IOWA CITY, Iowa (WCMH) — No. 7 Ohio State went on the road and beat No. 8 Iowa 89-85 Thursday night to extend the Buckeyes’ win streak to four games. OSU now has five wins over a team ranked in the top 15 at some point this season.
Four of those five wins came on the road making this the first team in Ohio State history to beat four top-15 teams on the road in the same season.
The victory is Ohio State’s second win over a top 10 team in three games.
“People from around the country can take this [win] however they want to take it,” Duane Washington Jr. said. “From day one we haven’t listened to what people have said about us, talked about us. We’re really locked in right now.”
“You’ve got to score the ball against one of the best offensive teams I’ve coached against,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said.
And the the Buckeyes did just that outscoring the nation’s No. 2 scoring offense by knocking down 14 three pointers while four players scored in double digits, including a team-high 16 points from Kyle Young E.J. Liddell, and Duane Washington Jr. OSU also shot 47 percent from the field.
Four of Ohio State’s 14 three pointers came in the last four in the last four and half minutes of the game, including three by Justin Ahrens.
Iowa shot better than 44 percent from the field and knocked down 14 threes as well, but the Buckeyes didn’t allow the nation’s best player to play his best game.
Luka Garza is the odds on favorite to win the Naismith Trophy given to college basketball’s top player. He averages 26 points a game, four points higher than the next closest player in the country. But a solid shared defensive effort by Young, Liddell and Zed Key kept Garza contained to 16 points.
“We had to play the best post defense we’ve had to play all year,” Young said. “At the end of the day it’s about who can get more stops at the defensive end.”
“We mixed up our coverages [on Garza] between trapping and what we call gigging ball side. He had to have a body on him because he’s the most difficult matchup in the country,” Holtmann said.
The Buckeyes were able to overcome a strong second half start by the Hawkeyes who took aa 11-point lead over OSU with 14:32 left in the game.
“Our guys played with great poise particularly when we were down and for that I’m probably most proud,” Holtmann said.
Ohio State returns to action Monday to face Maryland on the road at 9:00 p.m.