Ohio State breaks five-game losing streak with 93-77 victory in improved performance against Iowa

The drought has come to a merciful end for Ohio State.

The Buckeyes snapped their five-game losing streak on Saturday with a reviving performance that led to a 93-77 victory over Iowa at home. The Hawkeyes rode the Big Ten’s second-longest winning streak (four games) into the weekend. It was Ohio State’s first win since New Year’s Day.

Team

1

2

LAST

OHIO STATE 37 56 93

IOWA

35

42

77

Ohio State built a double-digit lead in the first half, and although Iowa made up ground before halftime, the Buckeyes again built a significant advantage early in the second half. Isaac Likekele was critical to the improved effort for the Buckeyes, as the transfer from Oklahoma State had the season’s top-scoring performance as an X factor in the win.

Likekekle finished with 18 points and Brice Sensabaugh led the way to Ohio State with a career-high 27. After shooting less than 40% from the floor in each of their past three games, the Buckeyes hit more than 50% of their shots against the Hawkeyes. .

Iowa entered the game with the highest-scoring offense in the Big Ten, but was unable to overwhelm Ohio State on a day when its own offense ran into trouble again.

First half

The game began with six combined turnovers for both sides before either team hit a shot. Ohio State broke the ice, but Iowa then rattled off eight consecutive points as the Buckeyes missed five of their first six shots.

Isaac Likekele’s first 3-point tie of the season made it 13-all at 12:19, and 16 seconds later, the Buckeyes began a 15–2 run to take a double-digit lead around the middle of the first round. half. Ohio State scored the first 12 of those points without an answer from the Hawkeyes, and the Buckeyes knocked down three three-pointers as part of the play.

Ohio State led by an astonishing 11 points in the period, but Iowa immediately began to erase Buckeye’s lead. The Hawkeyes defeated Ohio State 20-12 in the Finals 8:48, though both teams closed the half with scoring droughts that lasted more than three minutes.

The Buckeyes took a 37-35 halftime lead despite missing six of their last seven shots. Ohio State made 46.7% of its field goals while the Hawkeyes made only 41.4% of their attempts, though Iowa had the advantage in rebounding (19-15), points in the paint (16-14), and free throw attempts (7 – 4).

Brice Sensabaugh had a double-digit scoring total going into the first half, and Likekele had arguably his best offensive half of the season, scoring seven points as a pleasant surprise for the Buckeyes.

Second half

Iowa hit two of the first three shots of the period, but after that it was all Ohio State as the Buckeyes used a 9–0 run to take a 10-point lead at 16:20. Sensabaugh scored six of Ohio State’s first 12 points to open the half.

OHIO STATE

STAT

IOWA

93

POINTS

77

36-64 (56.3%)

FGM-FGA (PCT.)

27-60 (45.0%)

8-16 (50%)

3-3pm (PCT.)

11-24 (45.8%)

13-17 (76.5%)

FTM-FTA (PCT.)

12-14 (85.7%)

11

REVENUE

17

36

TOTAL REBOUNDS

29

12

ATTACKING REBOUNDS

10

24

DEFENSIVE REBOUNDS

19

28

BANK POINTS

14

3

BLOCKS

1

7

STEAL

6

15

STAFF

15

The Hawkeyes hit three three-pointers in the space of two minutes to try to close the deficit, but Ohio State had an answer after every Iowa strike. Iowa actually hit five of his seven shot attempts from 3:29 to 11:36. At every step, however, the Buckeyes continued to score just like their opponent.

Likekele did not slow down for a moment in the attack in the second half. When he failed to score, Likekele accumulated boards and assists and gave Roddy Gayle a two-handed dunk on a no-look pass that held Ohio State to 10 as the clock ticked under eight minutes.

Less than a minute later, Sensabaugh drank a three out of the top of the arc to dig the hole even deeper for the Hawkeyes. Zed Key made back-to-back shots in the next 76 seconds to put Ohio State up 15.

Kris Murray reached the 20-point threshold for the game, scoring double digits in the second half alone, but it wasn’t enough to bring the Hawkeyes back, as Ohio State continued to pull away late.

At the end of the game, five Buckeyes scored in double digits. Justice Sueing (10) hit that mark for the first time in three games after coming off the bench for the first time this season, while Key (11) and Sean McNeil (10) also joined Sensabaugh and Likekele in double figures.

Game notes

  • McNeil was listed as a playing time decision prior to tip-off due to a dental emergency, but entered the game at 2:34 PM and played 24 minutes.

  • Both McNeil and Justice Sueing started the game on the bench for Ohio State for the first time this season. The Buckeyes used a first starting lineup with Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, Isaac Likekele, Brice Sensabaugh and Zed Key all getting the nomination. It was the first start of Gayle’s career.

  • Ohio State lost its previous two matchups with Iowa, including last season’s 75-62 Hawkeye win at the Schott on February 19, 2022.

  • Likekele, who finished with the highest point total of the season, had not scored more than nine points before Saturday as Buckeye.

  • Key needed help getting off the floor with 21.5 seconds left after going down with his knee late in the game.

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