The Buckeyes rolled into cold, snowy Iowa City to avenge the January 12th loss to Iowa, 84-74. A win would get them to .500 in conference play and hoist them into a tie with Northwestern, and maybe Wisconsin, for 4th place. Well, the Buckeyes played a solid game and won 76-69, moving their record to 18-5, 5-5, and giving them consecutive road wins.
Ohio State was led by five players in double figure;sAaron Craft (17), LaQuinton Ross (13), Amir Williams (12), Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (12), Shannon Scott (11) and Sam Thompson (9). Ross also pulled in 6 rebounds while Craft had 6 assists and 6 steals. Iowas was led by Gabriel Olaseni (14 points, 6 rebs) and Mike Gesell ( 11 points, 5 reb).
Iowa’s defense, as expected was a blend of an aggressive man-to-man, extending the perimeter, then switching back to zone. The Buckeyes shot 51% (25-49) from the floor, including 44% from 3-point range (7-16), so whatever Iowa tried, it didn’t work that well.
The 1st half ended with Iowa holding a 33-31 lead, in a half with a couple runs by each team and some helter-skelter play at the end of the half. Iowa was 42% from the field (42%) and an astounding 1-11 from 3-point range. They were led by Olasebe off the bench with 8 points in 4-4 shooting, and he pulled in 4 rebounds. The Buckeyes were led by Aaron Craft’s 14 points; 5-5 from the field (2-2 from 3-pt range) and 2 F’T's. He also craftily had 4 steals.
OSU had a 9 point run spanning the 7 minute-5 minute marks, to take the lead 26-17. However, the tables turned rather quickly, as Iowa outscored Ohio State 16-5 over the last 5 minutes of the half.
Evidently, Thad told his troops to mentally break he 2nd half into four segments, one for each television timeout. Consider these segments as battles, and the object is to “win” each battle. In the 2nd half, play was back and forth, and at the under-16 timeout, Ohio State held a 39-38 lead. Lenzelle Smith had 5 of OSU’s 8 points in the half.
Proceeding to the under 12 mark, OSU’s lead was 47-43. At the 10:30 mark, or so, Ohio State was in a bit of a “situation” with their frontcourt; Williams, McDonald and Thompson all had three fouls. At the 9:32 mark, Trey picked up his 4th foul. A flagrant foul on Gabriel Olaseni on Amir Williams at the 8:50 mark led to two Williams’ free throws and a FG to move OSU’s lead to 54-47. Moving ahead to the 4:09 mark, OSU still led 58-54, so things had stalled a bit for both teams.. Thad took a timeout with 2:17 remaining, and Ohio State with the lead 63-57. In the last minute of play, there was some trading of OSU free throws and the occasional Iowa field goal to bring the final score to 76-69.
Ohio State’s next game is against Purdue in Columbus. The game is Saturday at 6:00 PM EST. Television coverage will be via BTN, check your local listings. Live Chat will be at The Buckeye Battle Cry, approximately 30 minutes before tip-off. Please join us.