COLUMBUS — With the score tied and the 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 seven-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 five 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 had trouble turning momentum back their way until the final minutes.
Ohio State led only briefly in the game in the first couple of minutes of the second half, but that was it.
The Nittany Lions led by 13 points with 7:58 left in the game, but the Buckeyes chipped away.
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 3-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.
Penn State 82, No. 13 Ohio State 79
PENN STATE (14-8): Zemgulis 2-2 0-0 5, Stevens 4-10 6-9 15, Watkins 3-7 1-3 7, Garner 4-5 2-2 14, Carr 10-14 4-4 28, Moore 0-1 0-0 0, Reaves 4-7 2-2 10, Bostick 1-2 0-0 3, Wheeler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-48 15-20 82.
OHIO STATE (18-5): Tate 6-11 5-5 17, Bates-Diop 8-13 5-5 25, K.Wesson 4-4 2-2 10, Williams 4-6 2-2 10, Jackson 4-8 2-2 12, A.Wesson 0-0 0-0 0, Potter 1-4 0-0 2, Dakich 1-2 0-0 3, Jallow 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-50 16-16 79.
Halftime—Penn St. 38-37. 3-Point Goals—Penn St. 11-14 (Garner 4-5, Carr 4-5, Bostick 1-1, Zemgulis 1-1, Stevens 1-1, Reaves 0-1), Ohio St. 7-15 (Bates-Diop 4-6, Jackson 2-5, Dakich 1-1, Potter 0-1, Williams 0-1, Jallow 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Penn St. 21 (Stevens 6), Ohio St. 22 (Tate 10). Assists—Penn St. 10 (Carr 5), Ohio St. 12 (Jackson 4). Total Fouls—Penn St. 13, Ohio St. 16. A—13,464 (18,809).