Help, My Eyes: Penn State Smothered by Ohio State, 75-55
D.J. Newbill’s 2014 game-winner against Ohio State felt like a distant memory Wednesday evening, as the Nittany Lions turned the ball over 13 times and shot 32 percent en route to a 75-55 blowout loss to the Buckeyes.
Penn State (15-10, 3-9), which won both matchups against No. 23 Ohio State (19-6, 8-4) last season, didn’t score until seven minutes into the game. It didn’t once threaten a come back, and trailed by double-digits the entirety of the second half.
Newbill led the Lions with 16 points, but was at times outmatched by star freshman D’Angelo Russell, who had 17, and leads the Big Ten in scoring in conference games. Brandon Taylor added 11 points, all in the second half, while Shep Garner contributed nine points.
Ignite the bus, yet again.
How it Happened
Penn State began with four open three point attempts in the game’s first three minutes, but couldn’t hit any, allowing Ohio State to jump out to a 5-0 lead at the first media timeout.
The Nittany Lions entered having not won a road Big Ten game in its previous seven efforts, and the Wednesday evening matchup served as the first of three ranked opponents for Penn State in eight days.
A Trey McDonald slam at the 14:48 mark forced Pat Chambers to call a timeout, as Penn State had yet to score and saw the game quickly sliding away.
Finally, seven minutes into the game, a Julian Moore turnaround gave Penn State its first points. Six Buckeyes scored before Penn State netted a shot, an 0-of-10 stretch to open the game.
Two straight Ohio State threes, coupled by a rejection on Moore and a Devin Foster turnover further enforced the blowout, and found the Nittany Lions quickly down 22-7 with nine minutes left in the half.
Then three consecutive Penn State turnovers led to three straight Ohio State baskets prior to the under-four minute timeout, and pushed the deficit to 32-16. By the 2:34 mark, Penn State’s two leading scorers, Newbill and Taylor, had a combined five points, all from Newbill.
Another turnover, this time with Newbill driving in the final seconds of the half, ended the first 20 minutes with Ohio State ahead, 37-23. The Lions shot 8-of-28 in the first half.
The second half began with much of the same sloppiness that concluded the first. Penn State found success getting the ball to open bigs under the basket, but seven Ohio State blocks hindered the Nittany Lions’ ability to convert.
Taylor hit three threes in the first seven minutes of the half, the third game in a row that he’s drained at least three triples. Geno Thorpe had a chance to close the deficit to 10 with an open corner three, but couldn’t convert. Moore quickly conceded an and-one, and Penn State again trailed by 16 with 11 minutes to play.
Not much went better for the duration of the game. A flurry of fouls, turnovers, and blocked shots plunged the Nittany Lions to a 20-point deficit with six minutes left.
Some Penn State reserves saw action in the final four minutes, as the game was a mere formality, and Penn State dropped the game after going 3-2 in its previous five outings.
Tweet/Distraction of the Game
32-16. Ohio State is up. Time out Penn State. Let’s talk about something positive. What is your favorite breed of dog?
— Black Shoe Diaries (@BSDtweet) February 12, 2015
The fine folks at BSD were thoughtful enough to distract viewers from the game’s first half misery by leading a discussion on dogs. It continued to retweet adorable dog pictures and videos during the painful latter half of the first 20 minutes and halftime. This particular dog echoed how we all felt:
— Rob Tribeck (@RTribeck) February 12, 2015
- Brandon Taylor, Penn State’s second-leading scorer, and Geno Thorpe, who led the Nittany Lions last weekend against Nebraska, both failed to score in the first half. Thorpe didn’t score all game.
- Penn State’s winless streak in road Big Ten games is now at eight, dating back to last year’s victory at Northwestern.
- The Nittany Lions allowed Ohio State’s Sam Thompson to set a new career high with 22 points.
- Alan Wisniewski netted his first field goal of the year with under a minute to play.
This was the first of a three game, eight day stretch of ranked teams for Penn State. The Nittany Lions host Maryland at home on Saturday evening, before Wisconsin comes to town on Wednesday. Penn State fell to both teams on the road earlier this season, but, at least against Maryland, were in the game until the final possession.
Photo: Craig Houtz/GoPSUSports