DAYTON, Ohio -- Ohio State University forward Sam Thompson says alley-oop dunks are not an individual accomplishment. Effective ball movement, spacing and a well-placed pass must take place before a player can slam home the glory.
"An alley-oop is a great team play," Thompson said. "I do the easy part. I just finish."
During Friday night's 95-70 second-round NCAA Tournament win over Iona, Thompson had it easy for most of the night, providing a 20-point spark, including a series of highlight-worthy dunks.
Deshaun Thomas also scored a team-leading 24 points, helping lift No. 2 seeded Ohio State to the win at University of Dayton Arena.
The Buckeyes (27-7) advance to face the winner of Friday's late game between No. 7 seed Notre Dame and No. 10 seed Iowa State in the third round Sunday in Dayton.
Evan Ravenel scored 11 points for Ohio State, but it was Thompson who stole the show before a largely a pro-OSU crowd in Dayton. Three of his acrobatic dunks came off lob passes from Shannon Scott.
"He's got a wide radius from the center of his body," said OSU guard Aaron Craft, who assisted on one of Thompson's dunks. "If you throw it, he's going to catch it."
Iona (20-14) was led by Tavon Sledge's 20 points. Sean Armand added 17 points and David Laury 14 for the Gaels.
"To be in this game we had to play our best game of the year," said Iona coach Tim Cluess. "We didn't."
Iona hit three of its first five shots to grab an early 6-5 lead. The Gaels then went scoreless for more than four minutes.
The Buckeyes responded with a 15-0 run, capped by Thompson's thunderous dunk off a lob from Scott, putting them ahead 20-6.
The Gaels appeared to have a breakaway layup at one point, but Evan Ravenel blocked Tavon Sledge's layup attempt, resulting in a layup at the other end by Craft and OSU led 22-8.
"Everyone was too excited," said Armand. "We were thinking too much, trying to do too much. They sped us up a little bit. We had some jitters early, but we calmed down."
Iona trailed by 19 points with 9:27 left in the first half but rallied late in the half.
Jones hit a 3-pointer in the midst of a 7-0 run by the Gaels, trimming the Buckeyes' lead to 10 points.
"We got relaxed," said Thompson. "That's a lesson for us for the rest of the tournament."
Laury was a handful for the Buckeyes. He led the Gaels with 12 first-half points, including a one-handed dunk that brought Iona within nine points.
Scott again tossed a lob to Thompson, who sailed in from the right baseline for an acrobatic one-handed dunk, putting the Buckeyes ahead 39-33. Thompson had 10 points in the first half.
The Buckeyes, who led by 10 points at halftime, scored the first seven points of the second half to go ahead 50-33, extended their run to 9-0.
Iona answered with a 7-0 run, including five points by Armand, but Ohio State pulled away midway through the second half.
The Buckeyes forced 19 turnovers and had eight steals. The Gaels were unable to keep pace with OSU, which outscored them 34-11 on fast breaks.
"I think we surprised them a little bit that we could run with them," said Thompson. "We were able to set the tone."
Notes: Ohio State entered the NCAA Tournament on an eight-game winning streak with four wins over ranked opponents including three top-10 teams. ... Friday's game was the third meeting between Iona and Ohio State. The Buckeyes won the last meeting 71-53 in 2008. The Gaels beat OSU 58-57 in the opening game of the Great Alaska Shootout in 1981. ... Iona's players wore patches on their jerseys with the initials "MH" in remembrance of recruit Mike Haynes, who was slain in Chicago in July. ... Iona entered Friday's game 0-8 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.