Feb. 11, 2016
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) If there's been a knock on No. 7 Ohio State this season, it's that the Buckeyes can let inferior opponents hang around on the road.
Ohio State on Thursday night had no trouble showing what it can do wherever it plays, blasting Iowa 98-81 in a gym where the Buckeyes have struggled for years. Kelsey Mitchell and Shayla Cooper each scored 20 and Ohio State won its eighth straight.
Ameryst Alton had 18 with six assists for the Buckeyes (20-4, 12-1 Big Ten), who also won in Iowa City for the first time in eight years.
''To come in here and get a win is a big deal,'' Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said.
The Buckeyes had little trouble with the reeling Hawkeyes (15-10, 5-8) this time though, pushing a 14-point halftime lead to as much as 23 late in the third quarter.
Ally Disterhoft had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Iowa, losers of three straight and six of eight.
Ohio State never trailed Monday in a 94-86 win over No. 5 Maryland that put it alone atop the Big Ten standings.
The Buckeyes carried that momentum to Iowa City, burying the Hawkeyes long before the thought of an upset could cross their minds.
''We did a good job getting balance from our offense and not just settling for 3s the whole game,'' McGuff said.
Ohio State hit 6 of its first 10 tries from 3 and led by 13 after just a quarter. Disterhoft kept the Hawkeyes from being blown out by starting 6 of 8 from the field, and back-to-back 3s from Alexa Kastanek brought Iowa within 47-39. But the Buckeyes closed the first half with three easy baskets that put them ahead 14.
''I thought we had really good energy to start the game,'' McGuff said. ''We really got the pace going to our liking, and I knew that was going to be a big key.''
A 12-2 Buckeyes run early in the third quarter, highlighted by three straight layups from Cooper, essentially put the game out of reach.
Ohio State's 17-point win was its largest on the road in Big Ten play.
''They're obviously a very, very good team with a lot of scorers out there. A lot of weapons,'' Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. ''The 10-0 run at the end of the first quarter was just a really tough one for us.''
Kastanek scored 15 points and Whitney Jennings had 14 for the Hawkeyes.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes' four losses came to No. 1 Connecticut, No. 2 South Carolina, No. 3 Notre Dame and Northwestern. ... Asia Doss finished with 12 points and seven assists.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes streak of NCAA Tournament appearances is in jeopardy. Iowa has reached the tournament eight years running - and it reached the Sweet 16 a year ago. ... Freshman Megan Gustafson had 13 points with 11 rebounds.
Ohio State outscored Iowa in the paint 54-40. ...The Hawkeyes started four underclassmen as they continue to rebuild from last year's Sweet 16 team. ...Alexa Hart had 13 points, eight rebounds and five blocks for Ohio State.
Mitchell had a rough possession in the third quarter, rolling her ankle and falling on her hand on the same play. She limped for a few series but stayed in the game. ''I'm fine,'' Mitchell said.
Ohio State plays at Penn State on Sunday.
Iowa travels to Minnesota on Monday.
Ohio State Individual Notes
- Ameryst Alston became just the sixth Buckeye in school history to score 2,000 career points. She came into the game 12 points shy of 2,000 and scored 18 against the Hawkeyes.
- Alexa Hart scored 13, grabbed eight rebounds and swatted five shots. She has scored in double-figures in 12-straight games
- Asia Doss dished-out a career-high seven assists to go along with 12 points. That was her sixth game this season with 10 or more points.
- Shayla Cooper notched her fourth 20-point game this season, netting a team-high tying 20 points.
- Cooper was 2-of-3 from three-point range and has now made 10 of her last 15 three-point attempts.
- Chelsea Mitchell scored a season-high four points
- Kelsey Mitchell scored a team-high tying 20 points, marking her 21 game this season with 20 or more points.
Ohio State Team Notes
- The Buckeyes have won eight-straight games.
- This win was the first for the Buckeyes at Iowa since Jan. 6, 2008. The Buckeyes had lost five-straight games in Iowa City.
- The Buckeyes shot 58 percent from the floor, marking their second-best shooting performance of the season. That trailed on the Purdue game in which they shot 58.6 percent.
- The Buckeyes topped the 90-point mark for the 11th time this season and OSU is 11-0 in the games.
- Ohio State dished-out 20 assists in the game, marking its third game of 20 or more assists this season. The Buckeyes have dished 20 or more assists 12 times under head coach Kevin McGuff and they have won all 12 games.
- Ohio State had 10 steals for the second-straight game and the seventh time this season of 10 or more steals.
- The Buckeyes nearly matched their 85.7 point per game average through three quarters, leading 83-62 after three quarters.
- Ohio State shot 72.2 percent (13-of-18) in the third quarter.
- The team has made a three-pointer in 101-straight games dating back to 2013.
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