Penn State focused on Ohio State in 2nd round of Big Ten Tournament
After earning its first-ever Big Ten tournament win over Minnesota, Penn State looks for redemption facing Ohio State for the third time this season.
Yet again another stagnant start from Penn State didn’t affect the results. The comeback kids torched the nets in the second half, shooting 50 percent from the three-point line.
Seth Lundy didn’t complete his first field goal until the second half and ended the game with 11 points. If the Nittany Lions can play a full 40 minutes as they did in the second half, they could easily make a run in this tournament.
“If you look at us throughout the season, the last 10 minutes of the game is when we play our best offense,” coach Micah Shrewsberry said.
Penn State’s defense continues to impress. After Minnesota’s fast-paced start, it was able to adjust the defense and hold the Golden Gophers to 51 points.
A big key coming into this game was the three-point defense. Minnesota shot 37 percent from the three before this game but was held to just 26.3 percent.
Senior guard Jalen Pickett dominated with 22 points facilitating in the paint all night. Multiple times throughout the game he bodied his way to get an easy finish at the rim.
Now Penn State faces Ohio State, a familiar opponent to whom it lost both regular-season matchups. While they lost both games, the blue and white battled hard and kept it close.
Scouting Ohio State
The Buckeyes ended the regular season dropping three of their last four games with the single win coming over Michigan State. In those losses, they averaged 66 points per game well below their 74 points per game season average.
All Big Ten First Team E.J. Liddell is one of the best players in the conference. Previously against Penn State, he scored 14 and 19 points, respectively. He’s a three-level scorer and loves to use his physicality in the paint.
Zed Key and Kyle Young have also caused problems for Penn State inside the paint. Young tallied a career-high 16 points in the first meeting this year against Penn State but later topped it in the next game recording 18. Key added 10 points in the second win.
Ohio State has a lot of talent in the paint, but it will be without Kyle Young in this matchup who is dealing with an Illness. This means that Liddell and Key will need to be prepared to play most of the game.
Penn State transfer Jamari Wheeler is the initiator for the offense and had nine points in both meetings. The first outing in his return to the Bryce Jordan Center, he dished out season-high eight assists.
Ohio State has been vulnerable without Kyle Young in its lineup. He provides energy and physicality that is unmatched. This will ease the tension for Penn State in the rebounding battle. Penn State wins this game like it has all year, with defense.
Just like Minnesota, The Buckeyes are a great three-point shooting team. If Penn State can take away the three like they did last night, that’ll give them a shot for victory. The Nittany Lions take another opportunity for revenge and come out victorious.
“We are really good defensively. We make people take tough shots,” Shrewsberry said.
Penn State 63, Ohio State 59
Austin Groft is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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