Ohio State

Penn State loses thriller to Ohio State on layup in final seconds

Penn State loses thriller to Ohio State on layup in final seconds

BOX SCORE

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Ohio State players swarmed one of their own, offering hugs and handshakes before assembling the traditional postgame line to offer the same to their opponents on Tuesday.

Jae'Sean Tate saved Ohio State with a late layup that lifted the Buckeyes to a 71-70 win over Penn State.

Tate took a pass at mid court, spun by two Penn State defenders in the lane and kissed the ball off the glass for the game-winner. It countered a deep 3-pointer from Penn State's Tony Carr that gave the Nittany Lions a 70-69 lead with nine seconds to play.

"Tremendous finish by J.T. there," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.

Marc Loving added 14 points and Trevor Thompson chipped in 11 for the Buckeyes (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) who won on the road for just the fourth time this season. Tate finished with 12 points and nine rebounds and also committed six turnovers, the most by any player.

That fact elicited a long pause from Matta who's watched his team stumble to a 4-7 road record in what's been a disappointing season.

"Obviously we felt comfortable with it and he had his reads," Matta said. "He made the right read and we had plenty of time there to pass if he needed to."

Penn State was out of time and a desperation heave fell short. The Nittany Lions lost their fourth straight.

Carr finished with 21, Shep Garner notched 20 points and Lamar Stevens added 16 for Penn State (14-16, 6-11).

Penn State coach Patrick Chambers fought off emotions after the game.

"The guys that competed really competed hard and they gave us a chance to win," Chambers said. "This is our process. This is our journey. Can't put my finger on why the ball is not bouncing our way. But this is our process and we're going to learn from these and hopefully we'll learn quick."

It appeared they did just that in-game. After the Buckeyes took a 40-36 lead into halftime, the Nittany Lions came out in the second half and took advantage of room on the outside.

Garner, who hit three of his five 3-pointers in the first half, made two in the first two minutes of the second. Penn State took its first lead on a pair of Stevens free throws with 18:22 to play before the Buckeyes used a 22-14 run to regain control with an Andre Wesson 3-pointer with 6:39 to play.

Meanwhile, Penn State's offense went cold. The Nittany Lions went without a field goal for 4:29 of the final 5:11 before Carr cut Ohio State's lead to 69-67 with a layup with 42 seconds left.

Big hurt
Watkins hobbled to the locker room with cramps midway through the second half. He emerged minutes later and was able to return to the game.

But Penn State's big man wasn't feeling well and kept stretching his legs as play went on. Watkins, who entered the game second in the Big Ten with 75 blocks, finished the game on the bench, not under the hoop when Tate scored the winning shot.

Chambers said Watkins was cramping for much of the game.

Watkins' loss wasn't the only one for Penn State.

Guard Josh Reaves left the game in the second half and did not return. Forward Payton Banks didn't play due to an illness and forward Julian Moore, nursing an injury sustained Saturday, played just 14 minutes.

"These are facts, not excuses. No Payton Banks. We lost Josh Reaves with six minutes to go. We didn't have Mike Watkins for long stretches. Julian Moore played on one leg."

Buckeyes good in close
Ohio State took advantage of Penn State's banged up forward corps. The Buckeyes finished with 37 rebounds to Penn State's 28 and outscored the Nittany Lions 34-16 in the paint.

Tate, Loving and center Trevor Thompson combined for 22 rebounds.

Another close loss
The Nittany Lions have lost six conference games by a possession or in overtime.

"You know what they're not doing?" Chambers said. "They're not planning a spring break. We've got winners in that locker room who are invested, who want to get better, who want to see this team turn."

The big picture
Ohio State: The Buckeyes sometimes hopeful, often frustrating season can be summed up by looking at their last two games -- a complete effort in a win over No. 22 Wisconsin and this back-and-forth tilt with middle-of-the-pack Penn State.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions have often looked like a completely different -- and much more competitive -- team at home. With youth on their side, the Nittany Lions just need more consistency to take the next step.

Up next
Ohio State hosts Indiana on Saturday.

Penn State is at Iowa on Sunday.

2017 NFL draft: Fiesta Bowl prospects for the Eagles

2017 NFL draft: Fiesta Bowl prospects for the Eagles

We already took a peak at a few prospects that could help the Eagles during the early game of the College Football Playoff (see story).

But there is plenty of talent during the night game as well between No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State.

Here are a few players to watch closely during the second game of the CFP.

Playstation Fiesta Bowl - No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Clemson, 7 p.m., ESPN

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson, redshirt junior, (6-3/225)
Williams is a monster. If he's on the board when the Eagles are drafting, it's a no-brainer. He's big, he's strong, he's fast, he has tremendous ball skills. He's the whole package. He's put up 84 catches for 1,171 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. He'd likely already be in the NFL if not for a neck injury he suffered at the beginning of the 2015 season. One aspect of his game I love is the chemistry he's developed with Deshaun Watson on back shoulder throws. We've seen Carson Wentz throw one of those this season and it was one of the prettiest balls he's thrown all season (a 20-yard completion to Jordan Matthews against the Packers). Wentz needs weapons, and Williams fits the bill.

Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson, senior, (6-1/200)
Tankersley could've jumped ship to the NFL after his junior season, but decided to come back for his senior year. He has good size, excels well in man coverage and has decent ball skills. He's also considered a leader on the Clemson defense. What he may not have that guys like Alabama's Marlon Humphrey and Washington's Sidney Jones have, is the makeup speed which separates good corners from great ones. Tankersley is likely a Day 2 pick, but he has the potential to be a productive corner at the next level.

Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State, junior, (5-11/197)
The Eagles' offense has been void of explosiveness all season. Samuel is an offensive weapon whether it be as a back or a receiver. For the season, Samuel has 65 catches for 822 yards and 91 carries for 704 yards. He's scored 15 total touchdowns (eight rushing, seven receiving). Ohio State lines him up out of the backfield and split out as a receiver. His route running is a little rough, but he's a playmaker with the ball in his hands. He could be Darren Sproles' heir apparent.

Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State, junior, (6-1/195)
Conley is a great athlete with good size and speed. He also has decent ball skills. The thing that scares me about him is a lack of physicality. He's not strong in the run game and he's just OK when asked to press. He's likely a Day 2 pick, but he has above average coverage skills. It'll be interesting to see how he does against Williams, who's extremely physical.

Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson, junior, (6-0/210)
Gallman is going to fall victim to an excellent running back draft class. Every year, there are players I can't help but to like more than some of the pundits. Gallman is one of those guys for me this year. After posting over 1,500 yards in 2015, Gallman has carried less of the load for Clemson but is still over 1,000 yards. He also has a nose for the end zone with 28 rushing touchdowns combined the last two seasons. One of the knocks on Gallman is that he runs high. It's a fair criticism, but it's a habit you might be able to teach out of him. What you can't teach is his feet. I love his patience and how quickly he can bounce around the line. If there is even the slightest crease, he'll find it. He's also a solid receiver out of the backfield, hauling in 61 catches in his college career.

Thirteen charged in disturbance after Penn State upset over Ohio State

Thirteen charged in disturbance after Penn State upset over Ohio State

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Authorities in central Pennsylvania have charged 13 people in connection with disturbances following Penn State's upset over No. 2 Ohio State last month.

Police in State College said Monday that charges filed in district court included felony counts of riot, misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and reckless endangering, and summary counts of criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

Police said 11 of those charged are Penn State students, and they will be referred to the university's Office of Student Conduct for further disciplinary action.

Authorities say 5,000 to 10,000 mostly college-aged fans gathered in downtown State College after the 24-21 victory on Oct. 22. Some pulled down five streetlights, damaged streetlight globes, took about 20 streets signs and stop signs, and damaged a vehicle. Damage was estimated at $18,000 to $30,000.