Buckeyes Drop Their Third Straight

The 16th ranked Ohio State Buckeye basketball team lost their third in a row, this time on the road to Iowa, falling 72-62 in Iowa City.  Andre Wesson led the Buckeyes with 13 and C.J. Jackson added 10 as the Buckeyes fell to 12-4 and 2-3 in the Big Ten.  Ohio State struggled all afternoon taking care of the basketball, turning it over 21 times in the loss.  Iowa took advantage, scoring 18 points off the turnovers as the Hawkeyes took control in the second half.

The first half started similarly as the last two games with Kaleb Wesson picking up a pair of early fouls and had to go to the bench less than 3 minutes into the ballgame.  It was a sloppy start for both teams as they combined for 13 turnovers just 10 minutes in.  Ohio State grabbed the lead at the under 10 minute media timeout thanks to a pair of 3’s from Musa Jallow and a rebound put back by JaeDon LeDee to lead by 4 at 17-13.  Ohio State found offense in the half court difficult out of the timeout and a 5-0 run from Iowa out of the timeout forced Chris Holtmann to call timeout with 7:29 remaining and the Buckeyes trailing by a point.  Kaleb Wesson re-entered the game, the Buckeyes went right to him, and his bucket along with a jumper from Luther Muhammad gave Ohio State a 3-point advantage.  Iowa trimmed it to one at the under 4 media timeout. Iowa grabbed a 1-point lead but a three from Justin Ahrens gave Ohio State a 2-point lead that they held the remainder of the half, leading 26-24 after 20 minutes.  The Buckeyes were led at half by Luther Muhammad’s 7 as Ohio State got 13 points off the bench, led by Musa Jallow’s 6.  Both teams were sloppy with the basketball as Ohio State turned it over 11 times and Iowa had 9.

Ohio State struck first in the second half to go up 4 but Iowa would come right back and a 7-0 Hawkeye run gave Iowa a 5 point lead heading into the under 16 timeout.  A Tyler Cook driving slam out of the timeout extended the Iowa run to 9-0 and gave the Hawkeyes their largest lead of 7.  C.J. Jackson ended the run with a triple from the top of the key and the Buckeyes were within 7.  Ohio State continued to struggle taking care of the basketball, turning it over at a high rate, 16 for the game, and Iowa took advantage, leading by 6 and possessing the basketball at the under 12 media timeout.  The Hawkeyes extended the lead, scoring 9 of the game’s next 12 points to lead 53-41 at the under 8 media timeout as Ohio State continued to struggle on the offensive end with poor shooting and turnovers.  Iowa extended the lead to 16 before Andre Wesson nailed a three from the right wing to cut it to 13 but with just 4:20 remaining in the game.  A Hawkeye hoop followed by a Jackson 3 from the top cut the lead to 12 but time was not on the Buckeyes side.  The Buckeyes cut the lead to 10 with just over a 2 minutes remaining on a putback from Andre Wesson but an Iowa bucket as the shot clock was running down got the Hawkeye lead back to 12.  Andre Wesson buried a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 10 again and Chris Holtmann took a timeout with just 1:31 remaining.  A pair of triples from Justin Ahrens and Andre Wesson trimmed the lead to 8 and Ohio State called a timeout with 38 seconds remaining.  Iowa made their free throws to finish the game and Ohio State could get no closer as the Buckeyes fell for their 3rd straight loss.

Things don’t get easier for Ohio State and they must find a way to generate offense in the half court to be able to be successful.  The Buckeyes need to do a much better job valuing the basketball and not always look to make the great pass and make the safe one.  When Kaleb Wesson picks up a couple early fouls, the Buckeye offense struggles without him on the floor.  Wesson was a relative non factor in this game due to the foul trouble that limited him to just 23 minutes and a season low 2 points.  When they don’t get much from the big fella, they need to find a 2nd and 3rd scoring option.  Musa Jallow gave them a lift off the bench in the first half as did JaeDon LeDee but they could not get anything going in the 2nd half and it ultimately cost them.  There is a lot of season remaining and if they are going to reach some of the goals they had at the season’s beginning, namely a berth in the NCAA tournament, they are going to have to figure it out in a hurry.

The Buckeyes are set to hit the floor again on Friday evening, playing host to the Maryland Terrapins in the Schott. Tip time for that game is scheduled for 6:30 PM to be aired on FS1.

-Jason Harris

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