Iowa's bad habits came home to roost as the Ohio State Buckeyes blew the game open in the second half, blasting the Hawkeyes en route to Iowa's worst loss since early December, 90-70. Someone named "Justin Ahrens," who we've all definitely heard of before today and definitely would have pronounced correctly on the first try, went off for 29 points (25 in the second half).
Iowa trailed only 36-33 at the half, and even that looked like a fortunate result for the offensively-challenged Buckeyes at the time. Kaleb Wesson was back in foul trouble, Iowa was missing shots it normally makes, and there was, one thought, no need to worry.
That's what they thought at Camp Crystal Lake, too.
Indeed, Ohio State came out in the second half waving chainsaws and machetes, and Iowa had no answer for the barrage of points the Buckeyes leveled at the Hawkeyes. OSU scored 1.58 points per possession after halftime — like shooting 79% from two-point range for the entire span — and even that undersold the carnage, as the Buckeyes scored 38 points in their first 19 possessions after the half. That, for the non-math majors in the crowd, is precisely two points per possession... for 19 straight possessions.
In positive news, Joe Wieskamp hit 5-of-6 three-pointers. And Maishe Dailey scored eight points on 3-for-4 shooting! Neat! That's about it.
This is the only highlight posted on @IowaOnBTN for the entire game. Yeah.
Anyway, the frustration of getting absolutely monstered by a terrible offense boiled over, and the Hawkeyes chose the only natural, logical target: the referees. At one point late in the game, Connor McCaffery was whistled for apparently using his face to foul Keyshawn Woods' shoulder, because that's the way that works, and when McCaffery expressed mild annoyance while conferring with the official afterwords, he was summarily T'd up. A minute later, father Fran noticed some similar contact not called on Iowa's end, and he got his own technical foul called, serving as whatever the opposite of a victory cigar would be.
Fran was, uh, not quite finished with the officials when the final whistle blew.
Uh, wow. Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey was just screaming at an official walking down a hallway of Value City Arena. "You cheating motherfucker! You're a fucking disgrace!"— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) February 27, 2019
So... so there's that.
Regardless, Iowa's hardly the first or last tourney-bound team to mess the bed in a February road game, and when you get incinerated by a "Justin Ahrens" (probably not even a real name!), sometimes you just take the L and move along.
So it goes.