Jan. 17, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior Aaron White and junior Adam Woodbury sent the University of Iowa men’s basketball team to a start-to-finish 76-67 victory and a season sweep over No. 25 Ohio State on Saturday afternoon on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa swept the Buckeyes for the first time since 2006 to push its record to 4-1 in Big Ten play for a second-straight season. The Hawkeyes are 13-5 overall; Ohio State falls to 14-5 and 3-3 in league play.
White scored 18 of his team-high 22 points in the second half and finished 6-of-8 from the field and 10-of-12 from the free throw stripe. Woodbury posted his second career double-double — his first in a Big Ten game — finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
“Woody played great, and it seemed like he made huge rebounds in big parts of the game,” said White. “(He was) catching and finishing and going in strong. He played a great game and was huge for us.”
Junior Mike Gesell added 11 points, and all nine Hawkeyes that played scored.
Iowa shot 51.1 percent from the field, making 24-of-47 attempts; Ohio State shot 38.3 percent (23-of-60) and went 7-of-18 from 3-point range. The Hawkeyes made 25-of-35 free throws; the Buckeyes were 14-of-21.
The Hawkeyes won the rebounding battle, 37-31, and Iowa scored 15 points off of nine Ohio State turnovers.
Freshman D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 27 points, but they came on a 10-of-22 shooting performance. Jae’Sean Tate finished with 11, and Marc Loving added 10.
The Hawkeyes led 37-26 at the half, but the course of the game changed 35 seconds into the second half when White was whistled for his third foul, forcing him to the bench. Iowa committed five turnovers in the first 4:17 with White sitting, but still led 40-33 at the first media timeout.
“He wanted to stay in,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery of White after picking up his third foul. “He was angry at the call and at me for taking him out. I said to sit tight and what ended up happening was he watched and sometimes that perspective is a little different.
“When it got to the point where I had to start doing something, I said get in there and take over. Boy, did he take over.”
With Iowa leading 45-35, White went to work, scoring 12-straight Hawkeye points over a three-minute stretch to push the advantage to 16 with 10:51 to play.
“The second half started a little shaky for us, and I am tired of that,” said White. “I tried to make things happen and they were pressuring us. When teams do that, you have to go right by them, and that’s what I was trying to do.”
It started with White’s defense, where a steal led to a fast-break dunk to make the score 47-35. He converted three field goals and six free throws during the run.
Behind Russell, the Buckeyes clawed their way back, cutting their deficit to single digits (60-51) on a 3-pointer with 8:36 to play. Iowa led by 11 with 6:29 remaining before a Russell jumper and consecutive 3-pointers from Loving and Shannon Scott trimmed the lead to 68-62 with 4:46 to play.
Iowa withstood the last-ditch rally by making free throws, and Woodbury did the little things to send Iowa to its fifth win in six games.
“Woody was a monster today,” said McCaffery. “It’s nice to see him get the double-double and be recognized a little bit more than he is sometimes. I continue to recognize him because I know the value he has on our team.”
Iowa started the game strong, jumping out to a 9-0 lead over the first 1 1/2 minutes. Ohio State cut its deficit to 13-9 on a three-point play from Sam Thompson before the Hawkeyes reeled off seven-straight to build a 20-9 lead at the 9:07 mark.
The Buckeyes followed with an 11-5 run to close the gap to 25-20 on a Russell layup with 5:49 remaining in the opening half. With the score 29-24, Iowa scored seven-straight, which was capped off by a Dom Uhl 3-pointer to open a 12 point (36-24) lead, and the Hawkeyes led 37-26 at the break.
Iowa returns to action Tuesday, facing No. 6/7 Wisconsin in Madison. Game time is set for 8 p.m. (CT).