IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – When Iowa’s Jermain Davis pulled up for an open 3 as time expired and the Buckeyes ahead by just two, Ohio State star Evan Turner flashed back to Northwestern.
The Buckeyes fell to the Wildcats, 72-69, back on Feb. 18 on John Shurna’s 3 with 3.3 seconds left, and Turner was scared it would happen again.
“I was just hoping it wouldn’t go in,” Turner said. “I was just thinking, ‘Wow. If this goes in, it’s going to be a long trip back to Ohio.’ “
Fortunately for Ohio State, Davis’ shot rimmed out and the Buckeyes men’s basketball team survived what could have been a damaging loss to their at-large NCAA Tournament hopes.
Turner scored 22 points and dished out nine assists as Ohio State held off Iowa, 60-58, Tuesday to snap a three-game road losing streak.
Jon Diebler added 12 points for the Buckeyes (19-9, 9-8 Big Ten), who won their first road game since beating Indiana, 93-81, on Jan. 31.
Ohio State had to sweat it out, though, against an Iowa team that’s now 12-4 at home. The game featured 14 lead changes, 10 ties and one very hectic final sequence.
Iowa’s Jake Kelly, who continued a strong late-season push with 19 points and 11 rebounds, tied the game at 58 on a long 3 with 2:28 left.
Davis drove in for what looked like an open layup with seven seconds to go, but Dallas Lauderdale (Solon) redirected the shot and grabbed the rebound. The Buckeyes had yet another chance to ice it, but Turner missed a free throw and Iowa raced down the floor behind, 60-58.
Davis’ final shot rattled inside the rim before bouncing out.
“We got what we came for and we’ve got to keep moving on,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.
Devan Bawinkel scored a career-high 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting from 3-point range for Iowa (14-16, 4-13), which lost for the fifth time in six games.
“Losing, the frustration is a 10 always,” Iowa coach Todd Lickliter said. “It just makes me sick.”
After letting Iowa jump ahead, 40-32, early in the second half, Ohio State went on a 12-1 run to retake the lead.
Bawinkel, who hit seven of his first 10 3-point tries and fell one shy of the school record for 3s, buried a pair of long ones to put the Hawkeyes back on top, 47-46, with 10:03 left.
Turner took over down the stretch. He had eight of Ohio State’s final 12 points, including a pull-up jumper with 2:09 left that turned out to be the final bucket for either team.
“They are our cagey veterans as sophomores,” Matta said of Turner and Diebler, who shot 4-of-7 from 3-point range for his 12 points. “Both guys have been through the wars, been through the battles.”
Iowa used on a 11-0 run to take a 27-19 lead — but it didn’t last long. Ohio State answered with 10 straight points, as William Buford hit a 3, a jumper and a runner to help the Buckeyes jump back ahead, 29-27.
Kelly buried a long 3 just before the halftime buzzer to give Iowa a 32-30 lead.
Turner sat the final 2:43 of the first half after landing awkwardly on his ankle, but he was on the floor to open the second half.
It was a good thing for Ohio State that he was, because Turner shot 6-of-8 from the floor in the second half. But even he knows how close the Buckeyes came to suffering a defeat that could have had major consequences a few weeks down the road.
“It went in and out. The Lord was looking out for us on that one,” Turner said of Davis’ game-ending miss. “It’s a big sigh of relief and a mixture of confidence going into our next game.”