STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Whether wide open, fading away from a defender or with a bad look at the basket with a hand in his face, Ohio State’s Jon Diebler had one of those games in which he just couldn’t miss.
The senior some fans call “3bler” lived up to his nickname in Happy Valley.
Diebler had a career-high 30 points and set a school record with 10 3-pointers Tuesday night to lead top-ranked Ohio State to an 82-61 rout of Penn State to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title.
Diebler went 5 of 6 from behind the arc in the first half as the Buckeyes (28-2, 15-2) built a 15-point halftime lead and never let up.
Senior Talor Battle scored 18 points in his final regular-season home game for Penn State (15-13, 8-9).
Diebler’s 10 3s tied a conference record.
“Ironically, I told him in shootaround, ‘We need a big night from you tonight. You’re going to get your shots,” Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said.
That would be 10-for-12 shooting for Diebler, all from behind arc, including a stretch of nine straight 3s until he missed his last shot from behind the arc with 2:03 left.
No matter, Matta let him sit out the rest of the game with Ohio State ahead comfortably by 23 points. Diebler had no idea was having a record-setting night.
“I just found out. It’s cool, I guess it’s something I’ll look back on later down the road,” Diebler said. “I’m just happy we won. It was a great team effort.”
Freshman center Jared Sullinger bullied his way through the lane for 10 points and 10 rebounds — though he wasn’t needed much in the second half with Ohio State leading by as many as 26 points.
The win allowed the Buckeyes to earn at least a share of their fourth conference championship in six years and stay one game ahead of second-place Purdue.
But there wasn’t much talk afterward about tying for the title — a loss by No. 6 Purdue at Iowa on Saturday or an Ohio State win over No. 10 Wisconsin on Sunday would give the Buckeyes the title outright.
“We still have one game left,” Matta said. “We’ve at least got a share of it and that was about all that was said.”
The Nittany Lions fell way short of an upset that could have drastically improved their fading NCAA tournament chances. There was so much anticipation on campus, the game drew 15,403 fans — the sixth-largest crowd in the 15-year history of the Jordan Center — and a record student turnout of more than 6,000.
Instead they got to watch Ohio State dissect Penn State’s defense with ease in ascending to another Big Ten crown.
“You don’t see that very often,” Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said about Diebler’s shooting. “We didn’t have any answers for them.”
David Jackson had 12 points, while Andrew Jones added 10 for Penn State.
After an emotional pregame ceremony honoring the seniors, Penn State never found its footing and didn’t have an answer for Diebler. With Diebler’s hot hand leading the way, Ohio State shot 55 percent overall, including 60 percent (18 of 30) in the second half.
A 3-minute stretch of the first half exemplified Penn State’s frustrations. Sullinger hit a 12-footer over Jeff Brooks before William Buford dunked following a steal to make it 22-10. Buford finished with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting.,
Following a timeout, Battle tried to regain momentum for the Nittany Lions with an acrobatic scoop shot in the lane. But Diebler rushed down on the break for a 3 from the wing to make it 25-12 with about 5 minutes left in the half.
The rest of the game was a mere formality.
Diebler, who already holds the Big Ten record for career 3s, set a Jordan Center record for 3-pointers.
In contrast, the Nittany Lions had some bad luck, with some early shots rattling in and out of basket. They had a slim margin for error against the Big Ten’s best offense (72.9 points per game).
“It didn’t help that Diebler just could not miss,” Battle said. “It’s disappointing. It’s very disappointing. … We’ve just got to move on and leave this one behind.”
No. 1 Ohio State 82 (28-2, 15-2), Penn State 61 (15-13, 8-9)
Bryce Jordan Center – State College, Pa.
March 1, 2011
- The Buckeyes’ 28-2 overall record is the second-best start in school history (1960-61, 27-0).
- As a ranked team, Ohio State is 388-107 all-time. The Buckeyes are 36-1 at home over the last two seasons.
- The 28 win total is the No. 3 spot in Ohio State history for overall wins in a season with the 1961 and 1991 teams. The Buckeyes are a win away from tying last season’s second-place record of 29 wins.
- The 28 wins are now the most in a regular season in Ohio State history. The previous best was 27 during the 2006-07 season (27-3).
- Thad Matta teams own four of the top eight single season win totals in Ohio State history.
- With the win, Thad Matta clinched at least as share of his fourth Big Ten title. He is the fourth Big Ten coach in history to win at least four conference titles in their first seven years (Walter Meanwell, 19-12-17, ’21; Bob Knight, 1972-78; Tom Izzo, 1996-02).
- Ohio State improves to 66-5 when ranked No. 1 by the Associated Press and 18-3 as the nation’s top team in the coaches poll.
- Ohio State moves to 2-0 against Penn State as the No. 1 ranked team. The previous meeting was a 92-49 Buckeye victory, 12/23/61.
- Ohio State is the first school in Big Ten history to have two teams win the Big Ten regular season championship and fifth total after losing the Conference Player of the Year. They won in 2006-07 after losing Terrence Dials and this year after losing Evan Turner. The other three schools are Michigan State, 2000-01, Morris Peterson; Illinois, 2003-04, Brian Cook; Wisconsin, 2007-08, Alando Tucker.
- Penn State falls to 0-12 all-time vs. the No. 1 ranked team.
- The Buckeyes have won the last 15 meetings vs. the Nittany Lions, including the last six at the Bryce Jordan Center. The streak is the longest ever in the series.
- Ohio State has won 14 of the last 16 true road games since finishing 2009-10 with five-consecutive road victories.
- The Scarlet and Gray improve to 31-3 in their last 34 Big Ten games. The Buckeyes are 22-2 in their last 24 conference games.
- The Buckeyes are 126-19 when ranked among the Top 3 in the country.
- When ranked in the Top 10 nationally, Ohio State is 268-58 with wins in 59 of its last 64 outings.
- The Buckeyes are 26-12 vs. the Nittany Lions all-time, with an overall Big Ten record of 716-660.
- Ohio State improved to 10-7 at Penn State.
- As a ranked team, Ohio State is 13-2 in games vs. Penn State.
- Penn State falls to 3-6 against ranked teams on the season and 13-5 at home.
- The Buckeye freshmen have accounted for 45 percent of total scoring for the season (1,046/2,322), including 21 of Ohio State’s 82 total points against Penn State.
- Ohio State’s four returning starters for 2010-11 (Jon Diebler, David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale and William Buford) have combined for 412 career starts and 517 games played.
- This is the 255th-consecutive game Ohio State has made at least one 3-point field goal (1/10/04 vs. Penn State was the last game with zero made).
- The Buckeyes committed 18 fouls. They entered game second in the nation with fewest fouls per game with 14.4.
- Ohio State only committed 12 turnovers vs. the Nittany Lions. They are first in the Big Ten and second nationally in turnover margin with a plus-5.7 margin.
- The Buckeye’s boast two of the top three conference leaders in steals. Aaron Craft leads the Big Ten with 2.03 spg and David Lighty is third with 1.76 spg. Against Penn State, Craft had five steals. Ohio State leads the Big Ten as a team in steals. They had seven steals vs. the Nittany Lions.
- Ohio State leads the conference with a 77.3 PPG average. They had 82 vs. Penn State. They are second in scoring defense, allowing 58.5 PPG.
- The Buckeyes allowed 22 rebounds. They are second in conference play while only allowing 30 RPG.
- The 28-2 record to begin the season is the best start for Thad Matta at Ohio State (previous best was in 2005-06, when the team began 11-0).
- This season is the seventh-consecutive year Matta has guided the Buckeyes to a 20-win campaign. That extends the longest streak in Ohio State history.
- Matta has won at least 10 Big Ten regular-season games in each of the last six seasons. That effort surpassed Fred Taylor’s mark of 10+ league wins in each of the five seasons from 1960-64. Those were during 14-game regular-season slates. The Big Ten played a 16-game schedule in Matta’s first three seasons (8, 12, 15 league wins) and an 18-game schedule the last four (10, 10, 14, 15).
- Since Matta took over at Ohio State in 2004-05, the Buckeyes have amassed 84 Big Ten wins, tying Wisconsin for first in the conference. He has the best overall record with a winning percentage of 77 percent.
- Matta has won at least 20 games in each of his 11 seasons as a head coach. Only Mark Few (Gonzaga), among active coaches, has more consecutive 20-win seasons to start a career (12).
- Matta’s career record now stands at 286-87 overall and 184-56 at Ohio State.
- With the win, Ohio State is 32-19 in March under Matta and 1-0 this season.
- Matta is now 14-0 vs. Penn State in his career, with an overall mark of 94-39 against Big Ten opponents.
- Matta is 90-17 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State and 94-39 vs. Big Ten foes (regular season and Big Ten tournament games) for an overall record of 184-56. He is 118-10 in games played in Columbus, which are the most home wins among Big Ten schools during that span.
- While outrebounding Penn State 31-22, Ohio State improves to 18-2 on the year and 105-16 under Matta when grabbing more boards than its opponent.
- The Buckeyes are 22-1 this season and 152-20 under Matta when leading at the half.
- Ohio State remains undefeated at 28-0 this season and 170-5 under Matta when leading with five minutes to play.
- The Buckeyes are 15-1 this season and 91-7 under Matta when shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
- When shooting better than the opponent, Ohio State improves to 21-1 this season and 162-18 under Matta.
- With 82 points, the Buckeyes are 20-0 this season and 124-11 under Matta when scoring more than 70 total points in a game.
- The Buckeyes improve to 26-1 this season and 154-44 when limiting themselves to under 15 total turnovers (Ohio State had 12 turnovers vs. Penn State).
- Diebler the record for most 3-pointers in a game in Buckeye history with 10 (Diebler and Jay Burson, 1998, had the previous record with nine each).
- Diebler led the Buckeyes with 30 points, setting a career high. His previous best was 29 vs. FGCU, 12/15/10.
- With 10 made 3-pointers vs. Penn State, senior Jon Diebler now has 348 for his career, extending his Big Ten record for most career made 3-pointers that he set with two 3-pointers Feb. 20 at Purdue, passing Pete Lisicky (332, Penn State, 1994-98) for the top spot.
- Diebler’s 2.69 average of made 3-pointers per game is second in the Big Ten.
- With 10 made 3-pointers, Diebler extends his streak to 46 games in a row with at least one 3-pointer made.
- Diebler’s current 3-point field goal percentage of 49.7 percent (88-177) puts him in the record books as having the best single season three-point percentage.
- Diebler finished the game 10-12 from behind the arc.
- Diebler’s 49.7 percent shooting percentage from 3-point range is No. 4 in the Big Ten.
- With 30 points against the Nittany Lions, Diebler now has 1,422 career points, passing Larry Bolden (1,408) for 20th place in career scoring at Ohio State. He is 14 points behind Paul Ebert (1,4336) for 19th-place.
- The game vs. Penn State was Diebler’s 137th game donning the Scarlet and Gray, good for third all-time. He is two starts away from tying Jamar Butler (139, 2005-08) for second.
- Junior guard William Buford had 21 points, passing Jamar Butler (1,313) for 26th-place in career scoring at Ohio State. His career total now stands at 1,320. Jim Cleamons is 25th with 1,335.
- Buford is the career leading scorer in the Big Ten for all juniors, leading John Shurna of Northwestern by 36.
- The 21 point-performance for Buford is the 23rd time this season he has scored in double-figures, which is second-most on the team.
- Buford has scored in double-figures in nine out of the last 10 Big Ten games.
- In five career games against the Nittany Lions, Buford is averaging 23.24 PPG, the highest current average on the team.
- Lighty, the third player in Ohio State history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists, ended the contest with six points, four rebounds and four assists. Lighty’s current marks: 1,380 points, 550 rebounds and 353 assists.
- Lighty has now been a part of 123 Buckeye victories during his tenure in Columbus (Lighty had 35 wins as a freshman, 24 as a sophomore and 29 as a junior in 2009-10. He is credited with seven wins at the start of the 2008-09 season, which ended when he broke his right foot and earned a medical redshirt). The previous record was set by Danny Peters and Mark Titus (both played from 2007-10), earning 110 wins apiece.
- Lighty has played in 150 games as a Buckeye, the most all-time in an Ohio State uniform. Lighty also leads all NCAA active players in games played (Duke’s Kyle Singler is second with 137).
- The game vs. Penn State marked senior David Lighty’s 118th career start for Ohio State, passing Jamar Butler (2005-08) for fourth-place in career games started in a Buckeye jersey.
- With six points, Lighty now has 1,380 for his career, passing Brian Brown for 22nd-place in career scoring at Ohio State.
- 11-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week Jared Sullinger finished the contest with 10 points. Sullinger has scored at least 10 points in 26 of 30 games.
- With 10 points, Sullinger adds to his mark of becoming just the 29th Buckeye all-time to score more than 500 points in a season. He now has 514 on his rookie campaign. Kosta Koufos is the last freshman to reach 500 points in a rookie season with 534 in 2008-09. Evan Turner and William Buford each scored more than 500 points last season.
- Sullinger also added a team-high 10 rebounds for the Buckeyes (his 9.8 average is second in the Big Ten), good for his 14th double-double. He now has 294 rebounds on the season.
- Sullinger is 20 points behind Kosta Koufos (534) for second in scoring during a freshman season.
- Sullinger needs 12 rebounds to tie Greg Oden (306, 2007) for most rebounds in a season by a freshman at Ohio State.
- Sullinger’s had four offensive rebounds. He is first in the Big Ten with 3.14 ORPG. He also had six defensive rebounds. His 6.7 DRPG is second in the conference.
- Aaron Craft had six assists. He now has 139 assists on the season to just 71 turnovers. Craft averages 4.6 assists per game, leading all league freshmen.
- Craft also had five steals for 64 total on the season (his 2.13 average per game is first in the Big Ten), leading all league freshman.
- Craft passed Michael Redd (61, 1998) for second place for steals in a freshman season.