Mistake-Prone Buckeyes Lose at Home to Iowa
By Rob Ogden
After taking a 9-point lead on Iowa with 12:51 to play Sunday, one Ohio State mistake turned into a another. A few more turned into a loss.
The Buckeyes committed several unforced errors down the stretch and No. 20 Iowa defeated No. 3 Ohio State 84-74 inside Value City Arena.
It was a second-straight loss for the Buckeyes (15-2, 2-2 Big Ten) who will now face an uphill climb in the battle for the Big Ten.
"You can't let one mistake compound into another mistake, and that was kid of what happened to us today," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.
The Buckeyes had five turnovers in their final 11 possessions and managed just three field goals in the final 7:08 of the game.
On four consecutive possessions from the 5:25 mark of the second half to the 3:57 mark, the Buckeyes had a turnover, an air ball, a turnover, and another turnover.
The air ball and two of the turnovers came from LaQuinton Ross, who scored a team-high 22 points but also committed 5 turnovers.
Point guard Aaron Craft had an uncharacteristic 6 turnovers to go along with 6 points.
He struggled to explain what plagued the Buckeyes after the game.
"I don't know. It's on us," Craft said.
"We knew they were gonna do what they did. You just have to be ready to take care of the ball. You've got to make smart decisions and protect the ball and we didn't do that."
Iowa played aggressively on defense, attacking the throwing lanes and forced 17 Ohio State turnovers in total, which the Hawkeyes ( 14-3, 3-1) turned into 27 points.
The Buckeyes committed 21 turnovers Tuesday in a loss to Michigan State.
After quickly surrendering what had been a nine-point lead, Ohio State built a five-point lead with fewer than 10 minutes to play, but Iowa fought back.
The Hawkeyes took the lead for good during the four-possession stretch in which the Buckeyes committed three turnovers.
Cleveland native Aaron White had 19 points and six rebounds, and Roy Devyn Marble had 22 to lead Iowa.
After the Hawkeyes took the lead for good at the 4:55 mark, Ohio State made only a single field goal until the game was well out of reach.
For Iowa, it was the program's first win over a top-5 team since an 83-65 victory over No. 2 Missouri in 2001.
Coach Fran McCaffery called the win the team's biggest in his time at Iowa.
The loss drops Ohio State to fifth place in a heavily contested Big Ten, and puts them two games behind conference-leading Michigan State.
But Matta isn't counting his team out.
"We're too far from the finish line to panic," he said.
"I've never done that, I won't do that. It's about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and going back into battle."
Craft said he didn't think Tuesday's loss had any affect on Sunday's. However something, he said, has to change.
"There's still a lot of basketball to be played," Craft said. "The worst thing we can do is feel sorry for ourselves. We can't keep this going. We have to find a way to pick ourselves up. No one's gonna do it for us."
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