Penn State(14-16, 6-11 Big Ten) wrapped up its home slate on Tuesday night against Ohio State (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten), dropping a heartbreaker to the Buckeyes in front of a rowdy crowd in the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Nittany Lions took a 70-69 lead with 9.8 seconds remaining thanks to Tony Carr, but fell 71-70 after a Jae’Sean Lyle layup went down with only three seconds left.
How It Happened
Ohio State led for all but 1:23 of the first half as Penn State never got out in front in the opening period. After senior forward Marc Loving led the Buckeyes out to a 10-3 lead, the Nittany Lions went on a 7-0 run in just 80 seconds of play to knot the score at 10 all five minutes into the game.
For the remainder of the half, Ohio State saw their lead increase to as much as eight and dwindle to as little as three. The absence of Payton Banks off the bench, who missed tonight’s game because of an illness, definitely seemed to hurt Pat Chambers’s team in the early-going. Penn State’s reserves were outscored 14-0 in the opening twenty minutes, and 29-5 on the night overall.
Thanks to 11 points from team captain Shep Garner and 10 from freshman star Tony Carr, the Nittany Lions trailed just by the slim margin of 40-36 after a half of play.
The second half started well for the Blue and White as Lamar Stevens and Garner sparked a 10-1 run in their first two and a half minutes out of the locker room. The burst gave Penn State their first lead of the night, forcing a timeout from Buckeye head coach Thad Matta.
However, Ohio State didn’t bend under the pressure, as they cut the lead to 54-52 following a Micah Potter slam with 12:32 to go. His technical foul for hanging on the rim after the dunk could have derailed the Buckeyes’ momentum, but they kept on coming, regaining a 65-60 lead behind a 9-0 run.
Penn State hung around during a particularly rough shooting stretch and despite a number of injuries hampering the Nittany Lions’ depth.
Down 69-65 with less than a minute remaining, Tony Carr managed to cut the deficit in half for Penn State. After forcing a turnover with 28.9 seconds left, Penn State called a timeout to set-up the potential tying shot. The leader of late for the Nittany Lions stepped up big-time, as Tony Carr buried a big three to give Penn State a 70-69 lead with 9.8 seconds remaining.
The Buckeyes had one more chance, however, as Tate spun his way through the Penn State defense to lay the ball up and in with just three ticks remaining. A Carr half-court heave was short, and the Nittany Lions lost yet another heartbreaker 71-70.
Player Of The Game
Jae’Sean Tate | Forward | Junior
Tate came up huge when the Buckeyes needed him, hitting a contested game-winning shot with just three seconds left. The 6’4 wingman finished a rebound shy of a double-double, putting up 12 points on 6-8 shooting to match his nine rebounds and two steals.
The Nittany Lions wrap up their regular season by making the trip to Iowa City to face off with the Hawkeyes (16-13, 8-8 Big Ten). The game will tip off at 1 p.m. on BTN.