By Don Phillips
Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio State Buckeyes
Site: Value City Arena (18,049)
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Television: Big Ten Network
Talent: Dave Revsine (Play-By-Play) & Stephen Bardo (Expert Analysis)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 81/XM 81
Local Radio: WBNS-FM 97.1, AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (Play-By-Play) & Ron Stokes (Expert Analysis)
Ohio State leads the all-time series with the Nittany Lions 31-14. The Buckeyes are 16-4 in Columbus and 12-8 in State College. Ohio State owns the edge on neutral courts 3-2. The game at Value City Arena is the lone meeting of the year in regular season play between the teams.
Thad Matta is 19-2 vs. the Nittany Lions during his head coaching career. He is 8-1 at VCA. Sophomore Jae’Sean Tate leads the Buckeyes’ current roster of players with an average of 11 points and four rebounds in the Penn State series. Classmate Kam Williams contributes 6.5 points while both junior Marc Loving and sophomore Keita Bates-Diop average 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds.
All four players have faced the Nittany Lions twice in their careers. Matta teams average a little more than 10 points more a game in the series with Penn State Nittany Lions (72.4-61.5 ppg).
Despite the influx of six freshmen and one transfer, Ohio State is led by three returning players from 2014-15. The Buckeyes’ lone junior, Marc Loving, leads Ohio State in scoring with 13.7 points per game. Sophomores Keita Bates-Diop (11.4 ppg.) and Jae’Sean Tate (11.0 ppg.) also contribute double digits offensively to lead the team. Tate tops the squad with 6.4 rebounds a game with Bates-Diop providing 5.8 boards a contest.
In 20 games this season, opponents have blocked just 41 of Ohio State’s 1,140 field goal attempts, tied for the 11th fewest in the country. The Ohio State Buckeyes have blocked 117 of its 1,187 opponent shot attempts, eighth-most nationally. Ohio State opponents have rejected just 3.5 percent of the Buckeyes shot attempts while Ohio State swats 9.9 percent of its foes attempts. The Buckeyes are No. 2 the Big Ten in average blocks per game with 5.9.
Penn State enters the game with the Buckeyes with an 11-9 overall record and a 2-5 mark in Big Ten Conference play. The Nittany Lions own wins vs. Minnesota at home and Northwestern on the road in league play. Senior forward Brandon Taylor leads the team in scoring with 16.2 points a game. Sophomore guard Shep Garner and sophomore forward Payton Banks also contribute double-digits in scoring with 14.1 and 10.8 points per game, respectively. Taylor tops the squad with 6.0 caroms a contest.
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Selection: Ohio State