<
>

Iowa tops Buckeyes for Big Ten title

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Iowa's Jeff Horner was tired of coming up
short, so he did something about it.

The Hawkeyes lost in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals last
season, then finished second in the regular season race this year.
On Sunday, Horner finally came out on top. The senior guard scored
14 of his 16 points in the second half and added 10 assists as No.
20 Iowa beat No. 7 Ohio State 67-60 in the Big Ten tournament
championship game.

Horner didn't score until 4 seconds remained in the first half.

"It was tough getting loose," he said. "I got that shot
before the half and we got some momentum going into the locker
room. In the second half, when they needed me to score, I was
there. And other guys did a great job of finishing."

Iowa earned a No. 3 seed in the Atlanta Regional and will play
14th-seeded Northwestern State on Friday in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Adam Haluska added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Hawkeyes
(25-8), who won their first conference tournament since 2001. Iowa
extended its winning streak to five games and ended Ohio State's
winning streak at seven.

Jamar Butler had 19 points and J.J. Sullinger added 15 for the
top-seeded Buckeyes (25-5), who fell short in their quest to win
both the regular season and tournament titles.

Ohio State earned a No. 2 seed in the Minneapolis Regional and
will play 15th-seeded Davidson in the first round Friday in Dayton,
Ohio.

Ohio State's Terence Dials, the conference player of the year,
had 10 points and nine rebounds despite playing only 22 minutes
because of foul trouble.

"I'm the type of player that needs to play 30 (minutes) for
this team to be really successful," he said. "I think our guys
did a pretty good job of playing when I wasn't out there. In the
second half, (Greg) Brunner, (Erek) Hansen, Alex Thompson, those
guys just started to wear on us a little bit."

The fact that Ohio State stayed in the game without him is one
reason Dials believes the Buckeyes are a threat to win the national
title.

"That's the beauty of our team," he said. "Our first seven
guys can score 20 points at any time."

Dials went out with his fourth foul with 5:24 left and Ohio
State leading 57-55. The Buckeyes led the entire second half until
Brunner scored after rebounding two of his misses to tie the game
at 57. The Hawkeyes took the lead on a layup by Horner, then
Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 2:56 left to give Iowa a 62-57 lead.

Horner scored on a short jumper with 2:02 left to give Iowa a
64-57 lead. Ohio State scored only one more basket, a three-point
play by Dials.

Dials picked up his second foul with 12:17 left in the first
half and Ohio State leading 14-12. Two 3-pointers by Je'Kel Foster
helped the Buckeyes extend their lead to 22-15. Iowa responded with
a 10-5 run that included seven points by Brunner.

Butler scored six points in a 7-0 run that gave the Buckeyes a
34-25 lead and forced an Iowa timeout. Iowa bounced back with a 6-0
run to cut its deficit to 34-31 with 2:13 left in the half.

Horner, who averaged 20 points in his first two tournament
games, didn't score until he hit a runner right before the half
that cut Ohio State's lead to 37-34. He was proud that the Hawkeyes
were able to come back.

"It's sort of like we're always the underdog," he said. "But
we just keep doing it."

The Buckeyes made four 3-pointers in the first half, allowing
coach Thad Matta to keep Dials on the bench until the start of the
second half. Dials played only eight minutes in the first half.

Ohio State won't focus on the loss, or the fact that the
Buckeyes might have lost out on a No. 1 seed.

"We don't take nothing from that, we just keep moving on,"
Ohio State guard Ron Lewis said. "We're going to go out and play
our same game every game and keep going on and playing hard."

ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • Nike Men's Iowa Hawkeyes ELITE Basketball KO Performance Black Pullover HoodieShop

  • Nike Men's Ohio State Buckeyes Scarlet Hyperelite ELITE Basketball Game JacketShop

NCAAM News