Backed by double-digit point totals from all five starters, Ohio State (12-4, 3-0 Big Ten) held off a second-half comeback effort from Iowa (9-8, 0-4 Big Ten) to beat the Hawkeyes 92-81 and maintain an undefeated Big Ten record in its return to its conference schedule Thursday in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Buckeyes were led by redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, who led all players with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Redshirt senior guard Kam Williams, senior forward Jae’Sean Tate and redshirt junior guard C.J. Jackson finished with 13, 18 and 12 points, respectively. Freshman center Kaleb Wesson had 10 points before fouling out with 40 seconds left in the game.
The Hawkeyes also received double-digit point totals from forwards Luka Garza (15), Tyler Cook (21) and Nicholas Baer (10), as well as sophomore guard Jordan Bohannon (15).
Iowa came out of halftime on a hot streak, scoring nine unanswered points before Tate knocked down a layup with 16:44 left to end the Buckeyes’ scoring drought. After a jumper by Iowa redshirt sophomore guard Isaiah Moss, Bates-Diop scored eight straight points and another make by Williams pushed Ohio State up 58-43.
The Buckeyes fell behind early 12-9 with 16:02 left in the first half, but a 16-1 run fueled by five points from Bates-Diop pushed Ohio State out to a 25-13 lead.
Ohio State shot 54 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range compared to 43 percent from the field and 41 percent beyond the arc from the Hawkeyes. Despite being outrebounded 39-38 by Iowa, Ohio State outscored Iowa in the paint 42-26.
Ohio State returns to Columbus Sunday to host No. 1 Michigan State (14-1, 2-0 Big Ten) at 4:30 p.m. in the Schottenstein Center. The last time the two teams squared off in Columbus on Jan. 15, the Buckeyes upset the Spartans 72-67.