As the season winds down, the Penn State Nittany Lions are playing simply for pride and to build confidence going into next season. This game presented an opportunity to knock off a nationally ranked opponent on national television. Penn State rose to the challenge and swept the season series against the No. 22 Ohio State Buckeyes, pulling off an amazing 65-63 upset victory.
Star point guard Tim Frazier was honored before the game on Senior Night. He will leave Penn State as the all-time assist leader in school history. He didn’t put up huge numbers in the game, scoring 16 points and dishing out just two assists, but he did enough to help lead his team to the victory.
Fellow guard D.J. Newbill, the hero the last time these two teams met, continued his success against the Buckeyes, scoring 23 points in this one.
The night started poorly for the home team, as Ohio State looked eager to avenge a home loss to the Nittany Lions last month. The Buckeyes quickly jumped out to a 10-2 lead, quieting the crowd inside of the Bryce Jordan Center. Their largest lead of the half was 11. However, Penn State was able to pull it together and ended up trailing by just two at the half. The Buckeyes failed to make a field goal in the final five minutes of the first half and team leader Aaron Craft found himself on the bench with two early fouls.
Ohio State came out of the break and went up by seven early on in the half. However, Instead of rolling over and giving up, the Nittany Lions battled back and took advantage of more Ohio State foul trouble and held the lead for much of the second half. The buckeyes made it a game, cutting the lead to one with under a minute to go, but were not able to overtake the Nittany Lions.
The Buckeyes were limited by the fact that Craft spent much of the game on the bench, picking up his fourth foul midway through the second half. When he was in the game, the senior did manage 10 points and four assists. LaQuinton Ross paced the Buckeyes with 19 points and six rebounds.
The Nittany Lions relied on the combination of Newbill and Frazier, but did get nine points off the bench from Geno Thorpe and a combined 15 rebounds from Ross Travis and Brandon Taylor.
Penn State gets another shot to beat a ranked team on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center when the No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers come to town for a noon tip-off.
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