(Image and game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, other image courtesy erichatheway.com, gif courtesy PopKey, stats courtesy of teamrankings.com)
The (#13 at the time, #17 now) Buckeyes (24-8, 15-3) played Penn State (21-13, 9-9) in the opening round, for Ohio State, in the B1G Tourney. This was the third meeting between the teams this season, all coming within the last six weeks. The outcome was the same as the previous two meetings – Penn State wining, this time by the score of 69-68.
This will be a shorter, different formatted recap. No need to get into this too much because you’ve all probably watched the game and/or wrote/read recaps elsewhere. And with Penn State pulling the hat trick on OSU this season, this horse is still dead in terms of critique.
The Buckeyes were led by Kieta Bates-Diop (25 points), Jae’Sean Tate (10) and Kam Williams (10). C.J. Jackson led Ohio State with 6 assists and Jae’Sean led Ohio State’s rebounding efforts with 7 boards.
The Nittany Lions were led by Tony Carr, again, (25 points), Lamar Stevens (15) and Shep Garner (13). Carr led PSU with 5 assists and Stevens and Josh Reaves had 7 rebounds each.
Ohio State shot 44% from the field (26-59), 35% (8-23) from 3-point range and 73% from the foul line (8-11).
Penn State shot 38% from the field (22-58), 48% from 3-point range (9-19) and 80% (16-20) from the foul line.
Below are some not-quite random thoughts:
- Credit to the Penn State players and to Coach Chambers, but there is no way Ohio State should have dropped this game. Or, the first game, for tha matter. In fact this game had the same type of feel s the first game (the January 25th game). Rather than a last second 3-point prayer answered, PSU pulled this off with late defense (:16 with a Shep Garner steal) followed by a last second (:03, actually) dunk to get the win.
- Penn State’s aggressive play continued intimidated Ohio State. Ohio State couldn’t force PSU’s defensive pressure and consequently went way too deep in the shot clock to shoot on several possessions. The Nittany Lion defense was dictating the Buckeye defense. (If any of you readers are really good point guards, Coach Holtmann want to speak with you.)
- I’ve been harping about PSU being very aggressive and active on defense. Actually, they were more aggressive and active from baseline to baseline than Ohio State. Again. In all three games, PSU has 1) out-rebounded OSU, 2) grabbed more offensive rebounds than OSU and 3) scored more 2nd chance points than OSU.
- An example of that was in a brief stretch at the :48 mark in the second half with OSU holding a 68-65 lead. Josh Reaves misses a layup; Reaves gets his rebound, Reaves misses (again), Reaves gets his rebound (again), Reaves is fouled by Dakich, Reaves makes both FTs and now OSU leads by 1. Forty-five seconds later, they didn’t.
The Buckeyes await the drama of Selection Sunday – March 11th. According to teamrankings.com, Ohio State could be a #4 seed, or per sportingnews.com, a #5 seed. I guess we’ll have to tune in Sunday evening to find out.