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Ohio State continues turnaround with road win over Iowa

Iowa City, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Craft scored 17 points with six assists and six steals to lead Ohio State to its second straight road win over a ranked opponent with a 76-69 takedown of No. 17 Iowa on Tuesday.

Craft shot 6-of-7 from the floor and made both of his 3-point tries in the Buckeyes' (18-5, 5-5 Big Ten) third win in their last four games after dropping four straight.

LaQuinton Ross donated 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Amir Williams and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. added 12 points apiece and Shannon Scott netted 11 off the bench.

"I think we've finally found our groove," Williams said. "We're playing together, and I think once we continue to play together as a team we're one of the best teams in the Big Ten."

Mike Gesell led Iowa (17-6, 6-4) with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and Gabriel Olaseni had 14 on 5-of-5 shooting. The rest of the Hawkeyes shot just 15-of-44 (34.1 percent) in the setback.

"Our execution on our set plays was good, but our execution in motion was not," Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said of his team's shooting struggles. "We were looking for different combinations. We had a couple that worked, a couple that didn't. But I thought the guys fought hard."

Neither team led by more than four points during a back-and-forth first half until Ross' layup at 5:57 -- which was part of a 9-0 OSU run -- gave the Buckeyes a 23-17 edge. Craft capped the surge with a 3-pointer for a nine- point lead, but it was all Iowa the rest of the period.

Gesell highlighted an 8-0 Iowa burst after the Craft trey with a three-point play. Craft hit another 3 out of the final media timeout, but Marble's three- point play sparked a 6-0 run to close out the half. White's dunk with 15 ticks put Iowa on top 33-31 at the half.

The Buckeyes started to pull away midway through the second half. After Ross split a pair of free throws, Williams made two then knocked down a jumper for a 54-47 advantage.

After Josh Oglesby canned a jumper on the other end, Ross finished a lefty layup after spinning past a pair of Hawkeye defenders, and Craft picked off Melsahn Basabe and sprang Scott for a breakaway layup and a nine-point margin.

Gesell's lefty layup cut Iowa's deficit back to four but with two seconds on the shot clock during OSU's next touch, Williams slammed home an inbounds lob from Craft and Thompson followed with a triple for a 63-54 edge.

OSU made 10-of-12 from the stripe in the final minute to secure the victory.

Game Notes

Craft was the first Big Ten player since Michigan State's Charlie Bell in 2011 to record 17 points, six assists and six steals in a game ... The Hawkeyes shot just 3-of-20 from 3-point range ... Iowa fell to 2-3 in its last five games ... Both teams had 13 turnovers.

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