Iowa was looking for a signature win against a highly-ranked opponent. Ohio State was hoping to bounce back from its first loss of the season.
The 20th-ranked Hawkeyes accomplished their mission on Sunday in Value City Arena, claiming their first victory over a marquee opponent with an 84-74 win over the third-ranked Buckeyes.
It was the Hawkeyes' first road win over a top-five opponent in coach Fran McCaffrey's four years at Iowa. And his biggest?
"This is the first time we've done it on the road," McCaffrey said. "I think from that standpoint it's a fair assessment."
Senior guard Roy Devyn Marble paced the Hawkeyes (14-3 overall, 3-1 Big Ten) with 22 points and Ohio native Aaron White, a junior forward, scored 19.
Ohio State (15-2, 2-2) suffered a rare second consecutive loss under coach Thad Matta and its eight-game winning streak against Iowa ended.
Iowa's zone forced the Buckeyes into 17 turnovers, seven more than their average coming into the game. By contrast, Iowa limited its turnovers to 10 and shot 47.5 percent from the field (29 of 61).
Defensive-minded Ohio State had not given up more than 72 points in a game this season.
"It's on us. We knew they were going to press. We didn't take care of the ball," said Ohio State junior point guard Aaron Craft, who had six turnovers. "We've just got to make smart decisions and do what we need to do to protect the ball."
Junior forward LaQuinton Ross led the Buckeyes, who have lost back-to-back games only three times in the past four years, with 22 points and seven rebounds. Junior center Amir Williams had 11 points and six rebounds.
Iowa secured the win with a late push after trailing 65-64 with 5:25 left, outscoring Ohio State 20-9 the rest of the way.
"I thought today we were incredible resilient at various times in the game," McCaffrey said. "I think that for us is a sign of maturity.
"Ohio State got up by nine and we answered that run, which was critical to put us in position."
Ohio State stepped up its defensive intensity to start the second half and opened the largest lead of the game to that point at 53-44 on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Amedeo Della Valle with 12:51 left.
Three Iowa 3-pointers in a row by sophomore guard Mike Gesell, White and sophomore forward Jarrod Uthoff tied the score 55-55. From there, the game remained tight until the Hawkeyes stepped on the gas in the final five minutes.
Ohio State's first loss of the season came Tuesday night in overtime at Michigan State, falling 72-68 to the fifth-ranked Spartans after overcoming a 17-point deficit in the second half.
"We're so far from the end of the finish line and to panic is something I won't do and have never done," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.
McCaffery was back on the bench after serving a one-game suspension from the Big Ten for bumping an official while he was hit with two technical during last Sunday's 75-71 loss to Wisconsin. Without him, the Hawkeyes handled Northwestern 93-67 on Thursday night in Iowa City.
Iowa's previous three losses this season were each by five points or less to teams ranked in the top 10 and the Hawkeyes were looking to finally get over the hump.
"It's a top-five opponent on the road, we struggled to close out games and we got it done," Marble said. "We feel like we can compete and win the Big Ten championship and this is how you've got to come out and play, even when you're not at home."
The Hawkeyes worked the ball inside early, scoring their first 16 points inside the line. Their first basket outside the lane came on a 3-pointer by junior guard Josh Oglesby with 11:41 left in the first half.
Ohio State responded with an 8-0 run to take a 23-19 lead with 8:36 left on a layup by Williams.
After Iowa went ahead again at 31-28 on a basket by White off an inbounds play, Ohio State punched back. A steal by Craft and feed to junior forward Sam Thompson for a two-handed dunk pushed the Buckeyes in front 32-31.
The Hawkeyes went into the locker room with a 37-35 lead after Gesell made two free throws with 38 seconds left -- the first foul shots in the game for Iowa. Gesell scored the final four points of the half.
Marble gave Ohio State trouble in the first half, getting to the hoop for 12 points.