Five Things We Learned in a Home Loss to Iowa
By John Porentas
1) The Buckeyes had a hard time playing with a lead late in the game. With about seven minutes left in the second half OSU held a nine point lead at 53-44 after a three by Amedeo Della Valle. The Hawkeyes then rattled off eight-straight points aided by two Buckeye turnovers. After the game, Aaron Craft said the Buckeyes played like they hoped the Hawkeyes would give up afterOSU got that lead. They didn't and the rest is history. If the Buckeyes want to win against quality competition, they'll have to develop a killer instinct with a lead, not hope the competition will run up the white flag.
2) This team is not good enough to play over turnovers. Very few teams are actually, but it's clear now that this is definitely not one of those rare teams that can. Turnovers killed them in East Lansing and again against Iowa. What's most troubling about the turnovers against Iowa is that many of them were really unforced. Matta called them attempts at aggressive play. Call them what you want, but they are turnovers that lead to empty possessions. The Buckeyes aren't going to win in games where they turn the ball over.
3) The Hawkeyes were able to dismantle the OSU interior defense. Iowa scored 30 points in the paint in the first half!!! They ended up with 44. The really devastating thing about those numbers is the Iowa center Adam Woodbury accounted for just two of those 44. The rest were scored predominantly by Iowa cutters who continually shook loose from their defenders for easy points down low. Iowa also scored 15 fast break points to just four for OSU. Thad Matta's teams have always prided themselves on their defense and their ability to not give up too many easy shots. Either they lost that pride against the Hawkeyes or Iowa is just plain a whole lot better than them.
4) The Hawkeyes are for real. Their win over OSU was no fluke. The Hawks proved they have a great offensive system that is not only fun to watch but really effective. They also proved that they are a gritty bunch. They fell behind by nine and could have folded. Instead, they came right back at the Buckeyes and won going away. OSU's trip to Iowa City could be a real disaster for them.
5) You get free french fries even in a loss. McDonalds gives away free french fries to anyone with a game ticket whenever OSU scores 70 or more in a game. We wondered, though, if that applied to a loss as well. Following the game, the announcement was made that fans could redeem their ticket stubs for free fries despite the loss. If you're into consolation prizes, enjoy the spuds.
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