Game Grades: Ohio State
The Penn State Nittany Lions dropped their third straight game, losing to No. 4 Ohio State 92-82. Penn State finally had a strong performance offensively, scoring more than 61 points for the first time since Jan. 30, but the Buckeyes now have won seven straight games and are looking great going into their top-five showdown with Michigan on Sunday. With that all being said, let's give out some grades for the Nittany Lions on offense, defense and coaching.
The Nittany Lions had their best performance offensively in weeks with an 82-point outburst. They were led by guard Myreon Jones, who scored 18 for the blue and white. Izaiah Brockington, Seth Lundy and Jamari Wheeler were also in double figures for Penn State. The Lions knocked down 12 3’s as well as 16 of their 21 attempts from the free-throw line.
The only thing keeping the Nittany Lions from a perfect grade is the second-half slump they incurred. After taking the lead 61-54, Penn State went nearly five minutes without scoring, allowing the Buckeyes to go on a 15-0 run during that span.
Penn State finally made outside shots, but the drought in the second half allowed Ohio State to seize the momentum, and the Nittany Lions never recovered after that.
Penn State’s defense had been good in its previous three games, allowing 62 points or fewer in all of those contests. It did not do that in the loss against Ohio State.
In the first half, the Nittany Lions allowed Ohio State to get whatever shot it wanted, giving up a lot of wide open 3’s. The second half was not much different, as the Buckeyes knocked down a lot of clutch shots and were able to force John Harrar into foul trouble.
Penn State’s calling card on defense this season has been turnovers, but the Nittany Lions did not force the Buckeyes into many mistakes. Penn State forced just 12 turnovers and rarely turned those mistakes into points.
Penn State played very poor defense in this game, and that was the reason that it came up short.
Penn State was going up against a superior team and competed very well. Head coach Jim Ferry showed his chops as an offensive coach, as his team exploded for 82 points. He also drew up sets to get shooters the ball in good spots, allowing Sessoms and Lundy to get going off the bench in the process.
However, there was no defensive adjustment from the Nittany Lions the whole game. Ohio State got whatever it wanted whenever it wanted, and Penn State never changed it up to try and stop the Buckeyes offense. The Nittany Lions also struggled handling the foul situation, playing John Harrar at strange times, causing him to foul out with three minutes remaining.
Ferry got the offense going, but lack of defensive adjustments as well as mishandling of the foul situation are some of the reasons why he and the Nittany Lions came up short against Ohio State.
Penn State will look to end its three-game skid when it goes on the road to play No. 11 Iowa on Sunday.
Adam Sheetz is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.