Coming into the Big Ten tournament Ohio State had one goal in mind. That goal was to win the tournament. Ohio State was the 6th seed. Their opponent was the 11th seed Penn State Nittany Lions, who have had an off-year but have played well down the stretch. Ohio State got out to a 5-0 lead, then E.J Liddell knocked down a three-pointer despite solid defense from the defender. Ohio State’s lead was 15-4 at that point. Buckeyes fans held their breathe as Malaki Branham exited the game after landing awkwardly. Thankfully, Branham re-entered the game a few minutes later. Ohio State’s defense was impressive early as Jamari Wheeler blocked a dunk attempt from Penn State’s John Harrar. Ohio State was leading at halftime 33-24.
Penn State chipped away in the second half as guard Myles Dread drained a three-pointer, which gave Penn State the momentum. Ohio State would find themselves up by 11 points, though Penn State would storm back, and Myles Dread would tie the score at 53. Penn State and Ohio State handled their business from the foul line, as at that point in the game Penn State made six out of eight free throws. Ohio State made 12 out of 13 free throws. Seth Lundy gave Penn State a three-point lead after knocking down a three. Ohio State’s Joey Brunk tied the game as Brunk knocked down a high percentage shot. Penn State took the lead as Ohio State had a costly turnover. This resulted in Sam Sessoms scoring a layup. Ohio State also did a poor job rebounding, as John Harrar grabbed a big rebound and scored. That possession proved to be the nail in the coffin for Ohio State. Penn State defeated Ohio State 71-68.
It is March, and anything can happen. Ohio State has an extremely talented team though they got outplayed in the second half. The problem is that only E.J. Liddell and Malaki Branham were the only two players to score in double-digit figures. Ohio State was not careful with the basketball as Penn State had six steals. Also, Ohio State had eight turnovers which are way too many. Ohio State’s record stands at 19 wins and 12 losses. Many bracketologists project Ohio State to be either a 6 or 8 seed in the NCAA tournament. Tune in Sunday to watch the selection show to see what the Buckeyes’ fate is.