Game Grades: Penn State vs. Ohio State

Story posted January 26, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Brandon Pelter

It was another tough game for Penn State men’s basketball (11-10, 2-6 Big Ten) Monday night, ending in a 66-46 loss at Ohio State. The dismal offense continued and for the sixth time this season, the Nittany Lions managed to score 60 points or less. It was hard to get much offense started, missing the first 13 three-pointers taken and the Lions only attempted five foul shots. Throughout the game, the Nittany Lions only managed to lead for 36 seconds, only by two, just less than two minutes into the game.

Backcourt: D

The Nittany Lions got behind early and Shep Garner’s 1-8 performance from behind the arc is certainly hard to stomach for a game that was supposed to be close. The starting guards, Devin Foster and Garner, only tallied a combined nine points, but led the team in minutes. Foster’s six points came in his first start career start. Defensively, the guards allowed Keita Baites-Diop, who had been scoreless in two Big Ten games coming into Monday’s matchup, to drop 22 points. Baites-Diop was 4-7 from behind the arc and got the scoring started early with 13 points in the first half. 

Front Court: C

The Nittany Lions were surprisingly able to outscore Ohio State in one category – inside the paint, leading that section 32-22, but not much else went well for them. The big men were outrebounded 41-31 with Payton Banks leading the way with six boards. The Nittany Lions are going to have to improve their rebounding if they want to enjoy any success this season. 

Bench: C-

The bench wasn’t able to do much against the Buckeyes, recording just 15 points in the blowout loss. Davis Zemgulis and Jordan Dickerson were two of only three Nittany Lions sent to the free throw line and both went 1-2. Donovan Jack was 1-3 from behind the arc, but his technical foul certainly didn’t help the Nittany Lions in any way. The Penn State bench did outscore the Ohio State bench 15-9, which marks the 17th time that the bench has scored double digits. 

Coaching: C-

Penn State came out and didn’t look energized or ready to go from the tip. There’s no question that the Nittany Lions were outplayed, but from a fan’s perspective at this point, the hope is that the talent and maturity levels are on the way. With another top class of recruits coming in next season, the future looks bright for head coach Pat Chambers, but he must continue to develop the younger players he has now. After this season, the Nittany Lions will only lose four seniors, returning 10 players to the floor. The rest of the season will be extremely important if they want to see success in the future. 

The Nittany Lions are back in action Saturday for a special game at Madison Square Garden in New York City against the Michigan Wolverines. Tip of is set for noon.

 

Brandon Pelter is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism and finance. To contact him, email brandon.pelter@gmail.com.