January 27, 2021

Buckeyes Rally for 83-79 Win over Penn State


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A 22-point effort from E.J. Liddell and a double-double from Justice Sueing was enough to lift No. 13 Ohio State (13-4, 7-4) to a hard-fought 83-79 victory over Penn State (5-7, 2-6) at Value City Arena Wednesday in Columbus.

Liddell’s night on offense included two go-ahead free throws with 59 seconds remaining which was part of a 6-0 game-ending run for the Buckeyes. Liddell also grabbed a rebound and make two more free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to ice the win.

Sueing, meanwhile, added 13 points and 10 rebounds while making five of seven field goals. It was his third career double-double and his second of this season. Kyle Young (10 points, five rebounds) and Zed Key (11 points) were the other Buckeyes in double figures.

Ohio State held Penn State scoreless over the final 2:06 of the second half as the Nittany Lions made just two of their final 10 field goals. The Buckeyes trailed by seven, 71-64, with 7:34 to play but scored 19 of the game’s final 27 points.

Another reason the Buckeyes were able to secure the win was their work at the free throw line. For the game, Ohio State made 20 of 21 from the stripe. Liddell was 10 for 10. In the 6-0 run to end the game, all six of the Buckeyes’ points came at the free throw line.

Ohio State took a 43-39 lead into the half behind balanced scoring from a combination of starters and reserves. Justin Ahrens, who started at guard, and Key each scored nine points over the first 20 minutes. Liddell added eight points. He was one of eight Buckeyes to score in the half.

Duane Washington Jr. was off with his shot but managed five assists and a couple rebounds in the first frame.

The Buckeyes are back in action at 1 p.m. Sunday at VCA vs. Michigan State. The game will be televised by CBS Sports.

🗣 Postgame Comments 

Other Buckeyes of Note:

  • CJ Walker entered the game No. 2 nationally in free throw percentage (97.8%) with 44 makes in 45 attempts from the stripe.
  • He has made 40-consecutive foul shots after missing his first attempt against UMass Lowell (11/29/20) and finishing that game with nine-consecutive makes and then the next 31 foul shots over his next nine games.
  • Justin Ahrens made three 3-ponters in the first eight minutes of the game and finished three-of-six from long range. He has made at least three from distance in the last five games.
  • The Buckeyes are 68-4 overall and 36-2 vs. Big Ten foes during the Holtmann era when securing at least a 10-point lead at any point in a game. The Buckeyes built a 14-2 lead on an Ahrens three with 15:08 to play in the first half.
  • E.J. Liddell connected on all 10 of his foul shots in the win. The last time a Buckeye made 10 or more at the line was CJ Walker, who connected on 11-of-13 freebies vs. Illinois (3/5/20).