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(22) Ohio State (22-6) at Penn State (13-14)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 27, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Bryce Jordan Center (15,271) -- University Park, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: OSU 16-3, PSU 8-7. Away Record: OSU 5-3, PSU 4-6. Neutral Record: OSU 1-0, PSU 1-1. Conference Record: OSU 9-6, PSU 4-10. Series Record: Ohio State leads, 29-13.

GAME NOTES: The Penn State Nittany Lions will try for the regular-season sweep of the Ohio State Buckeyes, as the Big Ten Conference rivals square off at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday night.

Ohio State, presently ranked No. 22 in the AP poll, streaked out to a 15-0 start and had been considered among the best teams in the country, but the Big Ten slate has proven difficult to navigate, and the Buckeyes currently sit at 22-6 overall, which includes a 9-6 league ledger. OSU has however, started to play better of late, winning three straight and six of its last seven. The Buckeyes thrashed visiting Minnesota last Saturday, 64-46, and they have allowed fewer than 50 points in two of their last three and three of their last five games overall. Ohio State has won its last three road games.

Penn State brings a 13-14 record into this contest, and its 4-10 conference mark has it in the Big Ten basement. The Nittany Lions have lost two straight and four of their last five bouts, the most recent of which being an 80-67 decision at Nebraska last Thursday. PSU is just a game over .500 at home this season, and it has lost its last two in front of the hometown faithful.

Penn State shocked Ohio State in Columbus back on Jan. 29, 71-70, in overtime, but the Buckeyes still hold a commanding 29-13 lead in the all-time series. Ohio State head coach Thad Matta is 17-1 against the Nittany Lions in his career.

As mentioned, Ohio State's defensive effort has been stellar of late, and all season for that matter. The Buckeyes came into the week ranked sixth in the country in average yield (58.1 ppg), and they are holding the opposition to low shooting percentages (.398 overall, .298 3-point) as well. They have also done a nice job of forcing mistakes, with foes turning the ball over an average of 14.3 times per tilt. Offensively, OSU is putting up a little more than 70 ppg, thanks to shooting efforts that hover just above 45 percent overall and 34 percent from beyond the arc. LaQuinton Ross (14.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (11.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg) are the only two double-digit scorers on the roster, although support comes from guys like Aaron Craft (9.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.6 apg, 2.6 spg), Amir Williams (8.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.8 bpg), Shannon Scott (7.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.5 apg) and Sam Thompson (7.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg).

Thompson was high man for the Buckeyes in their recent rout of Minnesota, as he tallied 19 points, while Smith, Jr. had 13 and Scott chipped in with 10. Ohio State trailed 28-18 at halftime, and it missed 11 of its 14 3-point attempts in the game, but the team came storming back to outscore the Golden Gophers over the final 20 minutes, 46-18. Minnesota shot just 35.4 percent from the field, which included a 4-of-17 showing from downtown. OSU logged a 15-8 edge in points from the foul line, as well as a 35-25 rebounding advantage.

Penn State does a decent job putting the ball in the basket, averaging 73.3 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .434 overall and .322 from 3-point range. Unfortunately, its defensive performance is lacking big time, with foes connecting on close to 36 percent of their long-range launches in netting 72.6 ppg. The Nittany Lions boast two of the Big Ten's top-10 scorers in guards D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier, as the duo combines for 33.4 ppg. Both are active in other areas as well, with Newbill grabbing 5.2 rpg, and Frazier dishing out 5.9 apg.

In the recent loss to Nebraska, Penn State's talented backcourt tandem accounted for both of the team's double-digit scorers, as they each scored 17 points and came away with four rebounds. Frazier handed out five helpers, but the Lions made good on only 34.9 percent of their total shots, which included a 6-of-18 showing from long range. As for the Cornhuskers, they put five players in double figures while using a massive 37-of-48 effort at the free- throw line to earn the victory.

Penn State is sure to put forth maximum effort, but despite playing in hostile territory, expect the Buckeyes to exact some revenge for the earlier loss to the Nittany Lions.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio State 77, Penn State 63

02/27 10:15:29 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
 
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
 
8th
PIT 0
MIL 0
 
9th
TAM 3
CWS 1
 
6th
MIN 2
CLE 7
 
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
 
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
9th
MIA 2
WAS 3
 
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
 
5th
SDP 1
SFG 0
 
4th
ANA 3
TEX 0
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
 
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
 
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
4th
SMISS 14
APPST 14
 
1st
TOL 13
BST 0
 
4th
OHIO 29
IDAHO 24
 
4th
CIN 31
UMO 24
 
4th
MEM 36
MTST 17
 
4th
LSU 16
MSST 34
 
4th
ARK 52
NILL 14
 
4th
ARKST 7
UTST 14
 
4th
SALABAMA 6
GASO 21
 
3rd
WVU 24
OKLA 31
 
3rd
VANDY 21
SCAR 27
 
3rd
NEB 24
MIAMI 14
 
3rd
NMST 14
NMU 21
 
3rd
HOU 20
UNLV 7
 
Half
FSU 3
CLEM 10
 
1st
ARZ 0
CAL 7
 
10:30pm Tonight
BSU
LALAF
10:30pm Tonight
WASU
OREG
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
SDST
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0