Three in a row.
|#4 OHIO STATE||28||29||57|
Ohio State failed to get back on track after its first consecutive losses of the season, dropping its third straight game by 16 points at the Schottenstein Center on Sunday.
An offensively-deficient performance from the Buckeyes left them struggling to score consistently versus an Iowa team it dropped 89 points on in a win earlier this month. They trailed by 14 points at halftime by managing by 28 points in the first 20 minutes, but they showed life with a 14-2 run to chop the deficit to 44-42 in a little more than three minutes of action to begin the second half.
With Luka Garza's 24 points leading the way, Ohio State saw its glimpse of hope dissipate as a Joe Wieskamp 3-pointer put Iowa up, 66-53, with 7:59 to go. The home team never got within single digits of the Hawkeyes the rest of the game.
|23-51 (45.1%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||29-62 (46.8%)|
|5-17 (29.4%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||10-24 (41.7%)|
|6-10 (60.0%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||5-9 (55.6%)|
Things got out of hand quickly for the Buckeyes.
A Luka Garza-led attack allowed Iowa to pull out with a 22-11 lead on Patrick McCaffrey free throws with 8:03 left in the opening half. Garza had scored 12 of his team's 22 points at that point, and Joe Wieskamp took over. The forward scored 10 points in the final eight minutes to give the Hawkeyes a 42-28 lead on out-of-sorts Ohio State. Garza and Wieskamp combined for 28 first-half points, the same number the Buckeyes' entire team scored in the same time period.
The Buckeyes, despite entering the day with the third-most efficient offense in college basketball, managed to score only 0.83 points per possession in the first half. E.J. Liddell led them with 13 points, but all of his teammates combined for only 15 points in 20 minutes, including just one – a free throw from Meechie Johnson – off the bench.
Given the triple-teams that sometimes came Garza's way and the wide-open 3s the Hawkeyes took while making 5-of-13, Ohio State legitimately could have felt lucky to enter the locker room trailing by a season-worst halftime deficit of 14.
Next up: Ohio State has a six-day layoff before playing its final game of the regular season on Saturday against No. 5 Illinois. The game will tip off at 4 p.m. on ESPN at the Schottenstein Center.
- Chris Holtmann went back to his typical starting five of Duane Washington Jr., Justin Ahrens, Justice Sueing, E.J. Liddell and Kyle Young.
- Ohio State only had one player inactive. Jimmy Sotos remained out of action with a separated shoulder. He underwent surgery in early February with a return to the court expected to take approximately six months.
- Ibrahima Diallo went through pregame warmups like usual. He played one second in Thursday's loss to Michigan State and appears healthy enough to play. However, given his workload before his sprained MCL and where this team sits in the course of the season, he presumably won't factor much into Ohio State's plans in the postseason.
- This was Iowa's first game at the Schottenstein Center since Justin Ahrens lit the Hawkeyes up for 29 points on Feb. 26, 2019, and Fran McCaffrey stormed down the tunnel after the game with a profanity-laced tirade aimed at the referees, leading to a two-game suspension and $10,000 fine.
- Chris Holtmann came into the day with a 4-3 record against Iowa, and the Hawkeyes walked into the arena with a slight 79-77 edge in the all-time series between the teams.