The 16th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes blew a nine-point second half lead to fall to Ohio State 69-68 last night in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes were playing their first game without leading scorer Luke Recker, who is sidelined with a broken kneecap. Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford said the Buckeyes played harder and played hard defense.Alford says while Ohio State played tough defense, his team didn’t step up the pressure when they needed to. Alford says it’s been a problem with the team as everyone has an offensive minded approach.Senior guard Dean Oliver led the Hawkeyes with 27 points. Reggie Evans was the only other Hawk in double figures with 14 points and 11 rebounds. The loss dropped Iowa a game-and-a-half behind Illinois in the Big Ten Conference race at 6-3. They’re now 17-5 overall.