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Crew fans get more on your favorite team
By Matt McCoy
To listen to Thad Matta following Ohio State's 72-63 win over Iowa click HERE:
The 16,040 fans who showed up at the Schottenstein Center Tuesday night not only watched Ohio State beat Iowa 72-63 but they were also treated to a basketball version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
"The biggest thing with this team that we keep searching for is consistancy," Coach Thad Matta said following the win. "I'll take consistancy over greatness. I don't need a great play...I need consistant play."
That was never more obvious than against the Hawkeyes. Here are a few highlights from the Jekyll/Hyde performance.
Jekyll: Thanks to a smothering defense and solid shooting, the Buckeyes opened up a seemingly insurmountable 53-29 lead with 12:48 left to play.
Hyde: Iowa pressured the Buckeyes and Ohio State got sloppy, committing 11 turnovers over the final 12 minutes. The Hawkeyes went on a 30-10 run, trimming the lead to 63-59 with 1:29 left before Ohio State recovered and won by 9.
Jekyll: As mentioned, the Buckeye defense was solid again, holding Iowa to 35 percent shooting.
Hyde: Part of playing good defense is securing the rebound. Ohio State could not do that. Iowa grabbed an obscene 22 offensive boards, converting them into 24 second chance points.
Jekyll: The officials. In a fairly smooth first half, only nine fouls were called...six by Iowa and three by Ohio State. There were just seven free throw attempts...four by the Hawkeyes and three by the Buckeyes.
Hyde: For whatever reason, referees Mike Kitts, Pat Driscoll and John Gaffney got whistle happy, calling 30 fouls in the second half...16 by Ohio State and 14 by Iowa. To be fair, the game did get more physical as Iowa became more aggressive but there were also some strange calls out there. As a result, the game became a tedious free-throw shooting festival. Iowa shot 22 and Ohio State 16 over the final 20 minutes.
Jekyll: Amir Williams. The Ohio State big man made his presense known defensively by recording a career high six blocked shots.
Hyde: As good as the six blocks were, they seem hollow considering that Williams, who is 6'11, didn't get a single rebound in 17 minutes of playing time. "That's unacceptable on my behalf," Williams said after the game.
Jekyll: Aaron Craft. The Ohio State junior scored 12 points with five rebounds and four steals. He now has 208 steals, breaking the Buckeyes career record previously held by Jay Burson.
Hyde: Craft committed an uncharacteristic six turnovers, three of them in the span of three minutes in the second half against the Hawkeye press. "The steal record is great but it's not going to win us basketball games. Having six turnovers will lose us basketball games," Craft said.
Jekyll: LaQuinton Ross: The sophomore came off the bench and delivered in the first half. He was 3-4 shooting, scoring seven points. He also had five rebounds and no turnovers in nine minutes of playing time.
Hyde: Ross did anything but deliver in the second half. He played 11 minutes and did not score, going 0-1 from the floor. He had zero rebounds and committed four turnovers...Ugly.
The bottom line though... Jekyll won out. Ohio State got the win and improves to 14-4 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten and heads to Penn State Saturday.
"A win is a win in conference play," Craft said. "In this league you have to protect home court and yeah, we didn't do it the prettiest way and we probably didn't finish it the way we wanted to, but we got the win."
610 WTVN basketball analyst and former Ohio State captain Tony White joined Joel Riley Wednesday morning with his thoughts on the Buckeye win. Safe to say, it's not a game tape Tony would submit to the basketball hall of fame.
"I would say (Ohio State was) frazzled. They just looked like they were all out of sorts in the second half and really even in the first half," Tony said. "It was kind of like, between Iowa and Ohio State, it was which team could play the worst for a while there."
To listen to all of Tony's conversation with Joel click HERE: