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Hawkeyes pick up massive win in Columbus

Posted on 12. Jan, 2014 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As the clock showed 12:51 remaining, the No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes looked on their way toward continuing a disturbing trend. They led No. 3 Ohio State 37-35 at halftime, but had been outscored 18-6 to start the second half and found themselves down 53-44.

Once again, it appeared another halftime lead over a highly ranked foe was about to slip from their grasp. Just like against Villanova, Iowa State and Wisconsin.

But in those final 12 minutes and 51 seconds, Iowa bucked that trend. Instead of following the same script it had done so many times before over the past calendar year, the Hawkeyes came back to claim an 84-74 win over the Buckeyes in front of a stunned crowd inside Value City Arena.

The victory moved Iowa to 3-1 in Big Ten play and 14-3 overall. It also was the Hawkeyes’ first road win over a top 5 team since 2001-02. When asked if this was his biggest victory in four seasons at Iowa, McCaffery listed other notable wins earlier in his tenure before acknowledging the enormity of what his team did Sunday.

“This is the first time we’ve done it on the road,” McCaffery said. “From that standpoint, I think it’s a fair assessment.”

Senior guard Devyn Marble echoed his coach’s comments afterwards, but was more blunt about calling it the biggest victory of his career.

“It was a top 5 opponent on the road, we had struggled to close out games and we got it done,” said Marble, who finished with a game-high 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor. “We have aspirations and bigger goals and this is one step towards it.

“We feel like we can compete for and win a Big Ten championship and this is how you got to come out and play, even when you’re not at home. This was big for us.”

So what changed? One could say it began with the three consecutive 3-pointers made by Iowa in the second half to tie the game at 55-55. Before the flurry of 3s was started by sophomore guard Mike Gesell, the Hawkeyes had shot a putrid 1-of-10 from behind the arc. Gesell’s 3-pointer was followed by one from junior forward Aaron White and then the third from sophomore forward Jarrod Uthoff.

Ohio State climbed back ahead, only for Iowa to tie it again as junior guard Josh Oglesby scored five straight points to make it 62-62 with 6:59 left. Oglesby played 13 minutes straight in the second half and it was perhaps his best basketball as a Hawkeye to date.

“I thought my freshman year, I had a couple of good games,” Oglesby said after finishing with eight points while playing 17 minutes off the bench. “But to come into Ohio State … I thought I played pretty well in the second half. To do that was big for me.”

The Buckeyes led 65-62 with 5:54 showing on the clock when the ultimate push came from Iowa. It started with eight unanswered points highlighted by a Marble steal that led to a White dunk putting the Hawkeyes up 68-65.

White also made the biggest play of the entire game with just over two minutes remaining. After nearly getting the ball stolen from him by Ohio State guard Aaron Craft, White was able to regain possession, drove up the court with the shot clock ticking down and swished a fall-back jumper that extended Iowa’s lead to 74-68. White finished with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting and also tallied six rebounds.

“I wasn’t careful enough with the ball and he got his hand in there,” White said. “But the big thing was to get it back and I end up making that runner.”

From there, the Buckeyes came away with empty possessions that ended with senior forward Melsahn Basabe crashing the boards and knocking down free throws late en route to a second straight double-double consisting of 11 points and 10 boards. As a team, Iowa shot 21-of-26 from the free-throw line, including 19-of-24 in the second half.

“It was us being tough and us making the plays,” Basabe said. “Today, we knocked down free throws. That stretched the lead and put the game in our hands.”

The Hawkeyes’ next game isn’t until Jan. 19 when it hosts Minnesota in a game set for 12 p.m. Central on the Big Ten Network. But for the time being, there’s plenty to ponder about an Iowa squad that set foot on a giant stage Sunday and delivered against an opponent that just five days earlier overcame a 17-point deficit to force overtime at Michigan State.

“[Ohio State] is as resilient a team as I’ve seen on film in a long time, so to beat them, you need to have those same characteristics,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “I thought today, we were incredibly resilient at various times in the game.

“I think that, for us, is a sign of maturity and development.”

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