10-5, 1-2 Conf
14-3, 2-2 Conf

Iowa drops Ohio State to avoid losing early ground in Big Ten

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa looked nothing like the team many thought could win the Big Ten during the start of league play.

The Hawkeyes snapped out of their funk with a convincing win over the rivals who broke their hearts in last year's Big Ten title game.

Jaime Printy scored 25 points, Kamille Wahlin added 18 and Iowa (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) beat Ohio State (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) 89-76 Saturday to move back to .500 in the Big Ten.

Kachine Alexander had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (14-3, 2-2 Big Ten), who snapped a three-game losing streak to the Buckeyes with a late 10-2 run after Ohio State had closed to 77-72 with 4:08 left.

Iowa shot nearly 50 percent from the floor after failing to crack 40 percent in its last four games.

"We came and played like we were playing last year, and it feels so good," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "Our shooting was back to what we expect out of our players."

Samantha Prahalis had 22 points for the Buckeyes (10-5, 1-2), who have dropped four of six.

Star Jantel Lavender tied a season low with 14 points while battling foul trouble in the second half, though she grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked four shots.

This was the first meeting between the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes since Ohio State rallied from a 16-point deficit to stun Iowa 66-64 in last year's Big Ten title game.

For both teams, the rematch was about trying not to fall another game behind league-leading and Michigan State (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP).

Now they're in the same spot -- two Big Ten losses behind the Spartans.

Lavender, who torched Iowa for 35 points in the Big Ten title game last March, picked up her third foul late in the first half as the Hawkeyes attacked the Buckeyes center.

Iowa's Morgan Johnson beat Lavender with layups on back-to-back possessions -- the first off a perfect post feed from Alexander -- to put the Hawkeyes ahead 77-68 with 5:01 left.

Ohio State quickly closed within five, but the Hawkeyes held the Buckeyes to just one field goal for next 3½ minutes.

Ohio State finished just 4 for 22 from 3-point range, with Prahalis missing 8 of 9.

"We weren't smart defensively, and on the offensive end of the floor we've got to make 3s. It's a little bit perplexing to me. A team that led the country in 3-point shooting a year ago is now last in the Big Ten," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said.

After Printy made a 25-footer late in the first half to put the Hawkeyes ahead 45-40, Lavender picked up a charge the next time Ohio State touched the ball. That foul proved to be as tough to overcome as the five-point deficit, as Lavender scored just six points in the second half.

"I still tried to be aggressive on defense," Lavender said. "Of course, I was being careful."

Prahalis pulled the Buckeyes back to 52-50, using a slick crossover dribble to create space and nailing a high-arching jumper despite being fouled. But Iowa responded with an 8-2 run to push its lead to 60-52 with 13:17 left.

Printy, who went 8 of 10 from the field, then dashed by three defenders for an uncontested layup to make it 66-57.

"Printy put on a penetration clinic out there," Bluder said. "She was excellent at getting to the basket."

After a 12-1 start, the Hawkeyes were beaten by Penn State, 68-59, and stunned by Michigan at home, 60-53 last week. Iowa then fell behind by as much as 13 in the second half at Minnesota on Wednesday night before rallying for a 63-57 win.

Ohio State has also struggled recently, and that hole got a bit deeper after losing to the Hawkeyes.

"Our team is capable of beating any team when we come to play, play hard defense like we're capable of playing," Lavender said. "We've just got to have a mindset every game that teams really want to beat us."