The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes hosted the #20 Iowa Hawkeys this afternoon at Value City Arena. And good hosts they were, too, falling to the Hawkeyes 84-74.. After winning 15 consecutive games, the Buckeyes have now lost 2 in a row. This loss basically came down to two factors; Ohio State’s porous interior defense and turnovers. Iowa had their way with their interior offense and OSU’s turnovers short-circuited several possessions. Oh, and Ohio State needs to figure out how to effectively attack a zone defense.
An early Iowa layup ( was quickly answered by a Zelle Smith layup +1 to give the Bucks a quick 3-2 lead. Both team came out in strong man-to-man defenses and were attacked by weaves, high screens and off-ball cuts. At the under-16 timeout, Iowa held a 10-9 lead and the pace was frantic with 13 combined shots taken. Iowa was aggressive in attacking the basket, with all of its point in the paint, which went a long way to explain their 71% FG shooting. Meanwhile, OSU , while sometimes running a double post set with McDonald and Ross, seemed into to spring Ross out to the wing for perimeter shots.
Throughout the first 8 minutes of play, Iowa had inched their lead to 4, 19-15. Two styles of play were showing up; OSU’s preference for a perimeter offense, with some inside movement, and Iowa’s aggressive attacking of OSU’s interior defense.
Going into the under-8 timeout, the combination of Amedeo Della Valle and Marc Loving added some energy to the Buckeyes as both players looked to go to the basket; both to shoot and to pass. Curiously, the teams seemed to exchange offensive philosophies; Iowa settling for a predominantly jump-shot offense while Ohio State began to drive to the basket. At this point, OSU was up 23-21. Of course, an Iowa 4 minute stretch without a field goal helped.
Iowa then switched to a zone, and it took OSU a couple possessions to figure out Roy Devyn Marble was interfering with passing lanes; a steal and layup, then a pass deflection. This defensive switch somewhat took the Buckeyes out of their offensive rhythm for a couple of minutes. At the under-4 mark, the score stood at 29-26, Iowa.
Consecutive dunks by Slammin’ Sam Thompson, both off Aaron Craft assists put Ohio State on top 32-31. This didn’t last for long,as an exchange (sort of) of baskets right before the half resulted in Iowa taking a 37-35 lead into the 2nd half.. The last minute or so of the half was not a good one defensively for LaQuinton Ross. He was late providing weak-side defensive help on a Mike Gesell layup, then followed with a foul away from the basket. Way, away from the basket.
OSU shot 46% (13-28 )and Iowa shot 47 % (17-36 )from the field in the first half. Iowa’s success was powered by their inside game (30 points in the paint), since they were 1-7 from 3-point range. This was a welcome change from their scorching accuracy against Northwestern. Meanwhile, Ohio State at 2-8 from the perimeter, wasn’t much better. Roy Devyn Marble led Iowa with 12 points while LaQuinton Ross led the Buckeyes with 10 points.
This was a half where Iowa felt they could exploit Ohio State’s interior defense, and they did, consistently attacking the basket with drives, off-ball cuts and on occasion, pushing the ball down the floor before the Buckeye defense could get set. The Hawkeyes switch to a zone defense gave the Buckeye offense enough pause that Iowa could get back in the game.
In the 2nd half, Aaron Craft quickly nailed a corner 3, but was quickly answered by a Roy Devyn Roy layup. By the 16:31 mark, OSU had scored 4 consecutive points on a pair of LQR free throws and a heads-up steal on an inbound pass by Amir Williams that lead to a Zelle Smith breakaway dunk. This mini-run had pushed Ohio State into the lead, 45-41.
At 12:48 an ADV 3 53-44, then after OSU kicked the ball around in transition ADV fouled Roy Devyn Marble on a breakaway to “save” a layup. Although Marble hit both FT’s, it was great hustle by Amedeo. Consecutive turnovers stalled the OSU offense, while back-to-back-to-back 3′s pulled Iowa to a tie game at 55 by the 10-minute mark. A March Loving dunk +1 gave OSU the lead at 58-55, but it looked like Iowa’s outside game was starting to heat up..
Fortunately, a heads-up Amir to LQR assist on a layup gave OSU a 60-55 lead. After three empty possessions by OSU, Iowa tied the game at 60 with 7:15 to play. A nice alley-oop feed by Craft to Williams led to a foul on Basabe, which is OK, but had Williams not taken the time to gather himself before the shot, would have had an easy dunk.
At the under 5 mark, an Iowa run put them up 68-65. this run was abetted by sloppy OSU ball-handling. Iowa’s zone was still giving the Buckeyes offense fits, as OSU’s 3rd turnover in 4 consecutive possessions stalled the scoring. At the 3:21 mark, a dunk +1 stalled an 8-0 Iowa run, to pull OSU to within 2 points, 68-70.
Yet, a weak-side offensive rebound and putback by Melsahn Basabe put Iowa up 72-68 with 2:52 remaining. An Aaron While runner put them up 74-68. The ensuing free-throw contest ended up in Iowa’s favor, as they secured the win, 84-74.
Ohio State was led by LaQuinton Ross with 22 points, and also Amir Williams with 11 points and Lenzelle Smith Jr with 10. The Hawkeyes were spearheaded by 5 players in double figures, led by Roy Devyn Marble with 22 points.
The Buckeyes next game is at Minnesota on Thursday evening, with a 9:00PM EST tip-off. Television coverage will be on ESPN2, check local listings. Live chat will be provided here, so please check in approximately 30 minutes before tip-off.