Reversal of Fortune

After a couple of crushing road losses earlier in the season, Iowa broke through with a 84-74 win at No. 3 Ohio State Sunday.

Box Score

After a win earlier this week against Northwestern, Aaron White was asked about Iowa's close road losses this season. The Hawkeyes were headed to No. 3 Ohio State on Sunday.

"It would be big to get that monkey off our our back," the junior forward said. "Not that we're thinking about it but everybody keeps asking about it. It's kind of getting old, to be honest with you."

White and his teammates made sure they wouldn't have to answer the question again. Twentieth-ranked Iowa closed out the Buckeyes, 84-74, Sunday in Columbus. It was the most points allowed by OSU this season with the previous high being 72 in overtime loss at Michigan State.

Sunday marked Iowa's first win against a Top 5 team since beating No. 2 Missouri, 83-65, on the road in 2001. It also represented the most impressive victory by any team in Big Ten Conference play this season.

Devyn Marble continued his march to all-Big Ten honors with a superb effort on Sunday. The senior from Detroit scored a game-high 22 points to go with four rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. He thoroughly outplayed Buckeye nemesis Aaron Craft, who fouled out with six points and six turnovers.

"Me and him were going back and forth, on the court, word for word or whatever," Marble said in his postgame interview on the Hawkeye Radio Network. "We really challenge one another. He challenged me and I told him that I'm not backing down. I'm going to be right here with you. I'm just as good of a defender as you are."

Five players reach double figures in scoring for the Hawkeyes. White (19), Melsahn Basabe (11), Mike Gesell (11) and Jarrod Uthoff (10) joined Marble.

Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery returned to the bench after serving a one-game suspension. He sat out the Northwestern game after being ejected at Wisconsin last Sunday and subsequently punished by the league.

"They were phenomenally impressive in terms of their professionalism," McCaffery said of his players during his postgame interview on the Hawkeye Radio Network. "Everybody wanted to know what it was going to be like mood wise after the Wisconsin game. There was no difference. They were onto the next game. They were locked into Northwestern."

The Buckeyes turned the ball over 17 times Sunday to Iowa's 10. The Hawkeyes led on the backboards, 40-31, including a 12-8 advantage on the offensive glass.

"You cannot come into this building and turn the ball over and get out-rebounded and expect to win," McCaffery said on the radio. "No only are you not going to win, you're going to get drilled."

Basabe continued to be Iowa's best post player of late. The senior from New York made 4 of 5 shots from the floor and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. He converted a huge tip-in during a key stretch of the game.

"That just changes everything," McCaffery said on the radio. "That was a big play in the game."

After trailing by two at halftime, Ohio State came out of the locker room on a roll. It was reminiscent of the Hawkeyes' early second halves after leading at the intermission at No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 9 Iowa State as well as a neutral sight contest against No. 8 Villanova. Iowa lost those three.

The Buckeyes (15-2 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) led 53-44 with 12 minutes, 51 seconds left in regulation. Iowa refused to fold as it had in its previous losses this season.

After starting the game 1 for 9 from behind the three-point arc, Gesell, White and Uthoff drained consecutive triples to tie the game at 55-55 with 10:26 on the clock.

Ohio State scored the game's next five points but the Hawkeyes (14-3, 3-1) responded with the next five on a Basabe lay-in and a Josh Oglesby three. Marble two free throws with 3:51 to play completed a 15-5 visitors' run that put them ahead 70-65.

Amir Williams converted a conventional three-point play to pull the Buckeyes within two points of the lead. They had a chance to grab a defensive rebound off a Marble miss on Iowa's next possession, but Basabe swooped in with a tipped hoop to put the Iowa advantage back at four. The Hawkeyes then closed the game with a 14-6 spurt.

"We just held our composure," Marble said on the radio. "We wanted this bad. We had played well in a couple of our losses and when you look at the final score it didn't go in our favor. (Sunday) we were able to get it in our favor and it was a big-time showing for us on national television."

Iowa sat above .500 through four Big Ten games for just the fourth time in the last 15 years. It was 3-1 three other times.

The Hawkeyes play host to Minnesota next Sunday (noon CT, BTN) with a chance to go 4-1 for the first time since the 1998-99 season, Tom Davis' last as head coach. They were last 5-1 two years prior to that.

"They're improved from last year. They've got a new coach in (Richard) Pitino and and he's doing a good job with them," Marble said of the Golden Gophers. "So, we'll have time to prepare. We're going to enjoy this one for now."


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