Ohio State Suffers Their First Home Loss, Falling to Iowa
16th ranked Ohio State failed in their attempt to win their 12th straight at home and third straight overall, falling to visiting Iowa 75-62 to fall to 16-7, and 9-5 in conference play. The win improved Iowa’s record to 18-8 and 8-7 in the Big Ten. Malaki Branham led Ohio State with 22, while E.J. Liddell added 15 and Kyle Young chipped in 10. Iowa was led by Keegan Murray’s 24. The Buckeyes out shot the Hawkeyes 47% to 42%, 14 turnovers and 20 Iowa offensive rebounds were the difference.
The Buckeyes scored first as Malaki Branham took a screen and drove from the top all the way to the rim for a lay-in. The Hawkeyes scored the next four thanks to All American candidate Keegan Murray, who scored all four. The Buckeyes tied it when Branham again scored off the bounce, getting to the rim on the right side of the paint. A Murray free throw put the Hawkeyes ahead for a moment before Branham buried a triple from the right corner, putting Ohio State ahead. The Hawkeyes tied it with a tip dunk, but E.J. Liddell gapped the zone and took a pass at the rim for a lay-in and at the under 16 media timeout, Ohio State led 9-7. The Buckeyes extended the lead out of the timeout, breaking the press as Liddell found Kyle Young at the rim for a dunk and foul and Young completed the three point play, knocking down the freebie putting the Buckeyes up 5. An Iowa deuce stopped the Buckeye run, but Liddell took a pass from Young at the rim to answer and after a Jamari Wheeler steal, Branham tipped in the Wheeler miss to put the Buckeyes up 7. Iowa split a pair of free throws before Young scored at the rim as he was fouled and completed another old-fashioned three point play putting the Buckeyes up 9. After a Hawkeye miss, Liddell found space at the rim for a dunk and the Hawkeyes took a timeout with the Buckeyes now leading 21-10. Out of the timeout, the Buckeyes made a couple substitutions, taking Liddell and Young off the floor and Keegan Murray made them pay scoring eight straight to cut the lead to three before the under 12 media timeout. Another Murray dunk trimmed the lead to just one but Zed Key scored at the rim while being fouled and he knocked down the free throw to put Ohio State up 4, breaking the Hawkeye 10-0 run. A Hawkeye jumper followed by a short Cedric Russell jumper from the left baseline kept the lead at 4 before Murray drilled a triple from the left point to cut the lead to just 1. Young scored on a put back and a Branham free throw had the Buckeyes up 4. A Hawkeye bucket was followed by a Liddell fade away to keep the lead at 4. A Hawkeye score cut the lead to 2 at the final media timeout of the half with Ohio State leading Iowa 31-29. A Wheeler free throw put the Buckeyes up three, but an Iowa bucket trimmed the lead to one. A pair of Iowa free throws put the Hawks in front for the first time since the opening minutes, but a Young jump hook put Ohio State back in front. A Hawkeye dunk after an incredible block by Liddell put Iowa back in front and Ohio State went back ahead when Branham banked in a short jumper. Iowa re-tied it with a free throw and went ahead with a triple and Ohio State took timeout with Iowa leading 39-36 and 33.6 seconds left in the first half. Two Liddell free throws cut the lead to one and at the half, Iowa led Ohio State 39-38. The Buckeyes put three in doubles in the first half led by Malaki Branham’s 12, while Kyle Young and E.J. Liddell had 10 each. Keegan Murray was a one man show for Iowa in the first half, leading all scorers with 20.
The Buckeyes opened the second half scoring as Branham scored in transition and after Key split a pair of free throws, Branham got to the rim for another Buckeye bucket and Ohio State was up four. An Iowa hoop cut into the lead, but another Branham bucket kept the lead at 4. Iowa split a pair of free throws and after Liddell missed a pair, Iowa drilled a three and at the first media timeout of the second half, the game was deadlocked at 45. Out of the timeout, a quick hitter J by Liddell dropped, putting the Buckeyes back on top. Iowa regained the lead, scoring the next four to take a two point advantage, but Russell got to the rim for a bucket to tie it. Two Iowa free throws after a horrendous foul call on Wheeler as the shot clock was expiring causing Coach Holtmann to be enraged on the sideline. Seven straight Hawkeye points put Iowa up 9 before Key bagged a pair of free throws ending a 4 ½ minute Buckeye scoring drought and stopping a 9-0 Iowa run,.. A pair of Gene Brown free throws trimmed the deficit to 5 and at the under 8 media timeout, Iowa led Ohio State 58-53. Six straight Iowa points put Iowa up 11 and the Buckeyes took a timeout with just 6:39 remaining in the game. Another Iowa bucket put the Hawks up 12 before Wheeler got to the rim to stop the 8-0 run. After an Iowa dunk, Branham scored off a loose ball and after an Iowa turnover, the teams hit the benches for the final media timeout with Ohio State trailing 68-57. A pair of Branham free throws trimmed the deficit to 9 and a Liddell triple from the top cut the lead to 6, but an Iowa triple with 90 seconds to go all but ended it.
Ohio State just didn’t bring the required effort to win this game. Yes, Iowa got away with physical play but you have to play through it and on this day Ohio State did not as Iowa won nearly every 50/50 battle. The Buckeyes have to play with better toughness to compete consistently in this conference and right now Ohio State just doesn’t do that. Not all is lost, but until Ohio State gets a higher level of competitiveness from all 5 guys on the floor, they will lose games like this. Whether or not Ohio State was the superior team or not is irrelevant. Iowa got it done today and all the credit to them but the Buckeyes need to demand more of each other if they want to make a run in March.
Ohio State will face a quick turnaround, hosting Indiana on Monday evening at the Schott. Tip for that matchup is scheduled for 7pm and airing on FS1.