February 7, 2019

Buckeyes Hold off Penn State, 74-70


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s basketball team edged Penn State, 74-70, Thursday night at Value City Arena. With the win, the Buckeyes move to 15-7 on the year, 5-6 in the Big Ten, while the Nittany Lions drop to 8-15, 1-11 in conference play.

Luther Muhammad led the Buckeyes with 20 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists while Andre Wesson notched the first double-double of his career with 15 points and 10 boards. Lamar Stevens went for 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Nittany Lions while Josh Reaves added 20.

Penn State opened the contest with an 8-2 lead after a 3-point play from Reaves less than three minutes in but Ohio State then responded with an 11-0 run over the next 3:22 to take a 13-8 lead at the 13:49 mark. The Buckeyes then stretched their lead to 28-13 with 5:17 left to play after another 15-4 spurt but the Nittany Lions turned Ohio State over four times during an 11-1 run to close the half, cutting the deficit to 34-31 at the break.

The Buckeyes, who held a 21-10 lead on the boards in the opening 20 minutes, were paced offensively by Muhammad and Andre Wesson, who each scored nine, while Josh Reaves led Penn State with 12.

In a back-and-forth second half, Ohio State pushed its lead to 46-37 on a Keyshawn Woods jumper at the 16:27 mark but the Nittany Lions scored the next 12 to take a 49-46 lead with 12:22 left to play. However, Ohio State went on an 8-2 run over the next 2:28 to regain the lead at 54-51 with 9:54 remaining.

The Buckeye lead then swelled to 68-61 after a pair of Kaleb Wesson free throws with 3:14 left to play but Penn State would not go away, connecting on its next three shots from the field to take a 70-69 lead with 1:34 left to play. Ohio State had the answer on a Kyle Young layup the next time down the floor and Andre Wesson followed by connecting on one of two free throws to make it a 72-70 lead with 28 seconds remaining. The Nittany Lions’ Rasir Bolton then missed a layup on the ensuing possession and C.J. Jackson iced it with a pair from the line as the Buckeyes picked up their second-consecutive win.

For the game, Ohio State finished 22-for-44 (50.0 percent) from the field and 23-for-29 (79.3 percent) from the foul line.

Ohio State hits the road to take on Indiana at 1 p.m. Sunday in Bloomington.