Turnovers, missed opportunities haunt Iowa men’s basketball in Big Ten Tournament loss to Ohio State

The Hawkeyes gave the ball away 11 times, and failed to extend leads throughout the afternoon.


Matt Sindt

Ohio State forward Justice Sueing dives for the ball during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Ohio State at United Center in Chicago on Thursday, March 9, 2023. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 73-69.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

CHICAGO — Iowa men’s basketball came up short in a tightly contested contest against the Ohio State Buckeyes, 73-69, Thursday afternoon at the United Center. 

In a game with 18 lead changes, Iowa had the advantage for more than half of the second stanza, but was never able to take full momentum and put the Buckeyes away.

With five minutes remaining in the contest, Iowa forward Kris Murray put up an easy layup and the Hawkeyes took a 61-59 lead. But just like what had happened all game, the Buckeyes responded. 

Ohio State freshman Roddy Gayle Jr. canned a three-pointer to cap off a 5-0 run, giving the Buckeyes a three-point lead with three minutes remaining. 

“He’s a starter so he’s on top of our list,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said of scouting Gayle Jr. “He’s a really good player. He’s not a guy that hunts threes but he obviously made a huge one today. He’s really good off the bounce and he proved that.”

Down three with three minutes remaining, Iowa junior Tony Perkins drove to the basket and made a quick layup for the Hawkeyes and cutting the lead. Perkins had 11 of his 16 points in the second half. 

“I didn’t want to lose the game, so I tried to do the best I can and bring the most energy I can,” Perkins said.

After the Perkins basket, Iowa got a stop and had an opportunity to take the lead. Perkins again drove to the basket but got fouled.

With a chance to earn two points at the stripe. The Indianapolis, Indiana, product missed both opportunities which led to an open three from Ohio States Justice Sueing, a five-point swing against the Hawkeyes. 

“We know they are a team that is not going to give up so credit to them,” Iowa senior forward Filip Rebraca said of Ohio State. “When I felt that we had a run they were able to make runs of their own and get stops. They aren’t going to quit and that’s what they showed.”

With 20 seconds left in the contest, Hawkeye sophomore Payton Sandfort drained two free throws to make it a two-point game. The Hawkeyes turned on their usual full-court pressure to try to jar the ball loose from the Buckeyes. 

Perkins tipped the ball away from Ohio State’s Sean McNeil, which caused chaos on the court. Both Hawkeye and Buckeye players were scrambling for the loose ball as the clock dwindled down. The ball ultimately went out of bounds off Murray, giving Ohio State a chance to extend its lead with nine seconds remaining. 

“It was just two teams going for the ball,” Murray said. “I am not sure what they called at the end but it just didn’t roll our way and they got the ball back.”

Iowa junior Ahron Ulis quickly fouled Sueing, on the ensuing inbounds play, who calmly drained both free throws and gave the Buckeyes a 73-69 lead with nine seconds on the clock. 

Iowa ended the game with 11 turnovers, giving the Buckeyes 14 points off those giveaways. McCaffery said was not going to cut it.

“I thought we played really hard,” McCaffery said. “I thought we executed fairly well and got good shot opportunities. I think in a game like this 11 turnovers is too many, a lot of guys fumbling the ball.”