WBB: Iowa Controls OT, Starts Conference Play With Win Over Ohio State

By Jeff Linder, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Theairra Taylor provided a glimpse into the past, those carefree days before the torn ACLs and all that rehabilitation.

Taylor scored a career-high 19 points and sparked an Iowa run at the start of overtime as the Hawkeyes outlasted Ohio State, 77-71, in the Big Ten women's basketball opener for both teams in front of a crowd of 3,850 Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"I just didn't want to lose," said Taylor, who scored the Hawkeyes' first six points of the 5-minute extra session. "Coach was calling the right plays, and it worked out."

Taylor and Tayler (Hill, of Ohio State) had matching career nights. Hill tallied a career-best 34 points, but it was Taylor that had more help.

Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures as Iowa (12-3 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) won its seventh straight game.

"In overtime, I just think we weren't going to be denied," Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. "And I'm so glad everyone was able to see what we've been excited about in Theairra for all this time."

Taylor tore her left ACL as a senior in high school, her right one as a freshman at Iowa, then her left again as a sophomore. She still exudes athleticism.

"She can still drive by anybody," Bluder said. "And she can still elevate."

Ohio State (10-4, 0-1) had the final chance to break a 63-all tie at the end of regulation. But Hill missed a 10-foot baseline jumper, then -- after the ball went out of bounds in a frantic scrum under the basket in OSU's favor -- the Hawkeyes blocked Ashley Adams' short jumper as the horn sounded.

Taylor broke the ice in overtime with two free throws. Then, after Adams tied it with a layup, Taylor scored on two straight drives to put Iowa in front for good.

Samantha Logic added 17 points for the Hawkeyes. Morgan Johnson posted her 16th career double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Jaime Printy tallied 14 points.

"Ohio State has a great player in Tayler Hill, but we're all about teamwork, sharing the ball and working for good shots," Bluder said.

Johnson and Bethany Doolittle combined for 24 points while their counterparts from Ohio State (Adams and Aleksandra Dobranic) scored four.

"Clearly, the difference was their post players against our post players," Buckeyes Coach Jim Foster said. "And we got beat on some cuts inside, which is inexcusable."

Johnson said, "I felt like I could get up and down the floor and use my ability to move against them."

Hill scored the final 11 points of the first half for Ohio State -- including a 35-footer that beat the shot clock -- and had 19 points at intermission.

Her 34 points topped her previous high of 31, set in November 2011.

"We didn't make the necessary plays that needed to be made," she said. "We had some good stretches, but that's how we should have played the whole game."

The Buckeyes led 31-30 at the half, but Iowa owned the first 10 minutes of the second half and led 55-42 on Taylor's backdoor feed from Kathy Thomas with 9:53 left.

Ohio State scrapped back, and took a 61-60 lead on Darryce Moore's putback with 1:30 left. Hill's 18-footer gave the Buckeyes a 63-61 advantage with 25 seconds left, but Johnson answered with two free throws on Iowa's next possession to force overtime.

The Hawkeyes host Michigan at noon Sunday.

IOWA 77, OHIO STATE 71 (OT)

At Iowa City

OHIO STATE (71): Ameryst Alston 4-8 0-0 9, Ashley Adams 2-8 0-0 4, Aleksandra Dobranic 0-1 0-0 0, Amber Stokes 1-7 2-4 4, Tayler Hill 11-25 8-8 34, Maleeka Kynard 0-1 0-0 0, Darryce Moore 4-6 1-2 9, Martina Ellerbe 1-4 0-0 2, Raven Ferguson 4-8 0-0 9. Totals 27-68 11-14 71.

IOWA (77): Jaime Printy 5-8 4-4 14, Bethany Doolittle 4-6 0-0 8, Morgan Johnson 7-17 2-3 16, Samantha Logic 5-7 7-10 17, Theairra Taylor 8-12 2-2 19, Claire Till 0-1 0-0 0, Kathy Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Melissa Dixon 1-6 0-0 3, Kali Peschel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-58 15-19 77.

Halftime: Ohio State 31, Iowa 30. Regulation: 63-63. 3-point goals: Ohio State 6-21 (Alston 1-3, Hill 4-11, Ellerbe 0-2, Ferguson 1-5), Iowa 2-4 (Printy 0-1, Taylor 1-1, Dixon 1-2). Total fouls: Ohio State 19, Iowa 14. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Ohio State 33 (Adams, Moore 6), Iowa 39 (Johnson 12). Assists: Ohio State 14 (three with 3), Iowa 17 (Logic 8). Steals: Ohio State 8 (Hill 5), Iowa 12 (three with 3). Turnovers: Ohio State 17, Iowa 19.

Attendance: 3,850.
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