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January 20, 2007

Oden, Buckeyes too much for Iowa

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Greg Oden had a career-high 29 points -- hitting 12 of 13 shots from the field -- to lead No. 7 Ohio State to an 82-63 victory over Iowa on Saturday night.

In addition to being almost perfect from the field, Oden hit all five of his free throws while shooting left-handed. He still wears an elastic brace on his shooting hand -- which he occasionally uses while shooting -- but he continues to use his off hand at the line.

Oden also had 10 rebounds, one assist and two blocked shots.

Ron Lewis had 12 points and Daequan Cook added 11 -- including five during a pivotal 13-0 second-half run -- for Ohio State (16-3, 4-1 Big Ten), which has won six of its last seven.

Mike Conley Jr. totaled 10 assists with eight points.

Tyler Smith scored 21 points and the Big Ten's leading scorer, Adam Haluska, added 15 for the Hawkeyes (10-9, 2-3), who have dropped three of four after a season-best four-game winning streak.

With the Buckeyes switching off defenders, Haluska did not score in the final 16:05.

Iowa has dominated the series in recent years, winning three of its last four trips to Columbus. The Buckeyes had lost the last four times they've played Iowa while ranked.

Down as many as 15 points early in the second half, the Hawkeyes scored on 10 consecutive possessions to get as close as 49-45 on Cyrus Tate's 3-pointer at the 12:42 mark.

With the lead still at four, the Buckeyes went on a 13-0 run to push the advantage to 67-50 with 8:10 left. Cook got it started with a 3 before Oden had a conventional three-point play. While Iowa missed on three shots from the field and the front end of a bonus situation, Cook spun in a left-handed reverse layup and Ron Lewis made a 3 from the left corner.

The Buckeyes shot 68 percent from the field in the second half and finished at 59 percent. They also outscored the Hawkeyes 14-2 at the line.

Oden had 11 points and five rebounds at the break, but didn't have to work hard. His high school runningmate, Conley, had six assists -- including two that led to thunderous dunks by the 7-foot Oden.

Conley came in leading the Big Ten in assists (6.6 per game) and steals (2.67). He had two steals in the opening 2 minutes and finished with four.

Iowa was frazzled at the outset, falling behind 9-0 while turning the ball over on four of its first five possessions.

The Hawkeyes regrouped to pull even at 13-13 but Ohio State would finish the half on a 22-11 run to lead 37-26 at the break.

Smith's long shot after the halftime buzzer was originally called good by referee Ted Hillary, but he was overruled after the officials looked at a video replay.

Iowa's starting center, Seth Gorney, suffered a facial cut taking a charge late in the half and had to have two stitches before returning several minutes into the second half.


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