IOWA CITY, Iowa — Kristi Smith and Kachine Alexander combined for 24 free throws and 36 points Thursday to lead unranked Iowa to an 85-75 victory over Ohio State (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP).
Iowa (15-9, 8-5 Big Ten) was 26-for-32 from the free-throw line to improve to 11-1 at home and deny the Buckeyes (19-5, 10-3) their seventh straight 20-win season.
Ohio State trimmed a 13-point halftime defecit to five with 2 minutes left. But the Buckeyes couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities at the offensive end and came no closer.
Smith had 20 points and Alexander 16 for Iowa. Kamille Wahlin added 19 and Wendy Audsmore 14.
Ohio State, which went just 3-for-9 from the line, took its largest lead of the game at 32-27 on Brittany Johnson’s jumper with 8:17 left in the first half. But Iowa responded with a 20-2 run and took a 47-34 lead into halftime. Miller scored six of her 11 first-half points during the run.
Big Ten scoring and rebounding leader Jantel Lavender had 19 of her season-high 32 points in the first half to keep Ohio State in the game. Lavender finished the night 15-for-21 from the field with 10 rebounds for her 16th double-double of the season.
Ashlee Trebilcock had 14 points for Ohio State before fouling out while Maria Moeller tied her career-high with 11 points of the bench. Samantha Prahalis finished with nine points and a game-high six assists. She left the game for a couple minutes in the second half with an ankle injury before returning.
The Buckeyes are back in action at 11 a.m. Sunday against Northwestern at Value City Arena. Two-time All-American Tracey Hall (85-88) will have her No. 44 jersey retired at halftime.
The Associated Press contributed to this story