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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Freshmen Brice Sensabaugh and Bruce Thornton played well on Thursday night as they combined for 39 points but the veteran Penn State squad was able to come away with a 75-71 victory.
Sensabaugh notched his 10th game of 20 or more this season, finishing with 20 points, five rebounds and two assists. Thornton had 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 3-of-7 from long range.
Justice Sueing chipped-in with nine points to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds and four assists. Ice Likekele matched him with four assists to go along with his seven points and six rebounds.
The game was a back-and-forth affair as the lead changed hands 20 times and was tied for almost seven minutes of game action. The Buckeyes shot 46 percent for the game and committed just one turnover, by far their fewest in a game this season.
The reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Jalen Pickett led the Nittany Lions with 23 points, including scoring the team’s final 14 points down the stretch.
Penn State took a 19-13 lead following an early 7-0 run. Behind Thornton and Sensabaugh, the Buckeyes worked their way back and took as much as a four-point lead after a Sensabaugh three-pointer. The teams would head to the locker rooms tied at 37-37.
In the second half, the PSU led again grew to six but again, the Buckeyes answered, this time with an 8-0 run. Likekele had a pair of lay-ins and a Sueing jumper gave the Buckeyes a 57-55 lead with 11:28 to play. They led again with just under seven minutes left but a Pickett lay-in wrestled the lead back and the Nittany Lions would hold it the rest of the way.
The Buckeyes remain at home to host Illinois this Sunday. Tip-off is set for noon and will be televised nationally on CBS.