Sunday, January 26, 2003

Ohio State 83, Iowa 72

Darby's shooting hammers Hawkeyes

The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Brent Darby finally had enough of the missed shots and blown opportunities. So Ohio State's leader took charge, scoring 19 second-half points and igniting his teammates as the Buckeyes regained their long-lost shooting touch and beat Iowa 83-72 on Saturday.

The win ended OSU's three-game losing streak, its longest in five years.

Darby, who finished with 29 points, was red-hot in the final 20 minutes, hitting 8-of-11, including three 3-pointers, and 6-of-8 from the free throw line. His shooting was infectious as the Buckeyes hit 61 percent in the second half.

"I'm one of the leaders of this team and my team looks for me to score," said Darby, whose teammates shot a combined 34 percent in losses to Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. "So whenever I can get my shot going, I know it really helps my teammates."

It sure did.

Sean Connolly and freshman Matt Sylvester overcame their own first-half shooting woes and finished with 17 and 11 points, respectively, for Ohio State.

"When Brent plays like he played today, and Sean helps out and makes a few big shots, and with the contribution of Sylvester off the bench, hopefully we can get on a little bit of a roll and put the pieces back into place," Buckeyes coach Jim O'Brien said.

Iowa lost its second straight, despite a stellar shooting performance by Chauncey Leslie, who scored 21 points in the second half and finished with 25.

But Leslie's teammates struggled to make key baskets that could have given the Hawkeyes the lead late in the game. It was the second straight game Iowa allowed an opponent to take charge and pull away in the second half.

"We scored 72 points, and I'll take that every time," Hawkeyes coach Steve Alford said. "We rebounded very well, but we just didn't guard anybody.

"In the second half, we really went to sleep mentally. You can't give up 55 points in a half. I think that was the difference tonight."

The Hawkeyes also got 14 points from freshman Greg Brunner.

OHIO STATE (9-8, 2-4 Big Ten)-Jenkins 2-6 4-6 8, Radinovic 4-4 2-2 10, Fuss-Cheatham 1-3 1-2 4, Connolly 5-10 5-6 17, Darby 7-14 11-16 29, Williams 2-6 0-0 4, Sylvester 4-8 2-4 11. Totals 25-51 25-36 83

IOWA (11-5, 3-2)-Worley 1-3 4-7 6, Brunner 6-9 0-0 14, Reiner 3-6 3-3 9, Leslie 6-13 10-13 25, Horner 3-10 2-2 8, Boyd 1-11 2-2 5, Spurgeon 1-3 0-2 2, Sonderleiter 1-4 1-1 3. Totals 22-59 22-28 72

Halftime-Iowa 30-28. 3-Point goals-Ohio State 8-20 (Darby 4-8, Connolly 2-6, Fuss-Cheatham 1-2, Sylvester 1-4), Iowa 6-24 (Leslie 3-4, Brunner 2-3, Boyd 1-10, Spurgeon 0-2, Horner 0-5). Fouled out-Worley. Rebounds-Ohio State 33 (Connolly 7), Iowa 40 (Reiner 10). Assists-Ohio State 17 (Darby 4, Connolly 4), Iowa 14 (Horner 7). Total fouls-Ohio State 25, Iowa 27. Technical-Leslie. A-15,500.

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