The three-point shot was a big reason for Penn State’s victory at home. The Nittany Lions went 9-of-20 from beyond the arc, with guards Tony Carr and Shep Garner leading the way from downtown.
Guard Tony Carr led all players on the floor with 30 points, and went 4-of-8 from three-point range. Carr also had 5 rebounds on the night. Garner ended the game in double figures with 13 points. From three-point range, Garner went 4-of-7.
On the other end, Keita Bates-Diop scored 10 points for the Buckeyes on 4-of-11 shooting. KBD also brought in 5 rebounds.
C.J. Jackson put up 13 points for the OSU, with all but two points being scored in the second half. Jackson ended up leading the team’s scoring effort in Happy Valley.
Here’s how this one went down.
Penn State won the opening tip, but turned it over around the far-side wing. Ohio State took advantage of the turnover—leading to Kaleb Wesson nailing a mid-range jumper. The Nittany Lions would answer right back with a Lamar Stevens layup.
Play would stop a minute later as Wesson appeared to sprain his ankle. As the timeout ended, Wesson was seen going back to the locker room. Just before he departed, he hit another shot (a layup) to give the Bucks a 4-2 advantage.
OSU’s lead wouldn’t last for long, as the Nittany Lions went on a mini 6-0 run. Chippy play led to Jae’Sean Tate receiving a technical foul, as well as PSU head coach Patrick Chambers for arguing with the officials. Combined with a 4-minute scoring drought, the Buckeyes enabled a 12-2 PSU run, leading to the Scarlet and Gray’s early deficit, 17-8, with 12:38 left before intermission. Steals leading to dunks, and Carr pulling up from downtown were the catalysts for the Nittany Lions’ early runaway from the Bucks.
The Nittany Lions continued to find their rhythm from three. Garner, like Carr, unleashed a shot from basically the parking lot—with it hitting nothing but net. Penn State was 3-of-7 early from beyond the arc. Ohio State, however, couldn’t get the rim or net to be friendly from distance; OSU missed their first six shots from the land of three. As a matter of fact, field goal shooting all around was a struggle for Holtmann’s squad. They went 4-plus minutes without sinking a shot. Fortunately, that slump ended with a Bates-Diop layup. But alas, the damage was done. At the under-8 minute timeout, the home team had a 25-14 lead over the visiting Buckeyes.
Ohio State then got a little momentum. A double block of Stevens led to the Buckeyes getting a look from three—but they missed. However, PSU went cold. A 3-minute scoring drought mixed with an 0-from-5 field goal mark topped off with three turnovers during that timespan got the Buckeyes within nine, 25-16.
Unfortunately, though, the Bucks couldn’t make the most of the Nittany Lions’ woes. Josh Reaves and Stevens both connected on the long ball, and before long, Penn State had charged out to a 35-18 lead with under three minutes left before halftime. The Bryce Jordan Center was rocking, especially after Kaleb Wesson got his shot blocked, leading to a shot-clock violation.
The pace started causing problems for the Buckeyes. Andre Wesson got the ball poked loose by Stevens, who then flipped it to Jamari Wheeler for an easy layup. Ohio State couldn’t get out the hole they dug themselves into during the first half, mostly due to the shooting struggles. Going into the half, OSU missed seven straight shots—going nearly four minutes without making a field goal. Over the course of their final 11 shots in the half, the Buckeyes only made one, thanks to a Wesson layup with 3:56 remaining.
Right before the half, Reaves threw a full-court pass to Carr—who caught the ball just to the left of the basket. As two Buckeyes stumbled after reaching for the ball, Carr got off a shot. He made the shot, and Micah Potter, who was falling down, got called for a foul. That play pretty much summed up how the half was going for the Buckeyes. Carr knocked down the and-1, and a Christian Laettner-esque shot (a turnaround jumper after catching a three quarters court pass) from Potter clanked off the rim.
At halftime, Penn State had a commanding lead, 45-21, behind a 16-point outing from Carr. From three-point range, the Nittany Lions were shooting at 50 percent. Five-of-10 shots from distance went down, with Carr hitting two of them. On the other end, OSU shot zero percent from downtown, going 0-for-7. From all spots on the floor, the Buckeyes shot 29 percent (8-28), with Kaleb Wesson leading the team in points (7) and rebounds (5). Bates-Diop had four points and one rebound in the first half.
Right after halftime, PSU went back to well (aka the three-point shot). Stevens missed on the first shot, but on the second shot, they found what they were looking for: a make. Garner delivered a shot from the parking lot, lifting the Nittany Lions lead to 48-21. Garner wasn’t done yet, though. Two minutes after sinking his first three of the half, he did it again. Hip-hop artist Flava Flav, who is related to Garner, was up on his feet after seeing the three-point shots fall. After the second Garner three of the half went down, PSU was out to a 54-27 lead at the under-16 minute media timeout.
Ohio State was able to get an 8-0 run going after the media timeout. Layups from C.J. Jackson and Kyle Young helped get the run going. During the run, PSU went four minutes without a point—helping the Buckeyes claw their way back from a 20-plus point deficit. At the 17:49 mark of the second half, the Bucks were down 30; by the 12:05 mark, they were down 18, 55-37.
But, Garner found a way to put a roadblock on the Buckeyes’ comeback. The senior popped a three that rattled around the rim before going in. The Garner three put Penn State up 21, but a tipin from Young and another three from KBD got the visitors within 16, 58-42, by the time the media timeout came with 10:32 left in the half.
The Buckeyes chipped away at the Nittany Lions lead, but they couldn’t get within 10. The output from Carr, and PSU’s ability to sink the three-point shot were too much for the Scarlet and Gray to overcome on this night in State College.
Penn State taking down the No. 8 team in the land wasn’t the only upset on the night. Wisconsin took down No. 6 Purdue in Madison, Wisc., 57-53. With the loss, Purdue has now lost three in a row—with the Buckeyes starting the Boilermakers’ losing streak back on Feb. 7.
Up next for Ohio State will be the No. 22 Michigan Wolverines on Sunday. That game is slated to take place at 1 p.m. ET from the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. CBS will broadcast the game.