Buckeyes prove to be too much for Penn State

posted February 12, 2015 in CommRadio by Chris Gamble

Last night the Penn State Nittany Lions (15-9, 2-8 B1G) traveled to Value City Arena to take on No. 23 Ohio State (18-6, 7-4) in Columbus, Ohio looking to build off of last year’s sweep of the Buckeyes.

Penn State failed to reach the 70-point mark for the fifth straight game. The Nittany Lions came into the night winners of three of their last five games. The Buckeyes came in winners of four of their last five.

It was another horrific shooting night from the field for the Nittany Lions, as they shot 32 percent from the field. They did not reach double-figures in points until the 8:28 mark in the first half, when Ohio State led 22-10. 

The Buckeyes took a 37-23 lead into the half, but despite how poorly the Nittany Lions shot the basketball, they could have been down by much more than 14. Not only could they not score, but they also registered nine first half turnovers. A lot of that had to do with Ohio State’s full court pressure, with guards Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson leading the way.

Thompson scored a career-high 22 points on the evening, but his defense on D.J. Newbill might have been more important. Thompson held Newbill in check, only allowing him to 16 points on just 38 percent shooting.

In the second half the Buckeyes blew the game open quickly and Penn State could not keep it close for long. Back-to-back threes by Keita Bates-Diop and Thompson ballooned the lead to 56-38 halfway through the second half. Penn State never recovered from that.

Newbill led the way scoring once again with 16 points, but shot 5-13 from the field. Brandon Taylor followed with 11, and for the third consecutive game knocked down 3-6 from beyond the arc. Freshman sensation DeAngelo Russell contributed 17 points, seven rebounds and 6 assists for the Buckeyes.

Starting freshman point guard Shep Garner has really seemed to hit a funk at this point in the year. He started the year as the second scoring option after Newbill, but has not been productive as of late. In B1G play he’s only averaging 9.3 points per game.

With the win, Ohio State moved into a two-way tie for second place in the Big Ten with No. 19 Maryland, and sitting just behind the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers. The Buckeyes’ stingy defense held their fifth straight opponent to 70 points or less. The Buckeyes defense is allowing only 61.2 points per game on the year, and has not surrendered more than 82 points in a single game this season.

Penn State is back in action Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center when they take on No. 19 Maryland (20-5, 8-4) at 8 p.m.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Christopher Gamble is a junior broadcast/journalism major. To contact him, email cgamble531@gmail.com.