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OHIO STATE 82, IOWA 64: NOT GREAT

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IOWA WAS IN THIS ONE, UNTIL IT WASN’T

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa basketball played one good half before getting boat raced by Ohio State in Columbus, falling to the No. 14-ranked Buckeyes, 82-64.

Let’s start with the good, or rather, the hilarious:

And that was basically the only good thing that happened to Iowa this game. The Hawkeyes got out-rebounded, out-shot, out-hustled and outscored in the second half of a game that had just a 10 point margin at the first break.

For all the good things Iowa did to give Michigan State a scare earlier in the week, it did very little of those things against the Buckeyes. It took Tyler Cook five minutes to attempt his first shot of the game. He ended with just 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 turnovers. He was double-teamed all game and sat the last few minutes of the first half because of fouls. Ohio State clearly watched the Michigan State tape and knew how to put a plug in Iowa’s offense.

Once Cook got involved in the offense, Iowa went on a bit of tear. The Hawkeyes went on an 7-0 run to gain an 18-15 lead. That would be short-lived as Ohio State drained two quick threes, starting a spurt that would put Iowa in a 10-point deficit at the half. The Hawkeyes showed some seriously impressive moves as they played up to the Buckeyes, as seen from this delicious pass from Jordan Bohannon to Luka Garza:

Garza is rounding into a really solid player for Iowa; he finished with 8 points and held his own against Ohio State’s bigs; though he should really stop shooting the three ball.

The second half was as ugly a performance from Iowa that we’ve seen all season long. It started off promising when Tyler Cook weaved in the lane to strike first, 42-34. Then Ohio State went on a 14-0 run and that was that.

Jordan Bohannon could get very little going on offense as Cook was wrapped up in defenders and Isaiah Moss was rendered ineffective. Maishe Dailey didn’t provide much relief either; as good as he was against MSU, Dailey shot 0-5 from the floor in Columbus. Iowa shot 42 percent all night and 30 percent (3-10) from three. Ohio State meanwhile shot 10 percentage points higher in both categories and also was gifted 21 trips to the charity stripe compared to Iowa’s 10.

Iowa couldn’t buy a foul; there was one play where Jack Nunge (more on him later) got mugged three times until the whistle was blown, but that didn’t affect the outcome.

Just two Hawkeyes scored in the double figures — Bohannon had 11 while Nunge had 18. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes had 5 players in the double figures. We knew defense has been a problem for Iowa, but the offense hasn’t been a huge issue. Iowa also turned it over just 12 times, something that has hamstrung this team all season long.

There are just four regular-season games left on the schedule here. At least baseball starts this week.

Other Notes

  • There was a time when I was really concerned about Jack Nunge. I was thoroughly impressed by him tonight and think he could play a huge role in turning this team around next year.
  • When Iowa can’t get the three-ball going its offense seriously suffers more than you would think.
  • After playing 8 men the majority of minutes against MSU Fran reverted back to a 10-man rotation against the Buckeyes. It wasn’t great.
  • What Chris Holtmann has been able to accomplish in just a year at Ohio State is nothing short of amazing. He’s going to cause a lot of problems for the rest of the Big Ten.

And that’s that. Let’s cheer on some wrestling!