Penn State 90, Ohio State 76: Lions Dominate the Buckeyes

By Jarrod Prugar on January 18, 2020 at 5:41 pm
Jan 18, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions forward Mike Watkins (24) controls the ball as Ohio State Buckeyes forward Kaleb Wesson (34) defends during the second half at the Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
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It was much different this time around for Penn State against Ohio State as the Nittany Lions took down the Buckeyes 90-76 on Saturday afternoon in the Bryce Jordan Center.

  1st half 2nd half Final
Penn State 42 48 90
Ohio State 27 49 76

The last time these Big Ten teams squared off it was Ohio State on the winning end of a lopsided game as they won 106-74. 

Today, Penn State got the full forty minutes of effort they had been looking for since defeating Iowa at the Palestra a few games ago. And it was their attitude that got them into the win column today.

"We competed. We were tough. We were physical. We got on the floor. We attempted charges," Penn State head coach Pat Chambers said. "They're all the winning plays you need, we call them attitude plays. And I think really that was the difference for us in the way we approached the game and the way we played the game."

The Nittany Lions were able to dominate the Buckeyes despite Lamar Stevens only playing a little under 22 minutes due to foul trouble. Fret not though, Stevens notched 24 points and became the second Penn State player to score 1,000 points against Big Ten competition. The first was Talor Battle.

Their depth was tested with Stevens and a plethora of other Nittany Lions in foul trouble. Overall, three players had four fouls (Stevens, Mike Watkins and Seth Lundy). 

"It talks about our depth, but we're all stars in our roles. We need to be all stars in our roles," Chambers said. "Lamar's been getting in foul trouble in the Big Ten here, so he's got to be a little more intelligent, but Seth Lundy is playing really good basketball right now...it does speak to our depth, we could get better."

Penn State landed four guys in double-digits against Ohio State with Stevens leading the way followed by Myreon Jones with 20. Lundy had 12 of his own and Myles Dread also chipped in 10.

"This was a great game for us, but you've got to put it back-to-back-to-back. I felt like we played close to a 40-minute game," Chambers said.

Putting it together night in and night out is easier said than done especially in a conference as difficult as the Big Ten. 

"It's tough in this league this year and we had a little bit of a losing streak there. I was really proud of them because they didn't look back," Chambers said. "Everybody wanted them to look back. Everybody wanted them to repeat history and I wouldn't let them do it."

The Nittany Lions were able to rebound from their first matchup against the Buckeyes in large part by breaking the game down possession by possession.

"The emphasis was let's just take it one possession at a time or in four minute increments. Let's just try to win the first four minutes and I think they did that," Chambers said. "Then when they made their run in the second half, again it was Penn State beating Penn State. We had some careless turnovers that led to easy baskets but we calmed it down a little bit and took care of the ball."

And while they did just that, Stevens broke the success down into even simpler terms.

"I don't think we made any adjustments," Stevens said. "When we went there they punched us and we weren't able to respond. They had one of those games where they weren't missing anything. We did clean up the details, doing the little things."

With 13 games left plus the Big Ten Tournament, there's still a lot that can and will happen for Penn State the rest of the way. There's also a lot to be proven for Chambers and his crew.

"We have to come out and be ourselves. We have to compete and do what Penn State basketball does," Chambers said. 

For Stevens though, as a senior, his message to his teammates is straight and to the point for the rest of the season. 

"You have to want it more. The message to the team is you have to want it more and show it," Stevens said. "You could tell we really wanted to win this game and I think that just needs to be a consistent thing. You can't just want it when you've lost three in a row."

 

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