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No. 7 Ohio State beats Iowa behind second-half rally

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.