Luka Garza, No. 20 Iowa throttles No. 24 Ohio State for 12th straight home win
IOWA CITY, Ia. — Ohio State never had the lead, or really had a chance Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa was simply too good at both ends of the court, controlling the game from the outset and cruising to a 12th consecutive home victory 85-76.
Hawkeye center Luka Garza led the way with 24 points, his 12th straight game eclipsing the 20-point mark.
But Iowa, playing a second consecutive game without starting shooting guard CJ Fredrick (ankle sprain), also got spirited moments from the two bench players that coach Fran McCaffery is comfortable using these days.
Senior guard Bakari Evelyn provided 15 points and a trio of 3-pointers, only the second time this season he's scored in double digits.
And junior forward Cordell Pemsl made all four of his shots, adding a team-high eight rebounds, to give the Hawkeyes an emotional boost. His nine points were the most he's scored in a Big Ten Conference game this season.
No. 20 Iowa (19-8, 10-6 Big Ten) jumped on the Buckeyes early, building a 19-point lead 10 minutes into the game. All seven players contributed to the fast start.
No. 24 Ohio State (17-9, 7-8) struggled to make shots from outside the 3-point arc, connecting on just 3 of 13 in the opening half. But the Buckeyes chiseled away at the deficit by converting in the paint and off of offensive rebounds.
Iowa guard Joe Wieskamp gave the Hawkeyes some needed breathing room by connecting on a 3-pointer on the team's final possession of the first half. Six of Iowa's seven players made at least one 3.
The Hawkeyes led 46-35 at the half, behind 17 points from Garza and 62.1% shooting overall. Ohio State entered the game with the top scoring defense in the Big Ten at 61.4 points per game. The 46 points were the most the Buckeyes had allowed in any half since a Jan. 18 loss at Penn State.
Iowa next plays at Michigan State on Tuesday.
Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at email@example.com or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.
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