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Big Ten Network Game Highlights

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Freshman Jared Sullinger had 24 points and 12 rebounds and No. 2 Ohio State rallied to overtake Iowa 73-68 on Tuesday night.

Jon Diebler added 14 points for the Buckeyes (15-0, 2-0 Big Ten), who have won five straight over the Hawkeyes for the first time in school history.

Iowa cut Ohio State’s 13-point lead to 71-68 on Zach McCabe’s 3-pointer with 24 seconds left. But Aaron Craft made two free throws and forced a turnover to put the upset-minded Hawkeyes away.

Ohio State had some trouble early with Iowa (7-7, 0-2) and trailed 35-29 at halftime. But the Buckeyes opened the second half with a 29-10 run – then hung on as the Hawkeyes made one final push.

Freshman Melsahn Basabe had a career-high 22 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks for the Hawkeyes, the only team in the conference with a .500 record.

Sullinger had 11 points in the first 8 1/2 minutes of the second half, and two 3s by Diebler put Ohio State ahead 58-45 with 8:40 left.

It was surprising to see the Buckeyes down six points at halftime. It was even less shocking to see them erase that deficit in less than 3 minutes.

Ohio State simply pounded it inside to Sullinger for three baskets from the same spot to take their first lead, 38-36. Iowa kept it close for a bit, but the Buckeyes pushed it to 51-45 on Dallas Lauderdale’s tip-in as the Hawkeyes struggled to knock down the shots they had been making.

Diebler then delivered two crushing blows, following a 3 from the wing with a contested one from the corner to make it a 13-point game with 8:40 to go.

Iowa cut Ohio State’s lead to 69-65 on 3 from Matt Gatens and to 71-68 on McCabe’s 3. David Lighty then slipped to the court but called time out, and Craft’s two free throws and steal of Bryce Cartwright ended the suspense.

Gatens and Jarryd Cole both scored 14 points for Iowa.

Iowa was without starting forward Eric May, who missed the game because of a leg injury.

It was just the second halftime deficit of the season for Ohio State. The Buckeyes blew past Florida in the second half for a 93-75 win in Gainesville on Nov. 16, but this one proved to be much tougher.

Even the most ardent Ohio State fans had to have their attention divided since the Buckeyes and Arkansas kicked off in the Sugar Bowl about 30 minutes before the start of the basketball game.

Noting the Iowa Game:
Ohio State 73, Iowa 68 (Jan. 4)

  • Ohio State opened the conference season with back to back road wins for the first time in program history after wins at Indiana and Iowa this year.
  • Ohio State’s four returning starters (Jon Diebler, David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale and William Buford) have combined for 352 career starts and 457 games played.
  • The 15-0 overall record is the fourth-best start in Ohio State history (1960-61, 27-0; 1961-62, 22-0; 1990-91, 17-0).
  • As a ranked team, Ohio State is 376-105 all-time.
  • Ohio State improved to 28-7 when ranked second in the country, and 113-17 when ranked among the Top 3 in the country.
  • When ranked in the Top 10 nationally, Ohio State is 255-56 with wins in 46 of its last 48 outings.
  • The Buckeyes are now 68-73 vs. Iowa all-time and 703-658 vs. teams from the Big Ten. Ohio State has won its last five games vs. the Hawkeyes, the longest winning streak in the series for the Buckeyes.
  • Ohio State is 20-10 vs. Iowa when ranked among the Associated Press Top 25.
  • Ohio State has won its last nine road games and the last eight in league play.
  • This is the 239th-consecutive game Ohio State has made at least one 3-point field goal (1/10/04 vs. Penn State was the last game with zero made).
  • The Buckeyes used a 16-0 run in the second half to gain control of the game. Ohio State trailed 45-42 before the run and took a 58-45 lead at the 8:40 mark. Jared Sullinger’s bucket at 13:34 put Ohio State up for good.
  • Ohio State connected on 60 percent of its shots in the second half (18-30) and finished at 55 pct. for the game (31-56).
  • The 15-0 record to begin the season is the best start for Thad Matta at Ohio State (previous best was in 2005-06, when the team began 11-0) and his first time completing a non-conference schedule undefeated.
  • With the win, Ohio State is 34-19 (.642) in January under Matta and 1-0 this season.
  • Matta improved his career record to 273-85 overall and 171-54 at Ohio State.
  • Matta is 90-17 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State and 81-37 vs. Big Ten foes (regular season and Big Ten tournament games) for an overall record of 171-54.
  • During Matta’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes are 157-5 when leading with five minutes to play.
  • The Buckeyes are 13-0 this season and 154-17 when shooting a better field goal percentage than the opponent.
  • When Ohio State has fewer than 15 turnovers, it is 14-0 on the season and 142-43 under Matta (OSU had 15 turnovers vs. Iowa).
  • Under Matta, Ohio State is 11-0 in 2010 and 115-11 overall when scoring 70 or more points in a game.
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Week (his seventh of the season) Jared Sullinger finished the contest with 24 points. Sullinger has scored at least 10 points in 13 out or 15 games this season.
  • Sullinger also added 12 rebounds to record his seventh career double-double.
  • With four made 3-pointers vs. Iowa, senior Jon Diebler now has 308 for his career to tie Joe Crispin (308, Penn St. 1998-2001) for fifth-place.
  • With five made 3-pointers, Diebler extends his streak to 31 games in a row with at least one 3-pointer made.
  • With 14 points against the Hawkeyes, Diebler now has 1,255 career points. He is in 26th place in Ohio State history.
  • The game vs. Iowa marked senior David Lighty’s 103rd career start for Ohio State. He is two starts away from tying Jim Smith for eighth place in career games started for the Buckeyes.
  • Lighty recorded his 110th win as a Buckeye vs. the Hawkeyes. He had 35 as a freshman, 25 as a sophomore, 29 as a junior and seven during the 2008-09 season when he received a medical redshirt because of a broken foot. He is one win away from owning the Ohio State record. He is tied with Mark Titus and Danny Peters with 110 career wins.
  • Lighty has played in 135 games as a Buckeye, which is second all-time.
  • Lighty had two steals. He is in second place all-time at Ohio State with 163. He also recorded four assists to give him 309 for his career.
  • With six rebounds, Lighty has 490 for his career. He is 10 rebounds away from becoming the third Buckeye in history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists.