Ohio State

For a 3rd time, Penn State stuns Ohio State

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For a 3rd time, Penn State stuns Ohio State


NEW YORK -- With seventh-seeded Penn State trailing by a point and the clock ticking off the final 10 seconds, almost everyone in Madison Square Garden was waiting for Big Ten Conference leading scorer Tony Carr to launch a game-winning shot attempt against second-seeded Ohio State.

It was a no-brainer, until Carr decided otherwise.

Carr found Josh Reaves for a game-winning dunk with 3.1 seconds to play and Penn State may have punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a 69-68 victory over Ohio State in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament on Friday night.

"It was `Fist Two', basically try to get the mismatch and I was just trying to make a play," Carr said. "And Josh basically made the play. He made a great cut. I was just out there dribbling around. Josh made a great play. And I thank God I found him."

It was a great ending in more ways than one. The Nittany Lions (22-12) scored the final five points in beating the 13th-ranked Buckeyes for the third time this season and advancing to Saturday's semifinal against the winner of the quarterfinal between third-seeded and No. 8 Purdue and 14th-seeded Rutgers.

The game-winning play was set up when Shep Garner made a crucial steal from conference player of the year Keita Bates-Diop with 21 seconds to play.

Penn State elected not to call a timeout and coach Patrick Chambers called out a play.

"I just noticed my man wasn't looking at me so I took advantage of that," Reaves said. "And Tony just shows how much of a great player he is to find an open man in a time like that. I was just fortunate enough to make the dunk."

Lamar Stevens added 15 points for Penn State and Garner had 13

Ohio State (24-8) had a chance to win after calling a timeout, but a last-second shot by C.J. Jackson was not close.

"Give Penn State credit, I thought they made the necessary plays down the stretch," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. "Tough back and forth game. We'll learn from it and get ready for the tournament."

Bates-Diop carried the Buckeyes in the second half, scoring 17 of his 25 points. However, all he is probably going to remember is losing the ball with 21 seconds to go and his team ahead 68-67.

Kam Williams and Jae'Sean Tate each added 10 points for the Buckeyes, who will wait for their invitation to the NCAA Tournament in a little more than a week.

Ohio State, which was blown out by Penn State 79-56 on Feb. 15, rallied from deficits of eight points early in the second half and six with just under 8 minutes to go, riding Bates-Diop, who seemingly wanted the ball on every position.

A layup by Andre Wesson gave the Buckeyes a 64-62 lead with 3:59 to play and Bates-Diop hit a jumper with 2:37 left to expand the lead to four points.

A dunk by Julian Moore off a feed from Carr cut the margin to 66-64 with 2:09 to play but Bares-Diop hit a layup with 1:49 left to make it 68-64. It would be the last points for Ohio State.

Carr made one of two free throws with 1:33 to go and Reaves, who finished with nine points on 2-of-12 shooting, cut the lead to 68-67 with two free throws with 47 seconds to play after Bates-Diop missed a 3-pointer.

Ohio State called a timeout, but Garner's steal near the foul line set the stage for another Penn State win.

Big picture
Penn State: Has not been to the NCAAs since 2011, but with three wins over a ranked Ohio State it might be enough.

Ohio State: Better hope it doesn't play Penn State in the NCAA Tournament.

Up next
Penn State: Faces the winner of the quarterfinal between third-seeded and No. 8 Purdue and 14th-seeded Rutgers.

Ohio State: Waits for the NCAA to call a week from Sunday.

A storm sweeps its way into Penn State

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A storm sweeps its way into Penn State


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- A mob of white-clad fans stormed the court at Bryce Jordan Center and Tony Carr disappeared among them.

Carr was the most noticeable player on the court until then, scoring 30 points to lead Penn State to a 79-56 rout of No. 8 Ohio State on Thursday night.

"They threw a bunch of (defenders) at him," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "Tony was super-efficient tonight. I think his teammates knew he had it going a little bit."

C.J. Jackson led Ohio State (22-6, 13-2 Big Ten) with 13 points and Keita Bates-Diop added 10 for the Buckeyes, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Now, the Nittany Lions (19-9, 9-6) are cruising, winners of six of their last seven since Carr lifted them over Ohio State with a buzzer-beater on Jan. 25. Thursday's win marked Penn State's first four-game conference winning streak since 2008-09 and the Nittany Lions have a chance to beat ranked teams in back-to-back games for the first time since 2011, when they travel to No. 6 Purdue.

They'll bring a defense that frustrated the Buckeyes (22-6, 13-2) in their lowest scoring performance of the 2017-18 season.

Mike Watkins added 11 points and 10 rebounds for his tenth double-double of the season. Shep Garner and Josh Reaves added 13 and 10 points apiece for the Nittany Lions, who led 45-21 at halftime and by as many as 30 early in the second.

The Nittany Lions took control in the first half with a 12-0 run.

Carr tossed an alley-oop Watkins' way and the forward jammed home the run's second basket to give Penn State the lead for good just 3:20 in.

Penn State added a pair of 7-0 runs and a 6-0 spurt later in the half and Carr beat two defenders and buried an awkward layup off a full-court inbounds pass and an ensuing free throw to close the first half.

"We really have a hard time guarding him," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. "We've tried almost everybody on our perimeter on him. We have ran through the gamut."

Garner nailed one of his four 3-pointers to put Penn State up by 30 early in the second. But the Buckeyes used an 18-4 run to cut Penn State's lead to 16 with 10:32 to play. Bates-Diop hit a 3-pointer to pull the Buckeyes to 58-42, but they wouldn't get any closer.

"If we continue with this effort, it's going to be a long couple of weeks," Holtmann said.

The big picture
Ohio State: The Buckeyes entered a half game up on No. 2 Michigan State in the Big Ten standings and a 1 ahead of No. 6 Purdue with the head-to-head tiebreaker over both. The Boilermakers fell to Wisconsin on Thursday, so they didn't gain any ground. But the Buckeyes' lead isn't safe with three games left, especially if they shoot as poorly as they did inside the Bryce Jordan Center where they made just 28 percent of their field goals over the first 20 minutes.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions controlled this game from the opening tip thanks to stingy defense that turned into opportunistic offense. They improved to 2-2 against ranked teams this season.

Try them all
Holtmann tried Jae'Sean Tate, Andre Wesson and even forward Bates-Diop to slow Carr. None were very effective as Carr made 9 of 15 shots from the floor and 8 of 12 free throws.

Afterward, Carr grinned when asked if he draws any personal satisfaction from the fact opponents are running through their playbooks and personnel on account of him.

"It's kind of something I'm used to, teams throw one or two defenders at me during the game," Carr said. "It's definitely a confidence booster when they can't really stop you."

One-sided stats
Penn State won the rebounding battle 38-30 and racked up defensive stats all night. The Nittany Lions finished with eight steals, seven blocks and scored 15 points off 10 Ohio State turnovers.

Jackson cramping
Jackson wasn't available all evening and had to go to the locker room with cramps in the second. It's been an issue for most of the season for the junior guard.

"I think obviously our guard depth is a bit of a concern, particularly at that position," Holtmann said. "I think we all understand how important he is to us. I don't think he would've been able to go back in the game if we wanted to put him in."

Up next
Ohio State travels to No. 22 Michigan on Sunday.

Penn State visits No. 6 Purdue on Sunday.

Tony Carr hits shot of a lifetime in Penn State upset

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Tony Carr hits shot of a lifetime in Penn State upset


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- With the score tied and final seconds winding down, Penn State's Tony Carr dribbled across the center line and launched a desperation jumper with two Ohio State players in his face. The ball banked in off the glass, and Carr's teammates mobbed him on the Value City Arena court.

The buzzer-beater -- it came seconds after Ohio State's Keita Bates-Diop tied it with a 3-pointer -- gave Penn State an 82-79 victory over the No. 13 Buckeyes on Thursday night.

Ohio State lost for the first time in 10 Big Ten games this season.

"I think we definitely outplayed them from the tip," Carr said. "We were just more focused, we were more hungry."

Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann wouldn't argue with that. Neither would his players, who were at the end of the grueling stretch of five games in 11 days.

"This is not unlike what we thought could happen at some point," Holtmann said. "We'll see how they respond."

Ohio State played from behind the entire game and was outhustled on defense, allowing Penn State (14-8, 4-5) to hit 11 of 14 shots from behind the 3-point line. The 78.6 percent success rate was the best in program history.

Carr, the top scorer in the Big Ten behind Bates-Diop , paced Penn State with 28 points and was 4 for 5 from beyond the arc.

He was the logical guy to take the final shot with a chance to win the game and give Penn State its first win over a ranked team this season.

"I was definitely rolling tonight," he said, "and that shot kept it up."

Bates-Diop, who had been battling the flu and was questionable for the game, led Ohio State (18-5, 9-1) with 25 points but was in foul trouble for much of the second half. He sat on the bench for a 7-minute chunk in the middle of the half.

But he had three 3-pointers in the last 2:07 to pull the Buckeyes back in it. He tied it with a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left just before Carr connected from deep as time ran out.

Lamar Stevens added 15 points and Shep Garner 14 for Penn State, which hadn't beaten a team ranked as high as Ohio State on the road since 2009. Guard Josh Reaves, who rejoined the team after sitting out four games with academic issues, had 10 points.

Jae'Sean Tate had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Buckeyes.

Playing from behind
The Buckeyes' off-kilter defense allowed Penn State to jump out to an early lead on four straight 3-pointers, they and had trouble turning momentum back their way until the final minutes.

Ohio State led only briefly in the game in the first couple minutes of the second half, but that was it. Penn State jumped out to a quick lead with four straight 3-pointer and Ohio State had to chase them the rest of the evening.

The Nittany Lions led by 13 points with 7:58 left in the game, but the Buckeyes chipped away.

Big picture
Penn State: Nittany Lions came out firing, kept the pressure on and picked up their biggest win of a season in which they have struggled in the road.

Ohio State: Were the Buckeyes tired? They've played a lot of games lately and were awfully slow to get started. They had to rally late to stay in it, but the result was a loss to a team they should have beaten.

Buckeyes struggle behind the line
While Penn State kept nailing the three pointers, Ohio State struggled beyond the arc. That's been the trend the past few games.

The Buckeyes didn't make one until Bates-Diop connected at the 5:31 mark in the first half. They were 1 for 6 from 3-point land in the half, and 7 for 15 overall. Bates-Diop's trio of long balls in the final minutes helped make those numbers look better.

Up next
Penn State: Hosts Rutgers on Saturday.

Ohio State: Hosts Indiana on Tuesday.