Oddly enough, the home team never seemed comfortable Tuesday night, as the Iowa Hawkeyes fell short against the Ohio State Buckeyes 76-69. Mike Gesell led all Hawkeyes in scoring as Aaron Craft had a career night for the Buckeyes, landing 21 points.
Iowa started slowly, allowing the Buckeyes to start a run, and assume a 10-point lead halfway through the first half Aaron Craft was white hot in the first half, going 5-5 and containing the Buckeye’s perimeter on D. Iowa then woke up, partially thanks to some stellar interior performances by Gesell. The Hawkeyes rode his momentum and started a run of their own late in the first half to get a 2-point lead come half time. By the half Iowa stars, Aaron White and Roy Devyn Marble were quiet in the first half with a combined performance of 4-11. Their record wouldn’t improve much come second half.
The second half was all Ohio State. Williams and Lenzelle were leading production for Ohio State offensively. For the Hawkeyes, Gesell was keeping his team in the game, going 6 for 8 in the second half. After a series of Ohio State runs led by assist skills of Aaron Craft who found 5 assists in the second half alone, and contributed to the lock down perimeter D that kept three pointers out of the Hawkeye’s game plan, and forced 10 turnovers.
Ohio State took to a comfortable lead throughout the second half. Iowa had at a time gotten within four, but an inbound dunk play drawn up by Thad Motta to seemed to wrestle away the momentum from the home team. The Hawkeyes had opportunities to retain momentum, but their 3pt fg percentage was a lowly 15%, with 3/20 from the 3 point line. Poor shooting and stark Buckeye defense kept Iowa out of the game late, and resulted in the win for the Buckeyes.
“We played some great team Defense and Offense” Said head coach Thad Motta, regarding their perimeter defense “I thought our half court defense was as good as it can be”.
The Hawkeyes look to turn things around this Saturday against the Michigan Wolverines “We just have to learn for it, and be ready for Saturday.” Said head coach Fran McCaffery.