PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Hoops Preview: Penn State vs. No. 20 Ohio State

Penn State has picked itself up recently, winning three of its last five after a slow start in conference play. The two losses during that stretch were close road games decided in the closing minutes. As the team travels to Columbus, Ohio for tonight’s game against the No. 20 Buckeyes, it will be searching for that elusive first road win in conference play.

The Lions defeated Nebraska in their last time out, a sloppy 56-43 victory in the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State led by as many as 17 in the low-scoring affair before the Cornhuskers mounted a late 10-2 run to get it within three points. However, some clutch shooting from freshman Shep Garner made the difference and helped the Lions close out.

“We can play the best teams in this league,” coach Pat Chambers said. “Nebraska had five wins and it just shows you we definitely have good enough talent and we can compete.”

After a tightly-contested loss to No. 16 Maryland last week and the win on Saturday, the Lions will try to complete an upset against Ohio State. The Buckeyes have been a powerhouse in the conference all year long and are coming off of a 79-60 rout of Rutgers on the road.

The Enemy (Is Everywhere)

Ohio State boasts arguably the best offense in the entire Big Ten. The Buckeyes lead the league in field goal percentage (50.3 percent), scoring margin (+17.6), and are second in points per game (79.0 ppg).

They are led by freshman phenom D’Angelo Russell who is averaging 19.5 points per game and posted his first triple-double against Rutgers. The Buckeyes are expected to be without sophomore forward Marc Loving who has been serving a suspension handed down by coach Thad Matta. In Loving’s absence, Jae’Sean Tate has stepped up. Tate dropped 20 points in the Buckeye’s last outing.

Keeping Russell in check will be key. His scoring average is second only to D.J. Newbill in the Big Ten.

How to Make Them Disappear Completely

Ohio State has had a successful season behind its strong guard play and rangy athletic forwards, but has struggled inside. In the four games that the Buckeyes have lost in conference play, they have lost the battle on the boards.

The Lions will likely need an uncharacteristically good shooting night to stay in the mix against such a potent offense, but if they can defend and crash the boards, they’ll give themselves a chance. Newbill struggled to get it going against Nebraska with just 11 points. He’ll need to return to his typical form. Look for Ross Travis (6.2 rebounds per game) and one of Penn State’s shuffling big men — Jordan Dickerson, Donovon Jack, or Julian Moore — to step up on the boards and keep it competitive.

KenPom Game Prep

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.02.07 AM

Prediction

In the end, I think Ohio State’s scoring will prove too much for Penn State. The Nittany Lions defeated the Buckeyes in both of their matchups last season and it isn’t out of the question, but Penn State still struggles to close out games against tougher opponents. I can see the Buckeyes holding on in a two-to-three possession game. (Surprise!)

Photo: Bobby Chen/Onward State

About the Author

Comments

More by Jake

A More Confident, Communicative Christian Hackenberg Enters Spring Game

When Penn State kicks off its 2015 season with the annual Blue-White spring game this Saturday, quarterback Christian Hackenberg will come in with a clean slate. Hackenberg’s struggles in 2014 have been talked about over and over, from turnover issues to noticeable tension with the coaching staff. However, the quarterback appears to be coming into his junior season with a heightened level of focus, ready to bounce back with a transitional year behind him.

Penn State Athletics To Hold Equipment Sale On Blue-White Weekend

Two Knee Injuries Later, Adam Breneman Poised For Successful Season

Athletics

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Sophomore midfielder Shea Moyer scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute of a rainy season opener at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Student Life

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend