The first time Ohio State and Penn State matched up, everything was going the Buckeyes' way.
They had opened up the season with an undefeated record, climbing into the top 10 of the Associated Press top-25 poll by beating Cincinnati, Villanova and North Carolina, before proceeding to crack 100 points for the first time since 1991, beating Penn State, 106-74, on Dec. 7. Two days later, they rose to No. 3.
|#21 OHIO STATE||27||49||76|
Since that day, Ohio State has a 3-6 record, including a four-game losing streak from Dec. 29 to Jan. 11. After falling 90-76 to the Nittany Lions (13-5, 3-4 Big Ten) on the road on Saturday afternoon, the No. 21 Buckeyes are in danger of entirely falling out of the top 25.
Their record has fallen to 12-6, and they're now 2-5 in the Big Ten.
Penn State began running it up on Ohio State early, jumping out to a 10-point lead before the seven-minute mark as it took advantage of the Buckeyes' nearly five-minute scoreless stretch. The Nittany Lions extended the advantage to 14 before a 14-5 Ohio State run capped off by a 3-pointer from Andre Wesson cut the edge to seven points with 3:31 remaining. That, though, was the closest the Buckeyes came to equalizing the score the remainder of the game.
|OHIO STATE||STAT||PENN STATE|
|23-54 (42.6%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||29-54 (53.7%)|
|9-20 (45%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||9-19 (47.4%)|
|21-29 (72.4%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||23-28 (82.1%)|
A 14-6 run from the Nittany Lions to close the first half gave them a 15-point edge at halftime. They led by double figures the remainder of the game, with the advantage reaching as many as 20 points early in the second half.
Penn State hit 53.7 percent of their shots, including a season-high 47.4-percent from beyond the 3-point arc, which has been a trend for the Buckeyes. They entered Saturday ranked third in the nation in opposing 2-point percentage and 120th in opposing 3-point percentage.
Lamar Stevens led the Nittany Lions with 24 points, and Myreon Jones added 18 points and four assists.
On an Ohio State team that made just 42.6 percent of its shots, Kaleb Wesson scored 19 points, going 7-for-13 from the field. Duane Washington Jr., back from suspension, made 5-of-9 shots to score 18 points.
Once again, the Buckeyes' point guards – CJ Walker and DJ Carton – struggled to get much on the offensive side of the ball. Collectively, they had 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting, and had eight assists and four turnovers.
Though Ohio State made 9-of-20 3-pointers, it improbably went 10-for-22 on layups.
Next up: The Buckeyes will return home to face Minnesota on Thursday. The game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. and will be shown on Fox Sports 1.
- Luther Muhammad and Washington returned from their one-game suspensions, but they came off the bench. Ohio State started Carton, Walker, Andre Wesson, Kyle Young and Kaleb Wesson.
- Andre Wesson cracked both 600 points and 300 rebounds on Saturday.
- In his stint as Ohio State's head coach, Chris Holtmann is now 0-2 against Penn State on the road and 2-4 against the Nittany Lions overall.
- The Buckeyes are in danger of falling out of the Associated Press top-25 poll after their latest loss. They have been ranked this entire season. The next rankings come out on Monday.