COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Keita Bates-Diop had 14 points and eight rebounds, and No. 14 Ohio State beat Iowa 82-64 on Saturday for sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
Kaleb Wesson added 18 points and C.J Jackson scored 14 for the Buckeyes (21-5, 13-1 Big Ten), who were 9 for 20 from 3-point range.
Leading scorer Tyler Cook had just eight points for the Hawkeyes (12-15, 3-11).
Bates-Diop made two early 3-pointers but Iowa made the lanky small forward largely ineffective in the first half. It wasn’t until the latter part of the half and the first four minutes of the second that the Buckeyes eventually pulled away.
Following a 7-0 Iowa run that put the Hawkeyes up 18-15, Ohio State rattled off an 8-0 run of its own with a second-chance layup and two layups in transition after forcing turnovers on three straight possessions. Ohio State made eight of its final 10 shots to end the half, which included four 3s to take a 42-32 lead into the break.
The hot shooting spilled into the early moments of the second half. Tate drove the baseline to find Jackson in the opposite corner for a 3, then drilled a rare 3 of his own to highlight a 14-0 run and extend the lead to 18 with 15:49 left as the sellout crowd of 18,809 fans roared for one of college basketball’s most surprising teams this season. Ohio State’s largest lead was 29.
The Buckeyes shot 53 percent from the field.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes are a full game ahead of No. 3 Purdue and No. 4 Michigan State in the Big Ten standings and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over both teams. The Buckeyes do not play either team in their four remaining games.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes have lost three straight games and sit two games behind 10th place in the Big Ten, meaning they would be one of four teams to play on the first day of the conference tournament.
Ohio State: Plays at Penn State on Thursday.
Iowa: Plays at No. 20 Michigan on Wednesday.