IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Freshman Jared Sullinger had 24 points
and 12 rebounds and No. 2 Ohio State rallied to overtake Iowa 73-68
on Tuesday night.
Jon Diebler added 14 points for the Buckeyes (15-0, 2-0 Big
Ten), who have won five straight over the Hawkeyes for the first
time in school history.
Iowa cut Ohio State's 13-point lead to 71-68 on Zach McCabe's
3-pointer with 24 seconds left. But Aaron Craft made two free
throws and forced a turnover to put the upset-minded Hawkeyes away.
Ohio State had some trouble early with Iowa (7-7, 0-2) and
trailed 35-29 at halftime. But the Buckeyes opened the second half
with a 29-10 run - then hung on as the Hawkeyes made one final
Freshman Melsahn Basabe had a career-high 22 points, 13 rebounds
and six blocks for the Hawkeyes, the only team in the conference
with a .500 record.
Sullinger had 11 points in the first 8½ minutes of the second
half, and two 3s by Diebler put Ohio State ahead 58-45 with 8:40
It was surprising to see the Buckeyes down six points at
halftime. It was even less shocking to see them erase that deficit
in less than 3 minutes.
Ohio State simply pounded it inside to Sullinger for three
baskets from the same spot to take their first lead, 38-36. Iowa
kept it close for a bit, but the Buckeyes pushed it to 51-45 on
Dallas Lauderdale's tip-in as the Hawkeyes struggled to knock down
the shots they had been making.
Diebler then delivered two crushing blows, following a 3 from
the wing with a contested one from the corner to make it a 13-point
game with 8:40 to go.
Iowa cut Ohio State's lead to 69-65 on 3 from Matt Gatens and to
71-68 on McCabe's 3. David Lighty then slipped to the court but
called time out, and Craft's two free throws and steal of Bryce
Cartwright ended the suspense.
Gatens and Jarryd Cole both scored 14 points for Iowa.
Iowa was without starting forward Eric May, who missed the game
because of a leg injury.
It was just the second halftime deficit of the season for Ohio
State. The Buckeyes blew past Florida in the second half for a
93-75 win in Gainesville on Nov. 16, but this one proved to be much
Even the most ardent Ohio State fans had to have their attention
divided since the Buckeyes and Arkansas kicked off in the Sugar
Bowl about 30 minutes before the start of the basketball game.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)