(Photo courtesy BTN.com. Game information courtesy OhioStateBuckeyes.com, ESPN.com)

That was way too exciting.  But a win, especially a road win is really good.

Ohio State (17-13, 7-10) outmatched  Penn State (14-16, 6-11)  71-70 Tuesday evening in the Bryce Jordan Center.  In a too close game, the Buckeyes were up 69-67 with :42 on the clock. Thirty seconds later, OSU was down a point, 70-69. Eight seconds later (:03 on the clock) Jae’Sean Tate made a layup to secure the win. That, was one helluva finish.

This was the only regular season meeting between the teams, so it’s always good to have swept the season “series” against an opponent. To Penn State’s credit, they scrapped the full 40 minutes. They were shorthanded to begin the game (injury/illness) and the ranks thinned out (fouls) as they game trudged on.

The Buckeyes had four players score in double digits; JaQuan Lyle coming off the bench (17 points), Marc Loving (14),  Jae’Sean Tate (12 points) and Trevor Thompson (11).Tate just missed another double-double by getting 9 rebounds, which was a game high for both teams.

The Nittany Lions  had three double-digit scorers; Tony Carr (21 points), Shep Garner (20) and Lamar Stevens (16). Mike Watkins led PSU with 7 rebounds..

Thoughts and opinions…

  • Let’s get this out of the way; both team were really bad with their rebounding. As in “I really don’t give a shit” bad. Focusing on offensive rebounding, which I feel is a measure of effort and ‘want to’,  on 26 missed FGs, OSU had a paltry 6 offensive rebounds – resulting in 6 second chance points. For their part, on 30 missed FGs, PSU had 3 offensive rebounds, resulting in 6 second chance points. If the Nittany Lions had any capacity to be embarrassed, this would do it.
  • JaQuan Lyle appears to be adapting to his new role as “6th man” for the Buckeyes. He led the team in scoring, was 3rd in rebounding (6 boards) and clocked 25 minutes of game time, third longest of the Buckeyes on Tuesday night. These may not be Hondo ‘6th man’ Havlicek numbers, but they are pretty damn good. JaQuan brings a nice change of pace and offensive aggressiveness to the floor. Good for you, JaQuan.
  • How did Micah and Andre do? Glad you asked. The freshmen combined for 12 points, 4 rebounds and no turnovers in 37 minutes of playing time. A very respectable evening. Nice work, lads.
  • With two sub-.500 (conference) teams playing, you might expect some sloppy play. You would not be disappointed. The teams (OSU -17, PSU – 11) combined for 28 turnovers. That’s a lot of empty possessions.
  • Speaking of turnovers, let’s check in to see how OSU did in the ‘turnover-FG made’ measure. JaQuan had 7 FGs and 3 TOs. That’s a big plus, nice play JaQuan. Elsewhere, Marc Loving had 4 FGs and 4 TO’s. Yikes, good thing he had 6 rebounds. Jae’Sean scaled up to 6 FGs(!) and 6 TOs. JST was extremely efficient shooting (6-8) but get the ball out of his hands.
  • Also, speaking of Jae’Sean, let’s applaud ‘redemption’. With OSU up 69-67, Jae’Sean turned the ball over with :28 in the game. PSU’s Tony Carr sank an apparent game winning 3-pointer  17 seconds later. Fourteen seconds later, Jae’Sean sank the real game winning layup. It’s good to have ice water in your veins.

Although the Buckeyes aren’t likely going to the NCAA’s, the upcoming game against Indiana (below) is very important. At this moment (Monday afternoon) Ohio State is 10th in the B1G. If The Conference Tournament Were Held Today© Ohio State would play their first round game against #7 Michigan, a team they’ve beaten this season. If Ohio State were to win that game, they would play #2 seed Wisconsin, a team they’ve split their season series against. The Buckeyes haven’t won that many conference games this season, but it’s possible they’ll draw two team in the first two rounds who they have beaten. I’m not suggesting that OSU wind the B1G tourney and gets into the NCAA, but this could be more interesting than we may have thought possible a week or two ago.

Up Next

The Buckeyes close out the regular season by hosting the Indiana Hoosiers (14-14. 6-9) on Saturday.March 4th.. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:00 noon EST. The game can be seen on ESPN and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.