Iowa pulls out close win over slumping Ohio State

Tony Perkins scored 20 points on 6-for-12 shooting, and Iowa outlasted Ohio State for a 79-77 win in a Big Ten Conference matchup on Friday night in Iowa City.

Josh Dix and Payton Sandfort finished with 15 points apiece for Iowa (13-9, 5-6). Patrick McCaffery added 10 points, which included 8-for-8 shooting from the free-throw line.

Jamison Battle scored 17 points to lead Ohio State (13-9, 3-8). Bruce Thornton and Felix Okpara contributed 14 points apiece for the Buckeyes, who have lost seven of their past eight games.

Iowa shot 54.7 percent (29 of 53) from the field. Ohio State shot 45.8 percent (27 of 59).

The score was even at 69-69 with 3:30 to go. Dix made a jump shot to put Iowa back on top with 3:06 left. Perkins added a pair of free throws a minute later to increase the Hawkeyes’ lead to 73-69.

A jumper by Battle brought Ohio State within 73-71 with 1:52 remaining.

After another free throw by Perkins, Okpara delivered a dunk to trim the Buckeyes’ deficit to one with 1:04 left.

Iowa held the lead from there, boosted in large part by McCaffery’s free-throw shooting.

Ohio State inched to a 54-51 lead after Roddy Gayle Jr. made a pair of free throws with 11:45 remaining.

Iowa scored the next eight points to go ahead 59-54 with 9:18 left. Perkins scored the first five points of the run with a layup followed by a three-point play.

Neither team led by more than four points during a hard-fought first half. Ohio State carried a 38-36 lead into the break.

A jump shot by McCaffery gave the Hawkeyes a 27-23 lead with 6:09 remaining in the half.

The Buckeyes responded with a 7-0 run to seize a 30-27 advantage. Devin Royal made a jump shot, Gayle converted a three-point play and Okpara made a layup during the run.

Okpara had 10 points for Ohio State to lead all scorers before halftime. Sandfort paced Iowa with nine points.