5:05 PM ET, February 12, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Iowa did everything it needed to do when it had the ball against No. 7 Ohio State in a matchup of the Big Ten's top offenses.The Hawkeyes just couldn't slow down the Buckeyes on the other end of the court.Brandie Hoskins and Jessica Davenport keyed a second-half run that broke open a close game and sent Ohio State to an 88-77 win Sunday."Usually when you shoot 56 percent (overall) and 53 percent from 3-point range and score 77 points, you win," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "But we didn't do well enough defensively at crucial times or rebound the ball as well as we needed to."With the score tied at 50 nearly 5 minutes after halftime, Hoskins scored six points and Davenport had five as the Buckeyes outscored the Hawkeyes 20-9 over the next 7 minutes.Iowa hung around, twice cutting Ohio State's lead to six, but couldn't get any closer despite shooting 56 percent from the field.Ohio State made its first 11 shots, but Iowa stayed in it by making seven of its first 10. The Buckeyes shot 71 percent in the first half, outdoing Iowa's 63 percent."I think (the Buckeyes) fell into a mindset of thinking it would be easy, but we know that Iowa has a great offensive basketball team and that they would answer what we do," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said.Sure enough, Ohio State led 40-25 after Hoskins hit a layup at the 5:23 mark, but Iowa ran off the next seven points on baskets by Megan Skouby and Crystal Smith and a 3-pointer by Tiffany Reedy.The Hawkeyes closed the half on a 14-2 run, with Reedy hitting two 3-pointers, Skouby making two baskets and Smith and Abby Emmert adding two points apiece.Davenport finished with 24 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Hoskins had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and had three steals. Marscilla Packer, the leading 3-point shooter in the conference at nearly 2½ per game, also had 18 points, making four of seven 3-pointers.Debbie Merrill had 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Ohio State (21-2, 11-1 Big Ten), which kept pace with Purdue in the race for the conference title.Smith had 21 points to lead Iowa (14-9, 7-5). The Hawkeyes also got 18 points from Skouby, 16 points and three steals from Reedy and 13 points and a game-high eight assists from Kristi Smith.Ohio State swept the season series from Iowa and has won 12 straight dating to a 61-59 loss at then-No. 18 Purdue on New Year's Day.