No. 2 Ohio State Suffers 93-83 Loss At No. 6 Iowa In Regular-Season Finale

By March 3, 2024 (3:10 pm)Basketball

No. 2 Ohio State (25-4, 16-2 Big Ten) suffered its first loss of the calendar year on March 3, falling 93-83 at No. 6 Iowa (26-4, 15-3) on Sunday to end the regular season.

The Buckeyes trailed 48-46 early in the third quarter before being outscored 45-37 the rest of the way. The loss was Ohio State’s first since Dec. 30 at Michigan, and just the second in conference play this season.

Ohio State guard Jacy Sheldon was undeterred by the crowd of over 15,000 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, hitting her first two shots, but the teams remained tied at 7-all with 6:16 left in the first after a jumper from Celeste Taylor.

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark – who surpassed Pete Maravich during the game to become the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer – got on the board with a three-pointer to begin an 8-0 run for the Hawkeyes, who took a 15-7 lead after Sydney Affolter knocked down a pair at the line. Rikki Harris broke the run with a three-pointer, but Iowa answered with a 10-0 run to go up 25-10 with 1:50 left in the frame before Ohio State closed on a 9-3 run to trail 28-19 at the end of the first.

The Buckeyes were able to cut the deficit to 31-26 after a three-pointer from Taylor Thierry. Clark scored on back-to-back possessions, but three-pointers from Sheldon and Taylor made it 36-32 in favor of the Hawkeyes with 5:35 left in the half.

The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes, and a triple from Harris with just seven seconds left in the half made it 44-39. But a late shooting foul on Madison Greene and a technical call on McMahon after Clark ran into her led to four straight free throws for the Hawkeyes, who led 48-39 going into the break.

Sheldon had 12 points in the half, while Clark led the Hawkeyes with 18 points. Ohio State shot 42.9 percent from the field in the first half, while Iowa shot 50.0 percent, though it did commit 10 turnovers that led to 13 points for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State scored the first seven points out of the break to make it 48-46, but a pair of three-pointers from Clark and Iowa guard Gabbie Marshall – with five combined turnovers in between – pushed Iowa’s lead back to 54-46 with 6:33 left in the third. Rebeka Mikulášiková answered out of the break with a three-pointer, but back-to-back scores by the Hawkeyes made it 58-49, leading to another timeout by Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff.

The Buckeyes hoped to build momentum after back-to-back scores by Thierry and Sheldon, but another technical foul – this time on Harris – sent the Hawkeyes back to the line for three made free throws, beginning a 13-1 run that put Iowa up 71-54 with 2:01 left in the third. But Ohio State did add three field goals in the final 1:22 of the frame, including a triple from Sheldon, to cut the deficit to 75-64 entering the fourth.

Ohio State made it 76-67 after a triple from Mikulášiková. Iowa answered with six straight points, and after some dueling baskets, another triple from Clark made it 87-74 with 3:00 left in the contest. Sheldon hit a three-pointer with 1:24 left to cut it to 91-81 and made a layup on the next possession, but the Hawkeyes were able to close things out at the free-throw line.

Sheldon led the Buckeyes with 24 points, while Mikulášiková had 14 points on four made three-pointers. Clark led Iowa with 35 points on 10-of-26 shooting, and went 9 of 10 at the line.

Ohio State, with the No. 1 overall seed in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, has a bye through the first two rounds and will take the floor for the quarterfinals on Friday against an opponent to be determined at 12:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.

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