Fresh off their home victory against the previously undefeated in-conference Wisconsin as well as close losses to Indiana and Michigan State earlier in the season, the Iowa Hawkeyes were looking to draw more Big Ten blood in Columbus to show they belong in the discussion of Big Ten contention. They nearly did so behind a flurry of offensive rebounding and a very effective fullcourt press that took a 24-point deficit and trimmed it to just four with 1:29 remaining. But, the Buckeyes used balanced scoring and solid shooting to hold off Iowa in the Schott by a 72-63 count.
At the outset, Iowa set the tone by dominating the offensive glass. In fact, it carried throughout the game as Iowa dominated the boards by a 40-34 margin including a stunning 22 offensive boards and 24 second chance points. There were multiple possessions with second, third, and even fourth chances to score as Amir Williams, Deshaun Thomas, and Evan Ravenel were unable to stay in front of their men on the glass as they fell victim to the tall and athletic Iowa frontcourt. The 6’8″ Aaron White (6 offensive rebounds) and 6’7″ Melsahn Basabe (4 offensive rebounds) led the effort. It’s not the first game where we’ve seen the Buckeyes, who lack size with the exception of the 6’11″ Williams, struggle in this facet, and it remains a concern going forward, for a lack of effort as much as a size disparity. Amir finished with zero rebounds, and he had this to say following the game, ““The fact that I had zero rebounds is unacceptable. I am better than having zero rebounds in a game so that will make us lose games. I have to try to get around seven rebounds a game.”” I couldn’t agree more. [Read more...]