Iowa women's basketball: No. 13 Ohio State completes season sweep over Hawkeyes
Down double figures into the second half Thursday, Iowa tried to return the comeback favor on No. 13 Ohio State. The rallying effort, though, came up short.
The Buckeyes grabbed control midway through the second quarter, then held off the Hawkeyes' fourth-quarter push for a 92-87 victory Thursday at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Iowa loss came three weeks after the Hawkeyes (10-5, 6-5 Big Ten Conference) coughed up a 14-point second-half lead at home against Ohio State (11-2, 7-2).
There was no lead for Iowa to blow in the rematch, as Ohio State flipped an early seesawing affair the Buckeyes' way and never looked back. The Hawkeyes didn't lead after the opening quarter, trailed by 11 at intermission and spent most of the third quarter down double digits. It was only when time was running out that Iowa finally sliced into the Ohio State cushion.
The Hawkeyes got within four on four occasions, the last time coming with 7:28 remaining on a Caitlin Clark jumper. But the Iowa defense couldn't stifle the Buckeyes' offensive potency, which was reliable again with four double-figure scorers.
Sophomore Jacy Sheldon poured in a team-high 29 points on just 12 attempts, also adding 12 points at the free-throw line. Dorka Juhász, who didn't play in the first matchup, racked up 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Clark buoyed Iowa with 30 points on 10-for-21 shooting, including 4-for-11 from deep. She also had nine assists but seven turnovers before fouling out in the final seconds. Double-digit assistance came from Monika Czinano (14 points), Tomi Taiwo (13) and McKenna Warnock (12).
Although Iowa cut down on the turnovers with 14, the Hawkeyes faltered down low in surrendering 50 paint points and 15 offensive rebounds The Buckeyes also shot a staggering 31 free throws, swishing 22 of them.
While this wasn't a game Iowa was favored to win, it would've been a nice resume enhancer for a team still searching for success against the Big Ten's upper tier. The Hawkeyes have now dropped five of their last six Quadrant 1 opportunities.
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.