Bruce Thornton Buckeyes Point Guard

Battle-Tested Buckeyes Best Hawkeyes 90-78 In Big Ten Tournament

Senior forward Jamison Battle scored all 23 of his points in the second half as 10th-seeded Ohio State never trailed in a 90-78 win over 7th-seeded Iowa (18-14, 10-10) in the Second Round of the 2024 Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis Thursday night.

Jamison, who transferred to Ohio State from Minnesota this season, also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and two assists in his home state.

Sophomore point guard Bruce Thornton dished out a career-high nine assists for the Buckeyes, and also added 14 points and six rebounds. Freshman forward Scotty Middleton scored 11 points, and sophomore guard Roddy Gayle added 10 points, four rebounds, and four assists.

Ohio State got points from 10 different players, including eight points each from freshman forward Devin Royal and senior center Zed Key.

The Buckeyes shot 31-60 (51.7%) from the field, and held Iowa to 26-62 shooting (41.9%). Both teams were well over 50% from the field in the first half, but the Hawkeyes dipped to just 12-36 from the field in the second half.

Ohio State opened the game with a 10-2 lead thanks in part to a pair of Thornton three-pointers. Iowa tied the game around the 12-minute mark of the first half on a Patrick McCaffery layup that made it 15-15. Freshman forward Devin Royal put the Buckeyes back up for good on the next possession with a turnaround jumper.

Ohio State then went on another 10-2 run thanks in part to threes from point guard Dale Bonner and Middleton. The Buckeyes built the first-half lead up to nine points, which was cut down to as low as two points in the final minute. Another Middleton three with 33 seconds left in the half gave the game its 43-38 halftime score.

Middleton scored all 11 of his points in the first half for the Buckeyes.

Jamison Battle’s scoring surge then began with a three-pointer out of the second-half gate to give OSU a 46-38 lead.

Iowa got the lead down to three points a couple of times in the second half, but following a pair of free throws by Royal to make it 57-50 with 13:50 remaining, the Buckeyes never led by fewer than seven points.

Ohio State answered every Iowa run with a run of their own, and maintained their composure down the stretch when the Hawkeyes were throwing everything at them they could.

The Buckeyes now win and advance. They will next take the court Friday evening for a 6:30 pm tip against 2nd-seeded Illinois. A win over the Illini could get Ohio State into the NCAA Tournament.

The Buckeyes now move to 6-1 under interim head coach Jake Diebler.

[Bruce Thornton header photo courtesy of the Ohio State Dept. of Athletics.]

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