Despite not having the Big Ten’s leading scorer, Iowa came away with an 85-72 victory over Ohio State Saturday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.
Senior guard Peter Jok leads the conference with 21.0 points per game, but sat out the contest vs. the Buckeyes (13-9, 3-6 Big Ten) due to recent back and shoulder injuries.
"It's sort of immeasurable," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said about winning without Jok. "What we saw was just a lot more aggressiveness from other people, and that's what I want them to be."
Though Jok was sidelined, Iowa (12-10, 4-5) did not lack in scoring. Brady Ellingson, who was averaging 4.5 ppg entering the tilt with OSU, poured in 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range.
"It's a testament to the talent we have," Ellingson said. "We play against each other every day in practice. We know how good we are. Tonight we played unselfish, and it showed. We had the next-man-in mentality, and we knew we had to be that much better."
The Hawkeyes finished the game shooting an even 50.0 percent from the field (32 of 64) and 43.5 percent from long distance (10 of 23). The Buckeyes came into the game allowing opponents to shoot 40.0 percent from the field and 33.7 percent from downtown.
"We didn't guard anybody. We made it so easy. The shots they got were open," OSU coach Thad Matta said. "We weren't good."
Trevor Thompson had a rough night for Ohio State. The junior center fouled out in 13 minutes of action with no points and six rebounds.
The only time Ohio State led the entire game was a 2-0 margin in the opening minutes. The game was tied twice during the first half – once at 5-5 and again at 16-16. Other than that, Iowa led the whole night.
The Hawkeyes’ lead swelled to as many as 11 on two different occasions in the opening stanza. Ryan Kriener made a layup with 1:30 left until halftime to give the Hawkeyes a 37-26 lead. The Buckeyes trimmed their deficit to eight, but Jordan Bohannon hit a three from NBA range just before the fist-half horn sounded to put the Hawkeyes on top, 40-29, at the intermission.
After the break, Ohio State cut it nine on six different occasions in the first eight minutes of the second half but could not get any closer. Ahead 57-48 with 12:07 left in the game, Iowa embarked upon a 15-4 run to stretch its advantage to 20, 72-52. Isaiah Moss capped the streak by making a fastbreak layup while getting fouled and then converting the ensuing free throw with 7:14 left in the game.
Ohio State answered with a 14-6 run of its own, however, to make it a 78-66 game in favor of the hosts with 4:28 remaining. Five different Buckeyes scored during the run. David Bell, who filled in for Thompson, knocked down a pair of foul shots and had a dunk during the stretch.
Iowa did not allow OSU to get any closer the rest of the way, improving to 4-1 on its home floor in league play.
"We've got to try harder," Matta said. "I tried everything in my arsenal. It wasn't clicking."
Ohio State now returns home to host Maryland (19-2, 7-1) on Tuesday night.