Feb. 28, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State used a 12-2 run over the final four minutes to hand the No. 8/8 University of Iowa men’s basketball team a 68-64 loss — its third straight defeat — Sunday afternoon at Value City Arena.
“Everything went wrong,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery of the final four minutes. “We didn’t defend and we didn’t rebound.”
The Hawkeyes led 62-56 with 4:07 remaining before Ohio State scored 10 unanswered to take a 66-62 advantage with one minute to play. Marc Loving’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to 62-61 with 2:53 left before Kam Williams gave the Buckeyes a 63-62 lead with just over two minutes to play.
After Peter Jok missed a 3-point field goal attempt with 1:42 left, Williams connected on a 3-pointer on the other end to extend the lead to four. On the next possession, Jok found senior Adam Woodbury for a layup to make the score 66-64 with 42 seconds left.
The Hawkeye defense got the stop it needed, forcing Ohio State to burn two timeouts before JaQuan Lyle missed an off-balance 3-pointer with eight seconds remaining. Iowa inbounded the ball with 7.4 seconds left on the game clock, where Gesell took pass and went the length of the floor.
Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop blocked him from behind on a layup attempt, and Ohio State secured the rebound. Loving iced the game with two free throws to send the Buckeyes to their 10th Big Ten victory.
“(Gesell) had plenty of options (on the play) and he chose to drive it,” said McCaffery. “I thought he made a good play there.”
The Hawkeyes shot 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the field, but went just 3-of-12 from 3-point range. Iowa won the rebounding battle, 35-32, but committed 15 turnovers. Ohio State shot 44.6 percent (25-of-56) and made five 3-pointers in the game.
Gesell and senior Jarrod Uthoff paced the team in scoring with 16 points apiece. Gesell went 5-for-11 from the field and had five assists, while Uthoff made 5-of-14 attempts. Jok was the third player in double digits with 12 points.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, featuring six ties and eight lead changes. The highlight came when Gesell had a cross-over and one-handed flush to give Iowa a 28-26 lead. Ohio State scored eight of the final 10 points of the half to take a 35-30 lead into the break.
Iowa stayed in the game by capitalizing on 11 Buckeye turnovers and converting them into 13 points. Ohio State shot 54.2 percent in the opening 20 minutes.
The Hawkeyes erased the five-point deficit over the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half, using a Jok 3-pointer and two Gesell free throws to tie the game at 35. Iowa took its first second-half lead on a Uthoff wrap-around layup with 14:19 to play.
With the score tied at 44, Iowa used a 7-2 run to push its advantage to 51-45 and a Dom Uhl 3-pointer — his first since Feb. 7 — extended the margin to 58-52 with 6:51 remaining. Iowa led 62-56 with 4:07 to play.
Loving led a trio of Buckeyes in double figures with 25 points, making 7-of-13 field goals, four 3-pointers, and seven free throws. Bates-Diop scored 19 and grabbed six boards, and Williams added 11.
Iowa (20-8, 11-5) returns to action Tuesday, hosting No. 15/18 Indiana at 8 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court.