Buckeyes 84, Hawkeyes 82 (OT) | Ohio State overcomes double-digit deficit at Iowa to stay undefeated
The comeback took nearly the entire game, and then some.
Down by 14 early in the third quarter at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday evening, the Ohio State women’s basketball team came all the way back to force overtime and eventually pull off the first win by any team on the road against Iowa in 43 games.
"We fought and scratched and clawed and played so hard in that second-half against a great Iowa team,” coach Kevin McGuff said. “This is a great win and just really happy for our players.”
The 15th-ranked Buckeyes (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten), led by sophomore guard Madison Greene, were a model of resiliency and determination in the second half that led to an 84-82 win in overtime over the Hawkeyes (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten).
Down by four with 2:40 remaining in the game, Greene converted a layup and freshman forward Gabby Hutcherson nailed a 3-pointer for Ohio State’s first lead since early in the first quarter.
The Buckeyes were down four again in overtime after a 6-0 Iowa run, but three straight buckets gave Ohio State a lead that it wouldn’t relinquish. Iowa leading scorer and star freshman Caitlin Clark attempted a 3-pointer as the horn sounded, but it crashed off the rim and fell mercifully.
"It was hard having to fight back and we wouldn’t wish that, (but) being able to come back gave us a lot of confidence and kind of confirmed to us as well that we can do a lot,” senior guard Braxtin Miller said.
Greene led the Buckeyes with 20 points. Jacy Sheldon and Miller each had 18 while Aaliyah Patty added 12 points.
Clark, who led all scorers with 27 points, torched the Buckeyes in the first quarter for 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. McGuff switched Miller for Greene to defend Clark which might’ve been the most consequential decision in the game.
Greene frustrated Clark the rest of the game and had a career-high six steals. Clark was 4-of-14 the remainder of the game and didn’t make one of six 3-point attempts after the first quarter.
Greene said she could tell Clark was getting frustrated, which gave her a boost to finish out the game.
"We knew she was the player to focus on, so once we seen her struggling a little bit, I feel like we got a lot of motivation and stepped up our energy,” Greene said.
Ohio State struggled on the glass in the first half, allowing 11 offensive rebounds and was outrebounded 27-15. In the second half, the Buckeyes had a plus-four rebounding margin and 10 offensive rebounds of their own in the second half and overtime combined.
Rebeka Mikulasikova and Rikki Harris returned for Ohio State while leading rebounder and one of the team’s top scorers Dorka Juhasz remained unavailable, though she was seen on the bench. Mikulasikova played 12 minutes and Harris played 10 in their first games since Dec. 10.
For a team that has nothing but a regular-season conference trophy to play for, given the postseason ban, the Buckeyes showed a level of fight against a top conference opponent that has cemented them as a team not to overlook as a true contender in the Big Ten.
“This is a really gusty performance,” McGuff said. “The other thing is we had a lot of people contribute in really big ways. Just so many people played so well.”