Game Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Ohio State
Host Zach Donaldson, Ben Serfass and Ben Geller preview Penn State’s showdown versus Ohio State. They discuss keys to the game for both teams and give a final score prediction.
After being considered one of the top teams in the Big Ten, Penn State has found itself slipping as of late. The Nittany Lions have dropped their last three games and will look to right the ship when they welcome the Ohio State Buckeyes to Happy Valley on Saturday.
In their first and only matchup to this point in the season, Ohio State’s ability to shoot from beyond the 3-point arc catapulted them to a 106-74 victory over the Nittany Lions.
The Buckeyes shot 54% from downtown, converting on 14 of their 26 attempts. Kaleb Wesson, Duane Washington Jr. and Luther Muhammed led the charge with each of them scoring double digits in points.
Perimeter shooting should be a factor once again. Penn State will look to their top perimeter player, Myreon Jones. Jones is currently shooting nearly 40% from deep. The Nittany Lions will also need more consistency from Myles Dread. Dread leads the team in three point attempts with 107 but has converted under 30% of those shots.
Big Ten Dominance at Home
Home court advantage has been huge for Big Ten basketball teams this season. As a conference, no team outside of Northwestern and Nebraska have lost more than one game on its home court.
The Nittany Lions are currently 9-1 at the Bryce Jordan Center. At one point they had won nine straight home games before dropping their most recent bout against the Wisconsin Badgers.
Ohio State, on the other hand, has struggled away from Columbus. The Buckeyes are only 1-3 when playing on the road and have lost their last three.
Falling in the Standings
At one point, both Ohio State and Penn State were rising in the AP college basketball rankings. However, both of these teams have seen that change in recent weeks.
Ohio State was ranked as high as third, which came in week six of the season. However, after losing four of their last five games, the Buckeyes find themselves currently ranked 21st overall.
Penn State, a team that many analysts did not expect much from, was ranked as high as 20 in the AP poll last week but it has lost three straight games since then.
Despite dropping their last home game to Wisconsin, Penn State has proved it is a much stronger team when playing on its home court. Ohio State also has a track record of its own. When playing on the road, its sub-.500 record has exposed a lack of consistency. Expect Penn State to feed off of what should be an electric crowd at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Prediction: Penn State 79, Ohio State 74
Ben Serfass is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.