Iowa men’s basketball ends winning streak in loss to Ohio State

The Buckeyes led for the final 19 minutes Saturday afternoon in Columbus.


Matt Sindt

Iowa head coach during Fran McCaffery yells at his team during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Indiana at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Thursday, Jan. 05, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers, 91-89.

Chris Werner, Assistant Sports Editor

The Iowa men’s basketball team’s four-game winning streak came to an end Saturday in Columbus, as the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 93-77.

Ohio State led for the last 19:28 and shot 64.4 percent from the field in the second half to hand Iowa its first defeat since New Year’s Day. 

A big reason Ohio State shot well in the second half was that many of the Buckeyes’ attempts were from close range. 

Buckeyes dominate paint in second half

After a jumper by Iowa guard Ahron Ulis knotted the score at 37 apiece in the first minute of the second stanza, Ohio State forward Brice Sensabaugh — who scored a career-high 27 points on the day — gave the Buckeyes back the lead with a 3-pointer 18 seconds later. 

Ohio State would shoot just four more threes for the rest of the contest. 

Instead of hoisting from beyond the arc, 36 of the Buckeyes’ 56 second-half points came in the lane. 

Ohio State converted 20-of-29 two-point attempts in the final 20 minutes, good for 69 percent. 

Sansabaugh and guard Isaac Likekele — the Buckeyes’ second-leading scorer on the afternoon — shot a combined 8-for-11 on two-pointers in the second half. 

Iowa was outrebounded, 21-10, after the break. Hawkeye backup center Josh Ogundele and 6-foot-9 forward Patrick McCaffery missed their sixth and fifth consecutive game, respectively. 

“Very poor performance defensively and on the glass,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said after the loss. “You know, [Ohio State] didn’t miss many shots, and when they did, they got them back, [which] makes it really hard to win.

“A couple of times, you know, we challenged for the ball, and we just didn’t secure the rebound, it seems like that happened multiple times,” McCaffery continued,  Give them credit for tracking them down, but eight offensive rebounds is tough to overcome and one half.”

Turnovers costly for Iowa

Iowa lost the turnover battle, 14-11, Saturday, and mustered only two fast-break points to Ohio State’s nine. 

“It was unacceptable,” McCaffery said of Iowa turnover trouble. “I mean, give Ohio State credit, but you can’t turn the ball over 14 times on the road and expect to win.”

Big picture

The loss drops Iowa to 12-7 overall and 4-4 in conference play. Meanwhile, Ohio State improves to 11-8 and 3-5 in the Big Ten. 

Prior to Saturday’s game, the Hawkeyes were a projected No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament, but the loss to the Buckeyes — who were riding a five-game losing streak — won’t look good on Iowa’s resume. 

Up next

Iowa will travel to East Lansing to face Michigan State on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. The Spartans are tied for second in the Big Ten at 13-6, and 5-3 in league play.

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