No. 8 Iowa suffers damaging 68-64 loss at Ohio State
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Fran McCaffery did not have much to say after No. 8 Iowa lost 68-64 at Ohio State on Sunday.
''Everything went wrong,'' the coach of the Hawkeyes said after the Buckeyes rallied from a 62-56 deficit in the last four minutes. ''We didn't execute, we didn't defend, we didn't rebound.''
Mike Gesell scored 16 points for the Hawkeyes (20-8, 11-5) and had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but saw his layup blocked from behind by Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop.
''He had plenty of options,'' McCaffery of the final play. ''He chose to drive it. I thought he made a good play there.''
Jarrod Uthoff matched Gesell's team-leading 16 points, but he did not score after his jumper broke a 44-all tie with 12:32 left.
Asked why Uthoff had only two shots after that, McCaffery replied, ''You'd have to ask him.''
Bates-Diop finished with 19 points while Marc Loving led Ohio State with 25.
Buckeye reserve Kam Williams scored all 11 of his points in last 8:08, including a jumper with 2:04 left that gave Ohio State (19-11, 11-6) the lead for good. He added a 3-pointer 65 seconds later that gave the Buckeyes a four-point lead and electrified the Value City Arena crowd of 15,593.
''It wasn't like we didn't mark him, we just didn't play him right,'' McCaffery said of Williams before exiting the postgame interview room in the middle of a followup question.
Peter Jok scored 12 points to give Iowa a third double-figure scorer.
Iowa lost its third game in a row and fell two games behind Big Ten leader Indiana with two games left on the schedule. The Hoosiers clinched at least a share of the regular season conference title with the Hawkeyes' loss.
Ohio State coach Thad Matta was happy to see his team win for the first time since losing emotional leader Jae'Sean Tate to a season-ending shoulder injury. The Buckeyes were humbled 81-62 by No. 6 Michigan State on the same floor five days earlier in their first game without Tate.
''I was just excited to see guys step up,'' Matta said. ''Marc was tremendous. He had a great way about this. Jaquan (Lyle), he doesn't score I don't think in the game but still has some huge passes down the stretch and really did a nice job.''
The Buckeyes committed 15 turnovers in the first 25 minutes, but none in the last 15.
''I'm just proud of our overall team effort,'' Williams said. ''Everybody stepped up in a big way this game, especially after all the turnovers. It's good to see us keep fighting possession after possession and we got a good result.''
The Buckeyes won for the fifth time in their last six games and kept slim NCAA Tournament hopes alive with their second top 10 win of the season. They beat then-No. 4 Kentucky in December.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes fell to 5-5 on the road this season.
Ohio State: An unranked Ohio State team beat a top 10 Big Ten team in Columbus for the first time since a 65-64 win over No. 1-ranked and previously unbeaten Illinois in the 2005 regular season finale.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
''As you all know I'm a pretty confident basketball player so I'm gonna keep doing what I'm doing no matter what,'' said Williams, who was scoreless until the 8:08 mark. ''If I'm 0 for 10, I'm gonna keep doing what I do.''
Lyle was 0 for 6 from the floor but had five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Iowa hosts No. 18 Indiana on Tuesday.
Ohio State plays at No. 6 Michigan State on Saturday.