Ohio State faced off against Iowa on Saturday afternoon in an important conference game for both. Iowa was able to complete the season sweep of the Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon rather convincingly. Iowa controlled this one from start to finish and never let the Buckeyes come within arm's length.
Iowa's 2-3 defense proved to be too much for the Buckeyes' offense to handle. Big games from Woodbury and White fueled the Hawkeye's attack.
What We Learned
Ohio State's offense will go as far as D'Angelo Russell takes it
Russell was one of only two Buckeyes that ended the game in double figures. He finished with 27 points, but it wasn't enough to beat the Hawkeyes. Nobody on the Buckeyes besides Russell could get anything going. You really can't win many games when you only shoot 38% from the field as a team. The big difference between Ohio State and Iowa in this one was the fact Iowa got offensive production from all 5 players on the floor, the Buckeyes didn't. Russell is great, but he can't do it all. Their offense will continue to struggle until someone besides Russell can make a significant contribution. Unfortunately I don't see that happening anytime soon.
Iowa Will Be Hard to Beat When Woodbury and White are On
Ohio State didn't have an answer for the Hawkeyes inside. White finished the game with 22 points on 6-8 shooting. He also did a great job of taking it to the defense and getting to the foul line often. On the other end of the floor Woodbury dominated the glass and didn't let the Buckeyes drive down the lane in their 2-3 zone. Woodbury was the reason the Buckeyes had to settle for so many contested jumpers, and that's exactly what you want to force Ohio State to do. Opposing teams will have a tough time slowing down Iowa with these two in the middle.
Iowa can hold on to a lead
After giving up 2nd half leads to Texas, NIU, and Michigan State; Iowa was determined to not let that happen again Saturday afternoon. Iowa did a great job of responding to made baskets by Ohio State and never let the Buckeyes steal the momentum. Iowa controlled the ball and made the Buckeyes earn their points in the half court. Closing the game against Ohio State proved to them and their fans that they can close games out against good teams. This was another statement win for the underrated Hawkeyes.
Iowa is a legitimate contender in the Big Ten. The conference is as wide open as it's ever been, and they have the ability to win it. They'll be tested Tuesday night in Madison against Wisconsin. Once again the Buckeyes showed just how inconsistent they are. You never know what kind of game you're going to get from them. You don't know if you're going to get the team that blew out Michigan, or the one that showed up on Saturday. Their lack of offense outside of Russell has a lot to do with the inconsistency. Their inability to score in the half court will continue to plague the Buckeyes throughout the season.