No. 2 Ohio State (19-1, 8-1 Big Ten) suffered its first loss of the season, dropping an 83-72 decision to No. 10 Iowa (16-4, 8-1) on Monday.
Ohio State could do little to fight off the attack of Iowa guard Caitlin Clark or forward Monika Czinano, who combined for 50 points on 19-of-32 shooting, while the Buckeyes struggled from the field, shooting just 38.0 percent for the game and 16.0 percent from deep. The Buckeyes fell one win short of tying the program record for consecutive wins.
Ohio State and Iowa were off to the races quickly, battling to a 14-all tie with 3:54 left in the first quarter. The Hawkeyes were paced early on by forward Monika Czinano, who had 6 of Iowa’s first 12 points, while the Buckeyes saw early contributions from forwards Cotie McMahon and Rebeka Mikulášiková.
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark then made her presence known, scoring her first basket of the game to put the Hawkeyes up 18-14. McMahon and Mikulášiková continued to pace the Buckeyes until a triple from guard Taylor Mikesell at the first-quarter buzzer put Ohio State up 24-23 entering the second frame.
The Buckeyes’ led grew after a layup from McMahon, but Iowa responded with an 11-0 run – including seven points from Clark – to put the Hawkeyes up 34-26 with 6:28 remaining in the half. Iowa later took a 39-30 lead, but guard Taylor Thierry scored the next two baskets for Ohio State to cut the deficit to five.
The Buckeyes went cold from there, though, missing their final five shots of the half as Iowa led 43-34 entering the locker room. Iowa outscored Ohio State 20-10 in the second frame as the Buckeyes shot just 27.8 percent from the field.
McMahon took advantage of an and-one opportunity to cut Iowa’s lead to 43-37 to begin the third, but the Hawkeyes responded with a 13-7 run over the next 3:53 to take a 56-44 lead with 5:56 left in the third.
Those would be the last points of the quarter for Iowa, however, as Ohio State closed on a 10-0 run to make it 56-54 entering the final quarter. The Hawkeyes missed their final nine shots of the third quarter as the Buckeyes cut the 12-point deficit to just a possession.
Ohio State was largely boosted by the player of Thierry, who was forced to the bench late in the frame after picking up her third foul, as well as a raucous, sell-out crowd at Value City Arena that could likely have been credited with an assist on several Iowa turnovers.
The Hawkeyes were able to keep the Buckeyes at an arm’s length in the fourth, hitting triples on back-to-back possessions before a later layup by forward Hannah Stuelke put Iowa up 64-57 with 7:54 remaining.
Ohio State threatened after a triple from guard Rikki Harris to make it 64-60, but the Buckeyes missed their next four shots and as Iowa’s lead eventually grew to double digits. Ohio State later cut the deficit to eight points, but Iowa still went home with an 83-72 win.
The Buckeyes were led McMahon, who finished with 21 points on 8-of-19 shooting, while Thierry added 20 points and nine rebounds. Clark led the Hawkeyes with 28 points on 8-of-19 shooting with 10 rebounds and 15 assists, and Czinano added 22 points on 11-of-13 shooting. Ohio State was outrebounded 50-31 by Iowa.
Ohio State will go on the road next, set to take on Indiana on Thursday with the tip set for 8:30 p.m.