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TULSA, Okla. – The No. 11 seed Ohio State men’s basketball team held on to defeat No. 6 seed Iowa State, 62-59, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday night at BOK Center in Tulsa. With the win, the Buckeyes, now 20-14 on the year, advance to take on No. 3 seed Houston at approximately 8:40 p.m. ET Sunday. The Cyclones close the year at 23-12.
Kaleb Wesson led Ohio State with 21 points and a game-high 12 boards while Keyshawn Woods tied his season-high 19 points and Musa Jallow added 11 points and six rebounds. Marial Shayok paced Iowa State with a game-high 23 points to go along with five boards while Lindell Wigginton scored 14 and Cameron Lard added 12.
Ohio State connected on four-consecutive shots from the field on its was to an early 11-2 lead after a Kaleb Wesson layup at the 15:23 mark of the opening half but Iowa State score the next 10 over the next 3:31 to hold a 12-11 advantage with 12:52 left to play. The Cyclones pushed their lead to 17-13 on a Tyrese Haliburton dunk at the 11:12 mark but the Buckeyes had the answer, eventually pushing their lead to 26-20 with 3:18 remaining before Iowa State scored the final four of the half on a Shayok 3-pointer and a free throw from Wigginton as Ohio State took a 26-24 advantage into the half.
Woods led Ohio State with seven points in the opening 20 minutes while Kaleb Wesson tallied six points and six boards. Shayok led the Cyclones with 13 in the first half.
Ohio State then pushed its lead to 49-42 at the 10:02 mark of the second half after a 3-point play from Kaleb Wesson and a dunk from Andre Wesson but the Cyclones would not go away, using a pair of buckets from Shayok to score the next six and make it a 49-48 game with 7:31 left to play. Another Shayok jumper gave Iowa State a brief lead at 54-53 at the 3:37 mark but Woods scored the next five as Ohio State regained a 58-54 advantage with 2:44 remaining.
The Buckeye lead remained at four after a pair of Kaleb Wesson free throws with 1:59 left but, after neither team was able to convert their next two times down the floor, Wigginton drilled a long-range 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining to cut the Ohio State lead to 60-59. Woods hit a pair of free throws the ensuing trip down the court and, after Shayok and Kaleb Wesson each missed the front end of a 1-and-1, a Nick Weiler-Babb 3-pointer missed and the Buckeye big man pulled down the rebound as Ohio State opened the NCAA Tournament with a win for the second-straight year.
For the game, Ohio State held a 38-31 advantage on the boards and limited the Cyclones to 6-for-22 (27.3 percent) from the 3-point line. The Buckeyes held Iowa State to their second-lowest point total of the season.