UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) — Kyle Young scored 16 points, E.J. Liddell added 14 points and Ohio State beat Penn State 76-64 in a Big Ten opener for both teams.
Ohio State made seven 3-pointers in the opening 10 minutes of the game. Six different Buckeyes made a 3 during the spree for a 27-19 lead, and Ohio State led 41-30 at halftime after going 7 of 16 from distance.
Ohio State led by double figures for the opening 15 minutes of the second half. Penn State got as close as six points until Justin Ahrens sank a 3-pointer from the corner for a 70-61 lead at 2:15.
Malachi Branham added 11 points for Ohio State.
RELEASE FROM PENN STATE ATHLETICS
The Penn State men’s basketball team trimmed an 18-point second-half deficit down to six points in the final minutes, but wasn’t able to complete the comeback attempt in a 76-64 loss to RV/RV Ohio State Sunday night in the Big Ten opener at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Senior transfer Jalen Pickett led the Nittany Lions with a season-high 23 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Graduate student John Harrar tallied his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Ten of Harrar’s points and 11 of his rebounds came in the second half. Junior Seth Lundy followed with 13 points, 11 of which came in the first half.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Ohio State scored the game’s first five points, but Penn State answered right back with a 12-0 spurt thanks to nine points from Lundy and a Pickett 3-pointer that gave the Nittany Lions an early 12-5 lead less than four minutes into the game.
- The Buckeyes got hot from downtown over the next seven minutes, shooting 6-for-9 from deep to pull ahead 27-19 with 9:57 left on the first-half clock.
- Ohio State didn’t make a 3-pointer for the remainder of the opening term, but Penn State wasn’t able to find an offensive rhythm as the Buckeyes took a 41-30 lead into halftime.
- The Buckeyes spent the first 3:31 of the second half on an 11-4 run to stretch their advantage to 52-34. The Nittany Lions strung together a 9-3 streak starting at the 14:50 mark that pulled Penn State back within 12 at 57-45 with 12:22 to play.
- Penn State then used seven points from Pickett and a 5-for-5 effort from the charity stripe to pull all the way back within six at 67-61 with 2:39 to play.
- The Buckeyes answered with a three-pointer before an and-one from Pickett put the score at 70-64 with 50 seconds to play, but Ohio State scored the game’s final six points to thwart Penn State’s comeback bid and walk away with the 76-64 win.
- Penn State finished the game shooting 87 percent (13-15) from the free throw line.
- The Penn State defense held Ohio State’s two leading scorers in E.J. Liddell (14) and Zed Key (4) to a combined 18 points. The Buckeye duo came into the game averaging a combined 32.3 points per game.
- Penn State forced 13 Ohio State turnovers.
- The Nittany Lions held a 32-28 edge in points in the paint.
- Pickett’s 23 points marked a season high and his most thus far in a Penn State uniform. He finished 8-for-15 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
- Harrar notched his fourth double-double of the season and 10th career double-double. The grad student is averaging 10.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg and shooting 73.5 percent (36-49) from the field through the first eight games of the season.
- Lundy has now scored in double figures in seven of eight games this season.
- Senior Myles Dreadrecorded a steal in his sixth consecutive game tonight while adding to his team-leading total.
FROM THE SOURCE
Peter and Ann Tombros Endowed Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry: https://gopsusports.com/watch/?Archive=7358&type=Archive
“First of all, I want to really thank our fans that came out tonight. Our students have been fantastic. They keep coming back, they keep showing up. And then the rest of the crowd, the community and everybody else that came, it’s a big boost. And you can tell. You start coming back at the end and you start to hear the buzz, the noise. I’m looking forward to the day where we put together 40 minutes of good basketball for them. And more and more people want to come and watch this group play. We’re getting better, but we’re not playing 40 minutes. And you have to against a good basketball team. That’s a really good basketball team. They hurt you in a lot of different areas. They score in the post, they’ve got shooting, and they’ve got guys that can drive, and they’re one of the best defensive teams in the country. You got to play great when you play a team like that. You don’t have to be special. You don’t have to step outside of yourself. You have to be the best version of yourself and hope that’s good enough. And I didn’t think we were the best version of ourselves for 40 minutes.”
John Harrar and Jalen Pickett: https://gopsusports.com/watch/?Archive=7359&type=Archive
- The Nittany Lions close out a three-game homestand against Wagner Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. inside the Bryce Jordan Center.
- Penn State then returns to conference play Saturday at Michigan State.