The Ohio State men’s basketball team has lost half of its conference games in the past three weeks, including two to the same opponent.
OSU (14-5, 3-3) fell to Iowa (13-5, 4-1), 76-67, on Saturday in Iowa City, less than three weeks since the Buckeyes fell to the Hawkeyes in Columbus to open their Big Ten slate.
Freshman guard D’Angelo Russell tallied 27 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.
Iowa took an 11-point lead at halftime before leading by as many as 17 points in the second half, handing OSU its second loss in the past three games. The Hawkeyes have come out on top three of the past four times the teams have met.
Iowa jumped out to an early 9-0 lead, but the Buckeyes chipped away the lead to make it 13-9 with 13:03 to play in the first half. That proved to be the closest score for the remainder of the half as a late Hawkeye surge made it 37-26 going into the break.
Iowa led throughout the first half as OSU failed to string together more than four consecutive points in the opening 20 minutes. The Buckeyes shot just 33 percent on their way to an 11-point halftime deficit, with only Russell making more than one shot from the field.
Russell finished the half with a game-high 10 points, and freshman forward Jae’Sean Tate was second among all players with eight points before the break, but the rest of the team combined for just eight points.
Eight different Iowa players scored at least two points each in the half.
OSU opened up the second half chipping away at the lead, but Iowa made it a 16 point deficit with 12:48 after going on an 11-2 run that included eight straight points before a Russell 3-pointer made it 51-38.
Just over a minute later, the deficit was 17, but the Buckeyes found some life after the 10 minute mark, making it the gap single digits with just over eight minutes to play.
A 3-pointer from sophomore forward Marc Loving made it 66-59 near the five-minute mark, followed by another long ball from senior guard Shannon Scott after an Iowa layup.
After the Scott jumper, Iowa senior forward Aaron White piled on five straight points to make it 73-61. Russell answered with a three with 1:49 to play.
Tate finished second for OSU with 11 points in the game while Loving tallied 10, but Loving failed to record a rebound, assist, block or steal in the game.
White finished second to Russell with 22 points and added seven rebounds to go along with a 10-of-12 clip from the free-throw line.
OSU is scheduled to stay on the road for one more game before heading back to Columbus for a two-game homestand. The Buckeyes are set to take on Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22.