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Ohio State vs Penn State

Ohio State downs Penn State

CBSSports.com wire reports
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Left open in the corner, Sam Thompson found an uncontested path to the basket along the baseline and contorted his body around 6-foot-9 center Sasa Borovnjak for a layup and three-point play.

With Big Ten-leading scorer Deshaun Thomas having an off day, the lithe 6-7 Thompson stepped up Saturday for No. 14 Ohio State.

He scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, and the Buckeyes took advantage of cold-shooting Penn State for a 65-51 victory.

"I really did the easy part," the sophomore said. "Guys found me, I was wide open, and I just knocked down some shots."

Jermaine Marshall had 16 points for the Nittany Lions, who have lost 18 straight to the Buckeyes. Thomas finished with 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting, well below his league-leading average of 20.5.

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Thompson picked up the slack from the field for Ohio State (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten), while Lenzelle Smith Jr. helped put away pesky Penn State by hitting 5 of 6 from the foul line over the final 4:13.

An 11-minute stretch without a field goal in the first half hurt the Nittany Lions (8-12, 0-8).

"If you told me that we'd hold Deshaun Thomas to 11 points, I'd tell you we're in the game with a chance to win," coach Patrick Chambers said.

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 Smith (11 points, eight rebounds) was clutch at the foul line down the stretch, and Thompson hurt the Nittany Lions all day.

He answered one Penn State run with a 3 from the wing to keep the lead at double digits. His acrobatic drive around Borovnjak for the three-point play put Ohio State up 43-27 with about 13:30 left.

"Sam was tremendous today. I really challenged Sam to play his best basketball," coach Thad Matta said. "From the standpoint of what he brought to the table today, I couldn't be happier for him."

Ohio State gradually asserted control in the second half, though scrappy Penn State tried to hang around with defense -- Thompson's good day notwithstanding.

The Buckeyes held a 39-25 advantage on the boards, and limited the Nittany Lions to just two offensive rebounds. Penn State did commit a season-low four turnovers and got to the line 17 times in the second half.

They converted just 11 into free throws, though Matta wasn't happy with the way that his team committed 13 second-half fouls to give the Nittany Lions life. The free throw line has been a strength for Penn State in conference play at 71 percent, second-best in the Big Ten behind Illinois' 73 percent.

"Our biggest problem today was our fouling in the second half," Matta said. "Some of the fouls we were committing were not the smartest fouls in the world."

But poor shooting early had spoiled thoughts of a Penn State 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.

The Nittany Lions tried to keep up throughout the afternoon defense, mixing up looks against Ohio State. Though they often lack in talent, Chambers' team has been well-schooled in hustling and scrambling for loose balls for 40 minutes.

"I feel like we're close, if we can just get a third scorer," Chambers said. "Our defense is really at a good place."

The Buckeyes weren't playing particularly well, either, but good ball movement gave them sound chances 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.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Deshaun Thomas scores 11 points for the Bucks, well below his Big Ten-leading average of 20.5. (US Presswire)
Deshaun Thomas scores 11 points for the Bucks, well below his Big Ten-leading average of 20.5. (US Presswire)
Scoreboard
Ohio State #14 (15-4) «293665
Penn State (8-12)183351
OHIOST:S. Thompson 16 Pts
OHIOST:L. Smith 8 Reb
OHIOST:A. Craft 5 Ast
PSU:J. Marshall 16 Pts
PSU:J. Graham 6 Reb
PSU:D. Newbill 6 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Ohio StatePenn State
OHIOST
Sam Thompson
PSU
D.J. Newbill
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
16621546
Ohio State Buckeyes
A. Craft, G393-91-16537
L. Smith, G352-47-882211
S. Thompson, F316-72-262116
D. Thomas, F294-132-230211
A. Williams, C170-13-64023
E. Ravenel, F172-42-27056
L. Ross, F151-52-21105
S. Scott, G112-40-02014
T. McDonald, C61-10-00012
A. Della Valle, G10-00-01000
A. Rogers, GDid Not Play
A. Goldstein, GDid Not Play
J. Lorbach, FDid Not Play
Totals 21-4819-2338101765
 43.8%82.6% 
Penn State Nittany Lions
D. Newbill, G395-95-846415
J. Marshall, G374-116-932016
N. Colella, G351-21-34134
S. Borovnjak, F254-81-23139
B. Taylor, F201-80-03023
R. Travis, F220-30-01150
J. Graham, F130-10-06010
D. Jack, F51-20-01002
P. Ackerman, F31-20-00012
K. Montminy, G10-10-00000
A. Wisniewski, FDid Not Play
A. Maduegbunam, GDid Not Play
Z. Cooper, GDid Not Play
Totals 17-4713-2225111951
 36.2%59.1% 
Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Wisconsin0-07-03
Maryland0-06-076
Illinois0-05-053
Ohio St.0-05-045
Penn St.0-06-191
Northwestern0-05-1101
Purdue0-05-1122
Indiana0-04-1200
Michigan0-04-132
Michigan St.0-04-136
Nebraska0-04-1145
Iowa0-04-240
Minnesota0-04-2180
Rutgers0-03-2312
 
Other games
SYR 71 Final
NOVA 75
ND 73 Final
USF 65
LOU 51 Final
GU 53
MD 64 Final
DUKE 84
KSU 67 Final
ISU 73
MINN 44 Final
WISC 45
OKLA 54 Final
KAN 67
NMEX 34 Final
SDSU 55
VAN 59 Final
MIZZ 81
TEMP 71 Final
BUT 83
USC 50 Final
ARIZ 74
UNC 83 Final
NCST 91
WASH 76 Final
ORE 81
SF 52 Final
GONZ 66
MISS 63 Final
AUB 61
FLA 82 Final
MSST 47
LAS 69 Final
VCU 61
BRAD 39 Final
WICH 73