Hawkeyes did it on 20.
Turnovers proved to be a problem for both teams, but more noticeably in the second half for the Buckeyes. OSU committed just three turnovers in the first half, but in the first few minutes of the second half, they quickly committed two. Iowa turned the rock over 11 times, leading to 11 points for Ohio State.
Here’s how this one went down.
Iowa got on the board first via an inside shot by forward Tyler Cook. Right after the Hawkeyes jumped up 2-0, the Buckeyes’ Jae’Sean Tate hit a rebuttal layup. For the next few minutes, both teams traded blows. At the under-16 media timeout, both squads were knotted up at 12-12.
After the break in the action, the Bucks carried on a mini five point run; Kaleb Wesson helped spark the run via a field goal and a pair of free throws, while Kam Williams buried a shot from downtown. Iowa forward Luka Garza made a free throw to snap the run, however, two makes by Bates-Diop and Williams pushed the Buckeyes lead to 23-13.
Ohio State kept up the hot hand, and extended their lead to 12, 28-16, with 11:01 left in the first half. The next OSU scoring possession was highlight worthy, courtesy of Tate.
Behold this @OhioStateHoops sequence:@daycheck3 put 'em in a spin cycle, and @o_tate_ delivers the one-hand Thunder Chunkie: pic.twitter.com/8tUWozcPc2— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 5, 2018
Eight different Buckeyes got in on the scoring action in the first half, and by the time Micah Potter hit his first bucket with 7:00 minutes left, the visitors held a commanding 34-22 lead.
While he only had one basket in the first 20 minutes of play, guard Andrew Dakich led all players on the floor with five assists in the opening half. By halftime, the Buckeyes as a team were leading 46-32, behind 11 points from Tate and five rebounds from Bates-Diop.
That 14-point lead was due in large part from only three turnovers by the Bucks. While the Scarlet and Gray were keeping the rock in their possession, the Hawkeyes had eight of the possessions swiped away. Also, Iowa was shooting 41 percent compared to Ohio State’s 55 percent from the field.
Off the bat in the second half, the Buckeyes committed two turnovers, but maintained a 46-36 lead after a little less than two minutes of play. Things started to meltdown for the Buckeyes, as Tate was called for a charge, which was then converted into an and-1 for Iowa. OSU’s lead was cut down to 48-43, but Bates-Diop put up a jumper to give the Bucks a 7-point lead inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena with 15:26 left in regulation.
After the media timeout ended, allowing action to resume on the floor, the Bucks put up four straight points via Bates-Diop. On the other end, the Hawkeyes ran into a scoring drought—they ended up going over 2:30 without putting up a point on the scoreboard. Things worked back into the Buckeyes’ favor even more as Williams hit a baseline jumper, but also drew a shooting foul from Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon. Williams, however, would miss the freebie.
Bohannon would atone for his foul by hitting a shot on the Hawkeyes’ next possession, cutting their deficit to 58-45. Now with under 13 minutes left in the second frame, a missed transition layup by Kyle Young led to a three-pointer on the other end of the floor by Nicholas Baer.
Not too long later, Bates-Diop put together a highlight reel layup—erasing the Hawkeye momentum.
This Keita Bates-Diop spin move is a thing of beauty pic.twitter.com/8jZQCcJejI— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) January 5, 2018
As Iowa continued to make shots, Ohio State was doing the same. After a few minutes of back and forth buckets being buried, the Buckeyes still held on to a 68-54 lead with 8:54 left in the game.
C.J. Jackson put down a three pointer to lift the Buckeyes to a 71-58 lead. Prior to that triple, Jackson only made one other shot on the night—a layup midway through the second half.
Iowa would still continue to make free throws, mid-range buckets and three-pointers, but couldn’t climb out of the hole they were in at halftime. With under two minutes left, they got within 10 points of the Buckeyes. But as soon as they got within single digits, Bates-Diop knocked down a three-pointer—sealing the win.
With the victory, Ohio State comes back to Columbus and puts their unbeaten Big Ten record to the test against Michigan State on Sunday afternoon. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET.
That game will be broadcast on CBS.