Ohio State squanders huge lead before toppling Iowa in hoops tilt
Columbus, OH, United States (4E Sports) – The Ohio State Buckeyes built a 24-point lead and then hung on to beat the Iowa Hawkeyes 72-63 Tuesday.
Deshaun Thomas scored 16 points to lead the Buckeyes. Aaaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. each had 12 points and Evan Ravenel added 11 for Ohio State. Center Amir Williams had six blocked shots.
Craft set the school’s career mark for steals with 205 when he plucked the ball from White at the 14:25 mark with the Buckeyes leading 10-6.
The Buckeyes (14-4, 4-2 Big Ten) led 53-29 with 12:48 left, but lost focus.
Slowly but surely, Iowa (13-6, 2-4) closed in, taking advantage of OSU’s lack of sharp play.
Aaron White of the Hawkeyes, an Ohio native playing his first college game in his home state, hit the second of two foul shots with 1:30 left to cut the once huge lead down to just 63-59.
Craft made a foul shot with 1:02 left and, after forcing a turnover, Thomas made two more with 52.9 seconds remaining.
Roy Devyn Marble, who had a miserable shooting night for the Hawkeyes, then missed two free throws before Craft made two more to push the lead to 68-59 with 40 seconds left and end the threat.
The victory broke a stalemate in the series, which began in 1915. Each team had won 75 meetings coming in. Ohio State has won eight straight against Iowa and 10 of the last 11. The Hawkeyes haven’t won in Columbus since 2004.