No. 2 Buckeyes survive furious comeback by PSU
University Park, PA (Sports Network) – Greg Oden finished with 15 points, 10
rebounds and four blocks, as second-ranked Ohio State survived Penn State’s
improbable comeback to defeat the Nittany Lions, 64-62, at Bryce Jordan
Ron Lewis donated 12 points while Daequan Cook and Jamar Butler had 11 each
for Ohio State (23-3, 11-1 Big Ten), which has won 10 straight games.
Geary Claxton posted a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds while
Jamelle Cornley chipped in 14 points for the Nittany Lions (10-14, 1-10), who
have dropped 10 in a row. This loss was met with a standing ovation from the
home crowd, however, as Penn State nearly staged a massive upset.
Ohio State dominated play for the majority of the contest and pushed its lead
to 24 early in the second half, but Penn State made a furious push. The key
was a 14-1 charge in the latter stages, which Cornley polished off with a
layup to make it 61-57 with 1:39 remaining.
Mike Conley, Jr. countered with a jumper, only to see Mike Walker sink a three
at the other end to cut the deficit to three.
The Lions later whittled the lead to two with 11 ticks left after a pair of
Claxton free throws, and Ohio State failed to score on the other end to set up
a dramatic finish. The Buckeyes got the ball back with a chance to tie or move
in front, but Walker’s three-point attempt caromed off the back of the rim
right before time ran out.
The Nittany Lions owned a 10-6 advantage early on, but the Buckeyes snapped
into form and rattled off 16 unanswered points to assume command.
Cook drained a pair of three-pointers early on in the run before Oden grabbed
an offensive rebound and slammed it home moments later to make it 17-10, OSU.
The freshman big man displayed his versatility on the next trip down the
floor, hitting a baby hook from about nine feet out to extend the lead to
nine. Lewis capped the surge with a trey with 9:37 on the clock.
The Buckeyes continued to pull away as the first half wore on, and took a
40-19 lead into intermission. Oden, Cook and Lewis had nine points apiece at
intermission, with Oden also grabbing seven boards before the break.
Ohio State improved to 5-3 on the road…Ohio State leads the all-time series,
21-13…Ohio State shot 42 percent from the floor, compared to PSU’s 37