Penn State Basketball Gives No. 13 Ohio State Its First Big Ten Loss Of The Season
Following a road performance in Evanston that left much to be desired, Penn State hoops (14-8, 4-5 B1G) upset No. 13 Ohio State (18-4, 9-1 B1G) 82-79 thanks to a 40-foot buzzer-beater from Tony Carr.
Carr was on fire in Columbus, scoring 20 of his 28 points in the second half, including the game-winner. Josh Reaves made his presence known in his first game back with the team, scoring 10 points off the bench for the Nittany Lions.
OH CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?!? pic.twitter.com/UXL9hG5uBA
— Onward State (@OnwardState) January 26, 2018
How It Happened
Penn State came out firing, making five of its first five three-pointers to start the game. Shep Garner was the main contributor, as he hit each of his first three shots from behind the arc. The barrage from deep boosted the Nittany Lions to a 16-6 lead in the first five minutes of play. Penn State kept on the gas, grooving on to a 25-14 lead at the 10 minute mark.
Ohio State chipped away at the nine-point cushion, pulling to within four points with 6:50 left in the first half. After what ultimately became an 8-1 run for the Buckeyes, the game was tied at 30 with 4:56 to go. The scoring attack was spread well, as four different players had six or more points at halftime. The first half ended with a string of sloppy basketball from both teams, but Penn State managed to come out with a one point lead, 38-37 at the half.
The second half opened up with back-and-forth buckets from both squads. The Nittany Lions went on a 13-2 run, capped off by a Josh Reaves and a Nazeer Bostick three to give Penn State a 55-45 lead.
A few minutes later, Deivis Zemgulis nailed a huge three to push the lead to 10. Ohio State answered with a score of their own, so naturally, Zemgulis came back with another bucket to extend the Nittany Lions’ lead back to 10. Garner then drilled a deep shot, to put Penn State up 67-54 with 7:55 left to play.
Ohio State rallied back to reduce the lead to six, but Tony Carr wasn’t having it. Carr scored 13 of the last 15 points for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State coasted for a few minutes until Ohio State star Keita Bates-Diop drilled a three-pointer to make it a two-score game with 1:42 left on the night. A costly turnover for the Nittany Lions led to another Bates-Diop three, and the Buckeyes were within three. Penn State returned with a sloppy possession that ended in a missed Lamar Stevens two at the shot clock.
Bates-Diop nailed his third three on as many possessions to tie the game at 79 a piece with five seconds remaining. Carr then took the ball down the court and pulled up from about 40 feet away from the basket. The sophomore’s prayer shot fell, putting the nail in Ohio State’s coffin at the buzzer.
This was Penn State’s first win over a top-15 team since beating No. 4 Iowa two seasons ago, and was the first road win over a ranked team for the Nittany Lions since they beat the No. 22 Buckeyes in Columbus back in 2014.
Lamar Stevens added 15 points and six rebounds, while Shep Garner added 14 points thanks to a 4-for-5 shooting performance from three-point land.
Player of the Game
Tony Carr | Sophomore | Guard
Carr shot 10-for-14 from the field, as he went off for 28 points against the Buckeyes. Carr proved clutch when it mattered most, hitting key free throws down the stretch, and of course by nailing one of the biggest shots in recent program history.
Penn State will come home to the BJC on Saturday to host Rutgers (12-10, 2-7 B1G). The game will tip off at 4 p.m., and will be aired on BTN.