A 10:17 scoring drought in the second half turned a competitive game into the Buckeyes tenth straight win over the Lions 68 - 56. Jamelle Cornley hit a jumper to push the Lions lead to 44 – 40 at the 14:21 mark. The Lions would not score another point until a Pringle 3-pointer with 4:04 left in the game.
Penn State came into the game averaging 52 points a game since the injury to their star player, Geary Claxton. The Lions got off to a great start. A 9 – 0 run put the Lions up 19 – 12 and forced Thad Matta to take a timeout at the 11:56 mark of the first half.
Poor shot selection by the Buckeyes and the inability to get back on defense led to 12 Penn State fast break points.
Back to back 3’s by Danny Morrissey gave the Lions a 34-32 lead late in the first half.
A turnover at the end of the half led to a Butler to Terwilliger layup that tied the game at 34 going into the break. Jamar Butler led the Buckeyes with 10 points at the half.
Talor Battle, a freshman point guard from New Albany, New York matched Butler with 10 points for the Lions.
Matt Terwilliger and Jamar Butler pointed out how important it was to play with intensity on the road in their weekly press conference with the media. The Buckeyes did not match the intensity of the Lions in the first half.
A three by Battle and another three by Morrissey got the Lions off to a great start in the second half. They led 42 – 38 at the first TV timeout, and appeared to be in position for the upset.
A Koufos put back off a Diebler miss gave Ohio State their first lead in the second half, 45 – 44 with 12:35 left in the game.
A 12 – 0 run capped by a Butler three forced the Lions to call a timeout at the 8:56 mark. At the time they trailed 52 – 44.
Jamar Butler was the player of the game with 20 points, six assists, and three rebounds. Kosta Koufos added 10 points, and Matt Terwilliger add 10 points off the bench.
Talor Battle had 15 points in the Lions sixth consecutive loss.
Ohio State shot 49% from the field, however, it was the Buckeye’s active zone defense in the second half that cooled off the Lions. The Lions only shot 35% from the field for the game.
Ohio State (15-6, 6-2) travels to Iowa City on Saturday night. In their first meeting the Buckeyes hammered the Hawkeyes 78 – 49 in Columbus.
Penn State (10-10, 2-6) hosts #7 Michigan State on Saturday night.