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OHIO STATE BEATS IOWA, 92-81

Same problems, different opponent.

Ohio State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

What more is there to say about this Iowa basketball team?

In the second of two home games this week, Fran McCaffery’s Hawkeyes lost their second straight game, this time 92-81 to Ohio State. The loss drops Iowa to 9-8 on the season and 0-4 in Big Ten play.

An early 12-12 tie at the first media timeout turned into a quick 10-1 run for the Buckeyes, and the rest was history.

Early in the game, the announcers (what up Robbie Hummel!) brought up the fact that Iowa has one of the highest points per game in the entire NCAA. And yet, the team has struggled and has lost any game against halfway decent competition.

How can this be? they wondered, before rattling off all the things that have plagued the Hawkeyes all season that by now could be used to create a Mad Libs writeup of a game.

Stop me if you’ve heard these issues before: Turnovers. Lack of defensive effort. Poor free-throw shooting. Scoring droughts.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

There was a moment with a little under seven minutes left in the first half that, to me, sort’ve epitomized the entire season for me. Down 12, Brady Ellingson managed a quick turnover off the inbound pass, and the crowd briefly came alive before Ellingson’s floater was blocked and the sophomore fell to the floor, as the Buckeyes laid in a basket to go up 14 points. Fran was, of course, mad about the no-call. To me, it looked like a clean block.

Every breath of fan hope, whether it’s on an individual or team level, is instantly shot down in brutalizing fashion.

The narrative almost changed in the second half, until literally the same thing happened again.

A 9-0 Iowa run to start the half brought the score to 46-41 with a little 17 minutes remaining, but the Buckeyes never gave up the lead, and once again, the lead easily jumped back to double digits thanks to...a 10-0 run.

Sigh.

As far as stats go, Tyler Cook once again was the team’s leader in points, with 21 on 7-15 shots. He continued his upward progress at the charity stripe, going 7-8. Behind him was Jordan Bohannon and Luka Garza with 15 apiece. Nick Baer had a nice game as well, and got hot from beyond the arc in the middle of the second half. He finished with 10 points and was 2-4 from beyond the arc.

It’s hard to find anything good to say about a team that can only put together 10 good minutes in a 40 minute game, and looking ahead, it’s tough to say if it will ever get better. The Hawks will hit the road for their next three games against Maryland, Illinois and Rutgers.

Given what we saw Tuesday and again tonight (and really, all conference play), is there even a single win in there? I’m not getting my hopes up.