"We have guys on the bench who can make plays," Lucious said. "Tyrus did a great job coming in. We had confidence in him."
Ohio State's small lineups were dominated on the boards in the first half, with Iowa State owning a 24-13 rebounding disparity, including 8-2 on the offensive end.
The Buckeyes, who led 38-36 at halftime, went on an 8-0 run early in the second half to build a six-point lead. But Iowa State kept creating second-chance scoring opportunities off its offensive rebounding, including a dunk by Melvin Ejim that cut Ohio State's lead to 52-51. Ejim finished with 10 points.
Ross scored 10 straight points to put Ohio State ahead 65-53. But the Cyclones didn't relent.
It took 2:11 for Iowa State to erase a 13-point deficit and tie the score 69-69 with 3:53 left. The Cyclones took the lead on McGee's 3-pointer.
"In the huddle, we knew we just needed to get stops, and that's how we changed things," Lucious said of the Cyclones' rally. "We just fell short."
NOTES: Before this season, the Buckeyes had reached the Sweet 16 three consecutive years, a feat last accomplished in 1960-62. ... Iowa State is one of only three schools to have three players with 60 or more made 3-pointers this season, joining Texas Southern and Michigan. ... Sunday's game was a record 100th NCAA Tournament game played at University of Dayton Arena.