No. 25 Hawkeyes get physical to win a third consecutive game

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — The Iowa men's basketball team has a three-game winning streak, thanks to discovering a bit of a mean streak in the second half Saturday to pull away from Ohio State in a bruising affair at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The No. 25 Hawkeyes punished the No. 17 Buckeyes in the paint and emerged with a 72-62 victory. Power forward Tyler Cook had 15 points and eight rebounds before exiting late with an apparent ankle injury. Centers Luka Garza (16 points) and Ryan Kriener (11) had stretches of dominance.

Ohio State center Kaleb Wesson tries to score as Iowa center Luka Garza defends during the first half of the Hawkeyes' victory Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa outscored Ohio State 36-18 in the lane. It was a game that belonged to the post players.

Most importantly, Iowa (14-3, 3-3 Big Ten Conference) held Ohio State star center Kaleb Wesson to a season-low two points and forced him into five turnovers. Wesson played only 23 minutes because the Hawkeyes quickly got him into foul trouble.

The Hawkeyes get to the free-throw line more than any team in the nation. In the second half, that again was the story of the game. Iowa made 16 of 20 free throws after intermission to slowly pull away.

Iowa point guard Jordan Bohannon needed five points to reach 1,000 for his career. He got six while contributing eight assists to help control the offense.

Defensively, Iowa held the Buckeyes (12-4, 2-3) to 37.3 percent from the field and forced 21 turnovers. Ohio State has lost three games in a row.

The first half was forgettable. Both teams struggled to find any offensive rhythm. There were 20 turnovers and a combined field-goal percentage of 36.4.

Kriener gave Iowa a brief lift with seven quick points off the bench. The Buckeyes led 26-24 at the break.

The second half started much better for the Hawkeyes. Garza established the tone with seven early points to put Iowa up 35-30. They never trailed again.

Iowa next plays at Penn State at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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