Penn State Basketball Falls Short of Third Upset
With Ohio State knocking on the door of the number one ranking in America, it was a couple of freshmen who took the Buckeyes on their shoulders to shut the door on an upset-minded Nittany Lions team.
Aaron Craft scored 19 points and dished out seven assists while National Freshman of the Year favorite Jared Sullinger converted on two straight old-fashioned three-point plays in the final minute to give Ohio State a 69-66 victory at Value City Arena in Columbus Saturday night.
The teams went into the half tied at 32, but Ohio State opened the second half with a 17-7 run to go up by 10 with less than five minutes gone by. Penn State was able to claw back, eventually taking a 61-60 lead on a Talor Battle steal and lay-up with 2:52 remaining.
After a three by Buckeye William Buford and two Battle free throws tied the game at 63, Ohio State went to their star frosh to put the nail in Penn State’s coffin. A questionable call on Andrew Jones led to his fifth and disqualifying foul and allowed Sullinger to put the Buckeyes up three. David Jackson added his own three-point play to tie it again at 66, but it was like deja vu all over again as Sullinger was able to score the game’s final points on a Billy Oliver defensive breakdown and foul.
Jackson led Penn State with 19 points and Tim Frazier put together his best game of the season going for 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. Sullinger led Ohio State with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists.
The Nittany Lions (10-7, 3-3 in Big Ten) will face their fifth ranked opponent in a row on Wednesday when they take on #8 Purdue at 8:30 p.m.
Cleaning the Glass:
- Talor Battle (15) and Jeff Brooks (11) also scored in double figures for Penn State. Battle had another subpar shooting night, going 5-17 from the field.
- All five Penn State starters played at least 32 minutes in the game. Oliver led in bench minutes with 14.
- Ohio State will become the number one team in the nation once rankings come out on Monday because of Duke’s loss this past Wednesday night.