COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jon Diebler scored a career-high 27 points and Evan Turner hit three late free throws to lead Ohio State (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) past Iowa 68-65 Wednesday in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
In a physical game between two of the nation's top defensive teams, the Buckeyes (10-1) built an early lead, lost it, regained it, and then barely had enough to hang on at the finish.
Matt Gatens, who led the Hawkeyes (10-4) with 22 points, missed a tying 3-pointer with 9 seconds remaining. After a wild scramble for the loose ball, the Buckeyes grabbed it and made a long pass to melt away the final few seconds.
William Buford matched a career-high with 16 points, and Turner finished with 11 points for the Buckeyes, still smarting from a 76-48 beating at home to West Virginia on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes, down 30-15 with just over 5 minutes left in the half, scratched their way back to pull even at 38 on Gatens' 3-pointer at the 15:56 mark of the second half.
They took their first lead on Bawinkel's 3-pointer, all alone in the left corner, at the 11:42 mark. Kelly's shot in the lane upped the lead to 50-46.
Ohio State countered with a rally of its own, regaining the lead on Turner's 14-foot jumper off an inbounds pass.
The teams then started trading baskets.
After Diebler hit a 3 that went in and out before falling at the other end, Kelly almost immediately hit one of his own for a 65-64 Iowa advantage with 3:27 left.
Turner hit two foul shots with 3:14 left to give the Buckeyes the lead for good, then added another almost a minute later.
The teams traded turnovers before Kelly missed the front end of a bonus situation with 1:27 remaining.
After each team missed a shot, Diebler was fouled with 20.7 seconds left; he hit the second in the double-bonus to push the lead to 68-65.
Gatens took a 3 from the left wing with 9 seconds left with Ohio State's Dallas Lauderdale lunging at him as he released it. The ball hit the iron and bounced out.