Ohio State downed by Penn State for third time this season, 69-68

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: Kam Williams
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: Kam Williams /

Despite a back-and-forth contest, the Ohio State Buckeyes once again found themselves outmatched by the Penn State Nittany Lions.

When Penn State arrived on the draw of the Big Ten Tournament Bracket, Ohio State already seemed to be in a bad spot. After the two prior losses to the Nittany Lions, a third seemed to be very much on the table.

Right out of the gate, Penn State set the tone. After holding ground in some regards, Ohio State seemed in a constant state of playing catch-up.

Tony Carr deserves all the credit in the world for the team’s success. The sophomore found the basket seemingly every time the Buckeyes started to gain traction. His 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting (4-of-7 from three) with 6 rebounds and 5 assists. However, it was not his heroics that lifted the Nittany Lions last night.

Keita Bates-Diop gave Penn State plenty of problems himself. He scored an emphatic 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Bates-Diop rounded his performance with excellent defense as well.

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Bates-Diop and Carr simply acted as neutralizers to one another for much of the game. If either team didn’t have their star in this game, it would have been very easy to find a winner.

Instead, the final two minutes decided a victor.

Ohio State grabbed a 68-64 lead with 1:54 left but would watch it wither away down the stretch. With 0:21 left and a one-point Buckeyes lead, Shep Garner forced Keita Bates-Diop into a turnover. Then, with 0:05 seconds left, Tony Carr fed Josh Reeves an easy dunk for a Penn State lead.

CJ Jackson hoisted a three at the buzzer only for the shot to be deflected by Tony Carr.

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Now, the Buckeyes are on the backend of their third loss to Penn State this season and are eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament. They will head back to Columbus, not playing a game until March 15th at the earliest, the first day of the NCAA Tournament.