COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – David Lighty scored 18 points and Ohio State wasn’t tested in its first game as No. 1, rolling over Iowa 70-48 on Wednesday night.
The Buckeyes (19-0, 6-0 Big Ten) improved to 60-4 when ranked first in The Associated Press poll.
William Buford had 15 points and Jared Sullinger added 13 for the Buckeyes, topping the polls for the first time since the final three weeks of the 2006-07 regular season. That season’s team went to the national championship game, losing to defending champion Florida and finishing with a 35-4 record.
Andrew Brommer had 12 points and Bryce Cartwright added 10 for Iowa (7-11, 0-6), playing a ranked team for the fifth time in its last six games.
The Hawkeyes fell to 2-19 against teams ranked No. 1.
Up 40-23 at halftime, the Buckeyes reeled off seven of the first nine points of the second half to push the lead to 22. The outcome wasn’t in doubt the rest of the way.
The Ohio State attack was spread out, with four players with four assists. Aaron Craft set an Ohio State freshman record with seven steals, tying for the second-most ever at the school behind Troy Taylor’s eight against Saint Joseph’s in 1983.
The Buckeyes did have a season-high 20 turnovers, hardly the way to tune up for a big test on Saturday at No. 23 Illinois.
Dallas Lauderdale, a starter with diminishing minutes, set the tone early for the Buckeyes. He had seven points – he came in averaging 4.5 – in the opening 5:37 as Ohio State opened a 12-4 lead.
After that, the Buckeyes got going in transition. Buford, who had 11 points in the first half, and Lighty, who added eight, hurried the ball down the court or whipped it around the perimeter for easy baskets.
Iowa totaled 10 turnovers – resulting in seven points at the other end – and never really got back in the game.
The Buckeyes are off to the third-best start in the school’s 112 seasons, behind only the 1960-61 team (27-0), and the 1961-62 team (22-0). Both of those teams went to the NCAA title game, losing to Cincinnati.