For the first time in 18 tries, Penn State beat Ohio State in men’s basketball. The Nittany Lions pulled off the big upset in Columbus in overtime by a score of 71-70.
Junior guard D.J. Newbill had a phenomenal game for Penn State. The Philadelphia native had a game-high 25 points, including the game-tying three to send the game into overtime and the game-winner at the end of overtime. With the Buckeyes focusing a lot of their attention on defense on Tim Frazier, Newbill handled the ball more than usual and made clutch shot after clutch shot.
Ohio State, which is the 23rd ranked team in the country, had an 11-point lead coming out of the under 8 timeout. But an ensuing 14-3 run for Penn State had the game tied at 62 with just over one minute left to go in regulation. After a controversial out-of-bounds call that gave Ohio State the ball, Aaron Craft hit a tough shot to give the Buckeyes a 64-62 lead. Frazier missed two free throws on the following possession and then Ohio State’s Lenzelle Smith made one of two from the charity stripe to make it 65-62, Ohio State. Then Newbill made his first big shot by draining a three to tie the game. The Buckeyes had multiple chances to win the game at the end of regulation, but they couldn’t get a shot to go in.
Overtime didn’t have much scoring action. Brandon Taylor started the extra period with a made layup and then several Ohio State free throws eventually made it 70-67, Ohio State. Newbill then made another layup to cut the Buckeye lead to one. Finally, Penn State got possession of the ball and Newbill crossed up Craft and hit the mid-range jumper to give Penn State a 71-70 lead with 1.9 seconds left in overtime. Craft got the ball on the ensuing inbounds but didn’t even get a shot off, giving Pat Chambers’ team an enormous victory on the road.
Taylor had a big 19 points while freshman Graham Woodward chipped in with 11. SMU transfer Jordan Dickerson played some big minutes and some great interior defense (five blocks). Frazier finished with eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Three Buckeyes scored in double digits, led by LaQuinton Ross’ 16 points.
The win improved Penn State’s record to 11-10 overall and 2-6 in Big Ten play. Ohio State lost for the fifth time in their last six games to drop to 16-5 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten.
Next on Penn State’s schedule is a 11:30 a.m. tip at home against Purdue on Super Bowl Sunday.