Ohio State Men’s Basketball dominates Iowa to get elusive 11th win of the season, 93-77

Isaac Likelele, the Oklahoma State transfer, took control down the stretch to lead the Buckeyes (courtesy OSU Athletic Communications)

COLUMBUS, Ohio –Ohio State got back in the win column on Saturday afternoon as the Buckeyes took down Iowa, 93-77, at Value City Arena.

The win snapped a five-game losing skid and the Buckeyes improve to 11-8 on the year and 3-5 in the conference. Iowa had won it’s last four games but falls to 12-7 and 4-4 in league play.

Key Players

Isaac Likekele – The Buckeye captain had his best all-around performance for the Scarlet & Gray, as Likekele notched his first double-double of the season and tallied a season-best 18 points. He also added 10 rebounds and controlled the flow of the offense with seven assists. Likekele was aggressive but efficient, finishing 7-of-12 from the field in 32 minutes.  The last Buckeye to hit those numbers was JaQuan Lyle when he scored 16 points, had 12 rebounds and 11 assists vs. Rutgers on Jan. 13, 2016.

Brice Sensabaugh – Ohio State’s leading scoring had a day, finishing 10-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-5 from long distance en route to 27 points. The performance marked his seventh 20-point scoring game this season and the total also marks a career high.

Stats That Mattered

Points in the Paint – Ohio State dominated the paint throughout the afternoon, outscoring the Hawkeyes 50-32 inside. Because of this, the Buckeyes were an efficient 36-of-64 from the field and shot nearly 65 percent from the field in the second half.

First Half

The first half proved to be a battle of runs. Iowa opened out to the first advantage, using an 11-5 swing to open the game. From that point, the Buckeyes outscored Iowa, 23-6, to turn a five-point disadvantage into an 11-point lead over the next seven minutes.

Likekele knotted the game at 13-13 with his first triple of the season and then set up Felix Okpara with an alley-oop. He then put the Buckeyes in front with a layup in traffic, before the Buckeye bench stepped up in a big way.

Playing a reserve role today, both Justice Sueing and Sean McNeil added valuable minutes to the scoring run. McNeil knocked down back-to-back triples, including a transition three from deep behind the line. Okpara protected the rim well, blocking two Iowa attempts, including a dunk, before Sueing finished off the run with five-straight points to give the Buckeyes a 28-17 lead.

The Hawkeyes would swing the pendulum back in their favor, putting together a 14-5 run over the next three minutes of action to close the gap to 33-31 with five minutes to play. The two sides would stay within a bucket for the remainder of the half and Ohio State held the lead at the break 37-35.

Second Half

After the Hawkeyes tied the game at 37-37 on the opening bucket of the second stanza, the Buckeyes controlled the first six minutes. Ohio State put together a 16-4 run, getting baskets from five different players to push ahead, 53-41. Ohio State would keep the Hawkeyes at arm’s length, as Iowa would get no closer than eight points through the remainder of the game.

Up Next

The Buckeyes hit the road for a pair of games next week beginning with a trip to Illinois on Tuesday night. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.