NEW YORK CITY – The third time was not the charm.
|#7 PENN STATE||33||36||69|
|#2 OHIO STATE||32||36||68|
Behind 25 points from Tony Carr and one huge assist, Penn State eliminated Ohio State from the Big Ten tournament, 69-68, tonight in Madison Square Garden.
With Ohio State leading 68-67 and the clock winding down, Carr found Josh Reaves for a dunk with five seconds left in regulation capping a 5-0 Penn State run over the game's final 93 seconds.
C.J. Jackson's desperation three came nowhere close to drawing iron as Ohio State fell to Penn State for the third time this season.
Keita Bates-Diop led the way for Ohio State with 25 points on 10/20 shooting thanks to a strong second half that saw him tally 11 points over the game's final seven minutes but his turnover with 21 seconds left and the Buckeyes nursing the 68-67 lead proved fatal.
|OHIO STATE||STAT||PENN STATE|
|26-59 (44.1%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||22-58 (37.9%)|
|8-23 (34.8%||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||9-19 (47.4%)|
|8-11 (72.1%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||16-20 (80.0%)|
Jae'Sean Tate (10) and Kam Williams (10) were the only other Buckeyes in double figures. Tate added seven rebounds but foul trouble rendered him a non-factor down the stretch.
Penn State shot just 37.9% from the floor on the night against 44.1% for Ohio State but the Nittany Lions outscored the Buckeyes 16-8 from the stripe and won the glass 40-32 including 15 offensive caroms.
Carr became just the fifth player with multiple 25-point games in a single Big Ten tournament and the first since Evan Turner turned the trick back in 2010.
The loss dropped Ohio State to 24-8 on the season.
The Buckeyes opened the second half with a layup from Tate, who converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give Oho State a brief 35-33 lead. From there however, the Nittany Lions went on a 10-2 run to match their largest lead of the game at eight, 45-37.
Ohio State responded again with a 9-1 run of their own, that was capped by an impressive reverse layup from Williams. During that span, Bates-Diop collected a thunderous two-handed slam, which was followed by an Andrew Dakich steal on the ensuing inbound.
From there, Shep Garner and Bates-Diop traded three-pointers to send the game to a 49-49 tie with 10:30 to play in the game.
The Lions would then build a 57-52 lead before an 8-0 run fueled by a triple and put back from Bates-Diop gave the Buckeyes a 60-57 lead with 5:02 to play.
The intensity would ratchet up even more from there as the teams traded haymakers with Ohio State making seven straight field goals but unable to build more than a 68-64 lead with 1:49 to play before Penn State trimmed the lead to 68-67 with 41 seconds remaining.
Ohio State got off to a quick start, scoring the first four points of the game, in addition to drawing four Penn State fouls in less than four minutes. However, the Nittany Lions rattled off a 9-0 run heading into the first media timeout of the game, with all nine points coming from Carr and Stevens.
The Penn State run swelled to 12-0, as the Nittany Lions extended their lead to 12-4, before the Buckeyes answered with an 11-0 run of their own to take a 15-12 lead shortly after the second media timeout. During that stretch, Micah Potter, Andre Wesson and Jackson all connected on three-point shots, while Tate added the remaining two points on a tough layup in the lane.
After Reaves put an end to the Ohio State run with a three-ball of his own, the Buckeyes again responded by scoring the next five to take a 20-15 lead with 8:15 to play in the first half following a fast break layup from Dakich.
After Dakich's layup, all Ohio State players that had played against the Nittany Lions had scored, yet none had scored more than three points.
Ohio State led by as many as six in the first half, however the Nittany Lions took a 33-32 lead into the halftime locker room, thanks to superb performances from Carr and Stevens. The duo combined for 26 of Penn State's 33 first half points, as the Nittany Lions added 14 second chance points on nine offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes, despite being without leading rebounder Mike Watkins.