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Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop drives past Iowa forward Luka Garza, left, during the second half of Thursday night’s game in Iowa City. Bates-Diop scored 27 points as Ohio State won, 92-81.

AP Photo

IOWA CITY — The Iowa basketball team came out Thursday night intent on drastically altering the plot line for its Big Ten season.

Instead, the Hawkeyes provided a rerun.

They followed almost exactly the same script as in a disheartening loss to Michigan on Tuesday, going down to a 92-81 loss to Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena that further embeds them in the depths of the league standings.

For the second straight game, the Hawkeyes gave up a huge scoring run about five minutes into the game and were forced to fight an uphill battle the rest of the way.

For the second straight game, they allowed the opposing team to shoot an extremely high percentage in the first half and score close to 50 points before halftime.

And for the second straight game, they battled back to make things at least a little bit interesting before coming up short.

The loss dropped Iowa to 9-8 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten, its worst start in league play since it began 0-6 in Fran McCaffery’s debut season in 2010-11.

“We’ve got some guys that are struggling right now,’’ McCaffery admitted. “We are young but we have enough experience to be playing better than we are.’’

McCaffery felt his team actually played better than it did against Michigan.

“It wasn’t a complete disaster,’’ he said. “There were stretches where we played really well.’’

But the frustration of being 0-4 in the Big Ten showed in some of his players.

“It’s the worst feeling to walk out of a game we just lost,’’ said an obviously agitated freshman Luka Garza as he spoke to reporters. “Answering these questions isn’t as bad as losing the game and seeing another loss in the loss column.

“Nobody came here to lose and we hate this. I hate this and it makes me sick every game. That feeling is something none of these people want and somehow we’re going to make this work.’’

Sophomore Tyler Cook, who led the Hawkeyes with 21 points and eight rebounds, said he couldn’t explain why this team continues to be so inconsistent.

“I don’t have an answer. I wish I had an answer,’’ Cook said. “We just didn’t do enough to win tonight.’’

The 92 points are the most scored by Ohio State in a game in Iowa City since 1971. The Buckeyes got 27 points and 13 rebounds from 6-foot-7 Keita Bates-Diop as they improved their record to 3-0 in the Big Ten, 12-4 overall, going into a showdown with No. 1-ranked Michigan State on Sunday.

In many ways, it was a mirror image of Iowa’s loss to Michigan. In that one, the Hawkeyes played fairly well early and had a 10-7 lead, then gave up a monster run to fall behind by double digits.

On Thursday, they made their first four shots and led 12-9, then got hit with a 16-1 scoring run.

They went nearly five minutes without a field goal and by the time Garza finally knocked down a 3-pointer, they trailed 25-13. The deficit grew as large as 17 (46-29) late in the half.

“Pretty much what happened the other night,’’ McCaffery said. “We struggled on offense big time and they got running a little bit … It’s problematic at both ends …

“Same thing as the other night,’’ he added. “The defense wasn’t what it needed to be but the offense was worse.’’

The Hawkeyes turned up their defensive pressure at the start of the second half, forced three quick turnovers and reeled off nine straight points. Garza’s 3-point play with 17 minutes, 10 seconds to go sliced the deficit to 46-41.

But Bates-Diop responded by scoring eight straight points in a 10-0 run that pushed the lead back to 15. The Hawkeyes never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.

“We battled through some things,’’ Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “I thought Iowa did a tremendous job at the start of the second half. They really came at us and we didn’t handle it well at all …

“Our guys made just enough plays to survive.’’

In addition to Cook’s productive night, Garza and Jordan Bohannon scored 15 points apiece for Iowa and Bohannon also handed out a season-high 10 assists.

The Hawkeyes now must go on the road for three straight games, taking that 0-4 mark to Maryland on Sunday.

“It’s obviously not where we want to be,’’ Cook said. “I think everybody knows that. There’s a lot of things we need to correct, a lot of work that has to be done, but I still think this team is capable of beating a lot of good teams.’’

Ohio State 92, Iowa 81

OHIO ST. (12-4) — Tate 6-12 5-7 18, Bates-Diop 10-17 5-6 27, K.Wesson 4-6 2-2 10, Jackson 5-10 1-2 12, Williams 5-8 0-1 13, A.Wesson 0-1 1-2 1, Young 0-1 1-2 1, Potter 3-7 0-0 6, Dakich 1-2 0-1 2, Jallow 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 35-66 15-23 92.

IOWA (9-8) — Garza 4-7 6-8 15, Baer 4-7 0-0 10, Cook 7-15 7-8 21, Bohannon 6-13 2-2 15, Moss 3-10 0-2 7, Pemsl 0-1 1-2 1, Nunge 1-3 0-0 3, Wagner 0-0 0-1 0, Kriener 0-0 0-0 0, Ellingson 0-2 0-0 0, Dailey 4-10 0-0 9. Totals 29-68 16-23 81.

Halftime — Ohio St. 46-32. 3-Point Goals — Ohio St. 7-20 (Williams 3-6, Bates-Diop 2-6, Tate 1-2, Jackson 1-3, A.Wesson 0-1, Jallow 0-1, Potter 0-1), Iowa 7-17 (Baer 2-4, Nunge 1-1, Moss 1-2, Dailey 1-2, Garza 1-3, Bohannon 1-5). Fouled Out — Baer, K.Wesson. Rebounds — Ohio St. 37 (Bates-Diop 13), Iowa 37 (Cook 9). Assists — Ohio St. 16 (Dakich 6), Iowa 17 (Bohannon 10). Total Fouls — Ohio St. 22, Iowa 20. A — 10,933 (15,400).

Ohio State 92, Iowa 81

OHIO ST. (12-4) — Tate 6-12 5-7 18, Bates-Diop 10-17 5-6 27, K.Wesson 4-6 2-2 10, Jackson 5-10 1-2 12, Williams 5-8 0-1 13, A.Wesson 0-1 1-2 1, Young 0-1 1-2 1, Potter 3-7 0-0 6, Dakich 1-2 0-1 2, Jallow 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 35-66 15-23 92.

IOWA (9-8) — Garza 4-7 6-8 15, Baer 4-7 0-0 10, Cook 7-15 7-8 21, Bohannon 6-13 2-2 15, Moss 3-10 0-2 7, Pemsl 0-1 1-2 1, Nunge 1-3 0-0 3, Wagner 0-0 0-1 0, Kriener 0-0 0-0 0, Ellingson 0-2 0-0 0, Dailey 4-10 0-0 9. Totals 29-68 16-23 81.

Halftime — Ohio St. 46-32. 3-Point Goals — Ohio St. 7-20 (Williams 3-6, Bates-Diop 2-6, Tate 1-2, Jackson 1-3, A.Wesson 0-1, Jallow 0-1, Potter 0-1), Iowa 7-17 (Baer 2-4, Nunge 1-1, Moss 1-2, Dailey 1-2, Garza 1-3, Bohannon 1-5). Fouled Out — Baer, K.Wesson. Rebounds — Ohio St. 37 (Bates-Diop 13), Iowa 37 (Cook 9). Assists — Ohio St. 16 (Dakich 6), Iowa 17 (Bohannon 10). Total Fouls — Ohio St. 22, Iowa 20. A — 10,933 (15,400).

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