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Star freshman Oden leads Ohio State past Iowa

Jan 21, 2007 - 4:37 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Iowa became the latest team to be victimized by Ohio State freshman Greg Oden.

Oden collected a season-high 29 points on 12-of-13 shooting and 10 rebounds to lead the seventh-ranked Buckeyes to an 82-63 Big Ten Conference victory over the Hawkeyes, their 20th straight home win.

Fellow freshmen Daequan Cook added 11 points and Mike Conley Jr. - Oden's high school teammate - eight and 10 assists for the Buckeyes (16-3, 4-1 Big Ten), who had lost their last three meetings with the Hawkeyes.

It was the fourth 10-assist game for Conley, who broke Damon Stringer's school freshman assists record (125).

"Conley gets overshadowed a lot," Iowa coach Steve Alford said. "He did in high school, too. But he is a really special point guard."

Ohio State held just a 54-50 advantage before Cook nailed a 3-pointer with 10:40 remaining, triggering a 21-2 run. Oden scored nine points during the burst, which he capped with a dunk for a 75-52 advantage with 5:25 to play.

"It was all my teammates," Oden said. "They got the ball to me at the right spot. They worked hard to get me the ball and I worked hard to score."

"I think he's a super talent," Alford said of Oden. "He can have 29 points and 10 rebounds or six points and 10 rebounds and he doesn't care. He has never been about the points. It's all about winning with him. He is a great leader and looks like a great teammate."

The Buckeyes allowed the Hawkeyes to shoot 48 percent (27-of-56) from the field but connected on 58.5 percent (31-of-53) themselves, largely thanks to Oden, who dunked seemingly at will.

Despite the convincing win, Ohio State coach Thad Matta was far from pleased.

"We had some letdowns out there tonight," Matta said. "For whatever reason, we had some lapses across the board tonight."

Tyler Smith scored 21 points and Adam Haluska 15 for Iowa (10-9, 2-3), which had won six of the last eight in the series.

The Buckeyes converted 13 Hawkeyes turnovers into 21 points. Iowa scored just eight points off 11 Ohio State giveaways.

Iowa, which never led, tied the game for the third time, 15-15, on a 3-pointer by Cyrus Tate with 11:03 left in the first half. But the Buckeyes closed the half on a 22-11 run, with Oden scoring the final five on a pair of dunks and a free throw.

    --- --- -----
    IOWA 26 37 63
    OHIO ST (7) 37 45 82 FINAL

    Jan 20 9:56 PM

    IOWA 26

    Jan 20 8:52 PM