Thad Matta's team traveled to Iowa undefeated, but it almost didn't leave that way.
No. 2 Ohio State rode a second half surge to get by Iowa 73-68 on Tuesday evening at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Jared Sullinger had another big night for the Bucketes, posting a 24 point and 12 rebound performance. Jon Diebler had 14 points and five assists and David Lighty contributed 12 points and six boards.
Despite those efforts, though, the Buckeyes found themselves trailing at halftime after Iowa's Bryce Cartwright hit a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer to put the Hawkeyes up six. Iowa led by as many as nine in the first half, but a second half scoring drought doomed any Hawkeye upset bid. Iowa went roughly six minutes without scoring, and by then, Ohio State had taken over the game for good.
It was a valiant effort by the young Hawkeyes, however, who announced to the rest of the Big Ten that they won't be pushed around by just anyone this conference season.
Melsahn Basabe led Iowa with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Jarryd Cole and Matt Gatens contributed 14 points each and Cartwright rounded out Iowa's double figure scorers with 10.
The Hawkeye's narrowly out rebounded the bigger Buckeyes 30-29 and shot close to 47% from 3-point territory. The Buckeyes, however, shot a stellar 55% from the field on the way to outlasting Iowa by game's end.
Next up for Ohio State (15-0, 2-0) will be No. 21 Minnesota at home on Sunday afternoon. The match up will be the Buckeyes' first against a ranked opponent since a 93-75 win over No. 10 Florida on November 16. For Iowa (7-7, 0-2), the next chance to pick up its first Big Ten win will come Sunday against No. 10 Purdue in West Lafayette.