Ohio State 78, Iowa State 75

Men's basketball: Craft's last-second shot sends Ohio State to Sweet 16

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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Kyle Robertson | Dispatch
Ohio State's Aaron Craft drives against Iowa State's Anthony Booker.

DAYTON _ Aaron Craft made up for three missed free throws in the final five minutes, including the front end of two one-and-ones, by making a three-point shot with .2 of a second today to beat Iowa State 78-75 in University of Dayton Arena and send Ohio State to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season.

The Buckeyes, the No.2 seed in the West Region, will play No.6 seed Arizona in a regional semifinal Thursday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Deshaun Thomas led Ohio State (28-7) with 22 points and Craft had 18 points and six assists. LaQuinton Ross scored 17 points off the bench.

Korie Lucious led Iowa State (23-12) with 19 points.

Ohio State built as much as a 13-point lead, 69-56, with 6:05 left as Ross scored 10 straight points and shot Iowa State out of its 2-3 zone defense.

But the Cyclones rallied with 13 straight points to tie the game with 3:53 left, and they took a 73-71 with less than 3 minutes to play on a three and a free throw by Tyrus McGee, who scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half.

After missing two one-and-one opportunities and turning the ball over on three of Ohio State’s previous four possessions, Craft drove for a layup, was fouled and converted the three-point play to five the Buckeyes a 74-73 lead with 2:35 left.

Two free throws by McGee put Iowa State back ahead by a point with 2:22 to play, but the Cyclones squandered a chance to build on their lead by turning the ball over on their next two possessions.

Meanwhile, Craft made one of two free throws to tie the game again, at 75, with 1:15 left. After Iowa State’s second turnover, Ohio State called time out with 29.9 seconds left to set up a final play.

With time expiring, Craft waved off Thomas and went up for his winning shot over the Cyclones’ 6-foot-7 center, Georges Niang, with 2.1 seconds left, and made it as the arena erupted.

Ohio State led 38-36 at the half despite three of its guards _ Scott, Thompson and Lenzelle Smith Jr. _ picking up two fouls apiece and missing time because of it. The Buckeyes had a plus-10 point advantage when Scott was on the floor, the best for either team.

Iowa State finished with a nine-point advantage from behind the three-point arc and an 8-0 edge on second-chance points.

The Buckeyes’ advantage came off turnovers. They forced nine from the Cyclones and scored 10 points off them.


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