IOWA CITY, Iowa – Jaime Printy scored 25 points, Kamille Wahlin added 18 and 21st-ranked Iowa beat No. 20 Ohio State 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 against the Buckeyes.
Ohio State closed to 77-72 with 4:08 left, but Iowa used a 10-2 run to pull away.
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 11th-ranked Michigan State.
The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes are now both two Big Ten losses behind the Spartans.
Lavender picked up her third foul late in the first half, and the Hawkeyes spent the second half attacking 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.
After Printy made a 25-footer late in the first half to put the Hawkeyes ahead 45-40, Lavender picked up her third foul on 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.
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 then dashed by three defenders for an uncontested layup to make it 66-57. Ohio State inched back in the game, though, and pulled to 70-67 on Prahalis' layup with 7:05 left.
This was a big win for the Hawkeyes, who'd been scuffling of late.
Iowa rolled out to an 11-1 start, including a 62-40 rout of rival Iowa State, and had reached its highest spot in the polls in coach Lisa Bluder's 11-year tenure. But last week the Hawkeyes were beaten by Penn State, 68-59, and stunned by Michigan at home, 60-53.
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. After getting trounced by then-No. 1 Connecticut 81-50 in Madison Square Garden on Dec. 19, the Buckeyes lost at home to Duquesne and at Michigan before winning their last two.
Ohio State has dropped five of seven after starting 8-0.