#9 Ohio State
21-7, 11-4 Big Ten
Roster | Schedule
February 24, 2009
6:30 PM ET - BTN
Bryce Jordan Center
University Park, PA
12-16, 2-12 Big Ten
Roster | Schedule
Ohio State goes on the road for the final time Wednesday, looking to closeout with 6 straight conference road wins after losing their first 3.
Meanwhile, Penn State has finally found a winning groove, posting back to back road victories over Northwestern and Michigan last week, after they lost their first 12 Big Ten games.
The first meeting, a 75-62 Buckeye win was a great duel between Evan Turner and Talor Battle. Turner scored 22 of his 27 in the second, to go along with 10 boards and 7 dimes, while Battle went for 24, 9 and 7.
|21||Evan Turner||19.5||9.3||5.8||G||12||Talor Battle||19.0||5.6||4.0|
|33||Jon Diebler||12.5||2.9||1.7||G||15||David Jackson||9.6||4.6||1.2|
|44||William Buford||13.9||5.3||4.1||F||10||Chriss Bobb||8.7||3.3||2.1|
|23||David Lighty||12.3||4.6||2.7||F||22||Andrew Jones III||5.7||4.9||0.4|
|52||Dallas Lauderdale||7.3||5.1||0.3||C||25||Jeff Brooks||7.0||4.0||1.4|
As expected, Penn State ranks near the bottom of most B10 statistical categories, scoring 60.6 points a game on 43 percent shooting. The Nittany Lions are giving up 67.1 points a game, allowing teams to shoot at a 46 percent clip overall and 36.5 percent from deep. The lone bright spot statistically is their rebounding, where they rank second in the conference at +3.0, snagging 33 a game against 30 for their opponents, thanks in large part to their +29 advantage last week.
As with most coaches, Ed Dechellis has shortened his bench over the last few weeks, giving a few minutes to Andrew Ott and Bill Edwards, but Tim Frazier will see the most action off the pine. Frazier, a 6'1" freshman comes in averaging almost 20 minutes a game, 5.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 dimes. Penn State has tried to become more than just the Talor Battle show, putting 5 players in double figures in their win against Northwestern, while Andrew Jones went for 10 in both games.
For me, Talor Battle is the second best player in the conference and reason enough to tune into the game. He is the only legit threat on a 2-12 team and leads the team in scoring, boards, assists and steals. Battle and Turner have forged a friendship over the last couple of seasons and seem to bring out the best in each other.
Ohio State is officially 9th in the country after the coach's caught up with the times and realized the Bucks' rightful place amongst the top 10. They survived the recent slugfest, going 2-1 and could find themselves back in a tie for first on Saturday after a win tonight, as Sparty and Purdue face off this Saturday in Mackey (assuming PU wins at Minny tonight after this game).
This game can't be taken lightly though either. First, it's on the road and anything can happen and second, OSU needed a 10-0 run in the last 90 seconds to pull off the win in the first meeting. The Buckeyes have beaten PSU 12 straight times, but after an emotional week, Thad and crew will have to guard against a letdown.
Ohio State is 8-7 all time in their trips to fake Linebacker U., but have won their last 4 after the Crispin brothers left. I think it is going to be another close game throughout and OSU won't pull away until late, when their superior talent starts to take over.
I'll be interested to see if Dallas Lauderdale continues his recent rise and if William Buford can put together consecutive solid games for the first time in a couple of weeks. Diebler only hit one FG in the first meeting, but has gone for double digits in 3 straight, after accomplishing that just 4 times in his previous 10 games.
I don't think Thad will change much to try and limit Battle, choosing instead to take his chances with his teammates beating Ohio State. The Buckeyes defense has been tenacious lately, holding opponents to less than 70 in 8 straight games and tonight should be no different, as they bring home a 69-60 win in another great showdown between The Villain and Battle.
- Thad is coaching in his 100th Big Ten game, recording a 66-33 mark thus far.
- Evan Turner moves into 22nd all time, passing Jimmy Clemons, if he scores 21 tonight.