The on-again, off-again Buckeyes looked to get “on-again” against the Iowa Hawkeyes in a Sunday afternoon game in Columbus. However, OSU couldn’t get the “on” switch, or rather, couldn’t find Iowa’s “off” switch this afternoon, as the Hawkeyes held on to a 81-74 win. This was a tale of two halves. The Buckeyes, down by 13 at the half rallied in the 2nd half, but by not quite enough in the 2nd half to pull off the win.
As you see below, the Buckeyes absolutely got rocked in the first 10 minutes by Iowa’s offense, but held their composure and outplayed the Hawkeyes in the final 30 minutes. To be honest, this performance, other than the opening 10 minutes impressed me. Although getting blitzed, they persevered for the rest of the game, played at a high level and came fairly close to pulling off a win. For this, this team must be congratulated. Yes, it’s still a conference “L”, but it was still an encouraging performance by McGuff’s crew. Well, done, ladies.
This was a case where Ohio State did hit their stride offensively; in fact they played quite well. Iowa, however was just unworldly with their offense. Throughout the 1st 10 minutes or so, this was all Iowa as the Hawkeyes held a 31-14 lead. The next five minutes were all Ohio State, as they outscored Iowa 13-6 to pull within 10 points, 37-27. During the last five minutes of the half, the teams sort of traded baskets, with Iowa on pace to hit the century mark, with a 49-36 lead.
Offensively, it was an impressive, and welcome 1st half for the Buckeyes as they shot 48% from the floor, 40% from the perimeter and 100% from the foul line. Ameryst Alston had 14 points, followed by Martina Ellerbe’s 8 points, and Darryce Moore grabbed 4 of OSU’s 11 rebounds.
The problem was they could not stop Iowa’s offense. The Hawkeyes shot 57% from the field and 50% from 3-pt range. A huge part of their offensive success was that 11 of their 17 field goals were assisted, showing an efficient ball movement. For further evidence of Iowa’s offensive efficiency, at halftime, they had three players in double figures; Disterhoft (14), Dixon (13) and Doolittle (10). Center Ally Disterhoft also had 7 rebounds.
In the 2nd half, the Buckeyes continued their impressive offensive performance by scoring the first two baskets to narrow the deficit to single digits. As the teams trudged on to the 10:18 point of the 2nd half, Iowa was holding onto a 64-59 lead, as the surging Buckeyes, led by Ashley Adams had outscored Iowa 23-15 in the half. This trend continued, but the 1st half hole dug by Iowa’s offense was too much to overcome.
Ohio State was led by Ameryst Alston (24 points, 6 rebounds) Martina Ellerbe (17 points, 5 rebounds) and Raven Ferguson (11 points, 4 rebounds). I’d like to commend Martina for her “Iron Man” performance; she played all 40 minutes this afternoon.
Iowa had five players in double figures; Ally Disterhoft (24), Melissa Dixon (16), Bethany Doolittle (14), Theairra Taylor (11) and Alexa Kastanek (10). Since Iowa had three players in double figures at the half, this isn’t too bad, actually. Disterhoft also pulled in 10 rebounds to lead the team, and all players, and also record a double-double.
Ohio State’s next game is Thursday against Michigan in a rematch, played at the Crisler Center. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM EST.