Ohio State 95, Iona 70

Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DAYTON, Ohio -- Sam Thompson provided the spark with 20 points and a series of highlight-worthy dunks, and Deshaun Thomas scored a team-leading 24 points lifting No. 2 seed Ohio State to a 95-70 win over No. 15 Iona in a NCAA Tournament second-round game Friday night at the University of Dayton Arena.
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 Shannon 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.
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.
Laury was a handful for the Buckeyes. He led the Gaels with 12 first-half points including a one-handed dunk, which brought Iona to 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. Scott had five assists.
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 Scott, including one Thompson caught sailing in from the right baseline that he threw down one-handed.
Iona (20-14) was led by Tavon Sledge's 20 points. Sean Armand added 17 points and David Laury 14 for the Gaels.
The Buckeyes, who led by 10 points at halftime, scored the first seven points of the second half to go ahead 50-33. A dunk by Thompson extended OSU's 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.
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.

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