STATE COLLEGE —
Sam Thompson scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, and No. 14 Ohio State took advantage of cold-shooting Penn State in a 65-51 victory Saturday.
Deshaun Thomas added 11 points, well below his Big Ten-leading average of 20.5. Thompson picked up the slack against the Nittany Lions, who went 11-plus minutes of the first half without a field goal.
Ohio State (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten) gradually asserted control in the second half, though scrappy Penn State (8-12, 0-8) tried to hang around with defense and got within 10 points with 2:41 remaining.
Only the Nittany Lions could not stop Thompson. Left open in the corner, the lithe 6-foot-7 forward drove the baseline and contorted his body around 6-9 center Sasa Borovnjak for a layup, three-point play and
43-27 lead with about 13:30 left.
Jermaine Marshall had 16 points for the Nittany Lions, who have lost 18 straight to the Buckeyes.
Penn State still hasn’t won a game in the Big Ten this season.
D.J. Newbill had 15 points and six assists, while Borovnjak added nine points. The Nittany Lions did draw within 59-49 with 2:41 left off two foul shots from Marshall.
But Ohio State had an answer at the free throw line in Lenzelle Smith Jr., who went hit 5 of 6 from the stripe over the final 4:13. Smith finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Ohio State held a 39-25 advantage on the boards, and limited the Nittany Lions to just two offensive boards. Penn State did commit a season-low four turnovers.
But poor shooting early had spoiled Penn State’s thoughts for an upset.
Ohio State pulled away midway through the first half after Penn State went cold from the field after an impressive drive by Newbill. The Nittany Lions guard stopped suddenly in the lane, causing Buckeyes standout defender Aaron Craft to trip backward to leave an obstacle-free path to the basket for Newbill for an 11-all tie with 13:34 left.
And then the Nittany Lions went more than 11 minutes until their next field goal. By that time, Marshall’s 3 with 1:27 in the half cut Ohio State’s lead to 27-16.
In between, they had bad misses from their big men; a drive from Marshall that bounced tantalizingly on the rim before skipping off; and five missed 3s in the half by Brandon Taylor, several wide open from the wing.
Defense helped the Nittany Lions hang around in spite of the dry spell. Though they often lack in talent, coach Patrick Chambers’ team has been well-schooled in hustling and scrambling for loose balls for 40 minutes.
The Buckeyes weren’t playing particularly well, either, but good ball movement gave them sound looks from the corners. Thompson’s behind-the-back pass to an open Shannon Scott in the right corner gave the Buckeyes a 17-11 lead with 12 minutes left.
In this game, against cold-shooting Penn State, it seemed like a double-digit deficit to the delight of the healthy sprinkling of fans wearing Ohio state red.
Thomas finished 4-of-13 shooting.
STATE COLLEGE —
MIKE MASTOVICH | Roberts, Kent State up to old tricks
George Roberts and his Kent State University teammates reached a familiar destination on Saturday afternoon, but took a somewhat different route in winning their third consecutive Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular-season title.
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College players dominate Point nominations
Pitt-Johnstown junior Jake Warner was perfect and extremely productive at the plate while earning the first two monthly nominations for the 2013 Point Stadium Award in February and March.
Mount Aloysius sophomore Derrick Capiak nearly reached perfection to take the April nomination.
Penn State guard leaving for pro career
Penn State guard Jermaine Marshall, the team’s second-leading scorer, is foregoing his senior year of eligibility to pursue a professional career overseas.
The team announced the surprise move in a statement Wednesday. The 6-foot-4 Marshall, who is on schedule to graduate this summer, cited his family including a 1-year-old son, in making his decision.
Penn State coach blasts Sports Illustrated article
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien is fervently disputing suggestions raised in a report that player medical care has been compromised after the team doctor was replaced.
Speaking often in an angry tone that might be otherwise reserved for an argument with an official, O’Brien told reporters in a conference call that the health and safety of his players were his top priorities.
East Stroudsburg wins PSAC championship
Senior Brian Ernst threw eight innings without allowing an earned run on just two days rest and East Stroudsburg University used a five-run fifth inning to secure its first PSAC baseball championship since 1971 with a 7-1 win over defending champion West Chester on Saturday at Point Stadium.
The Warriors (33-16), who set a school record with their 33rd win, earned the PSAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament thanks in large part to an outstanding effort by Ernst, who was named the PSAC Tournament MVP.
Millersville players help couple resuscitate ailing child
The Millersville University baseball team came up with a great save this week, but it had nothing to do with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament being played at Point Stadium.
A trip for an after-midnight snack on Wednesday morning ended with seven Marauders being hailed as heroes by a local family after they helped save a little boy who wasn’t breathing.
PSAC baseball prefers Point Stadium
The 2014 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference baseball tournament is slated for Pullman Park in Butler.
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- MIKE MASTOVICH | Roberts, Kent State up to old tricks