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Buckeyes seek redemption in clash with Nittany Lions

University Park, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - 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.

02/27 10:07:36 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
 
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
 
3rd
UTAH 10
USC 14
 
Half
WASH 0
ARST 10
 
1st
HAW 0
NEV 0
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
3rd
CAL 1
WAS 3
 
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14