STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – With one shot, No. 22 Ohio State had a chance to wash away a game full of missteps and prevent Penn State from pulling off yet another upset of the Buckeyes.
Aaron Craft drew the defense to him and passed to a wide-open Lenzelle Smith Jr., but his 3-pointer with just 6.8 seconds left drew iron. Penn State grabbed the rebound, and the win, 65-63 on Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Aaron made a great read. It was a wide-open shot, Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. Small things win you games, and small things lose you games. Tonight the little things lost us the game. We had a chance in the first half to open it up. We missed free throws, and we missed point-blank looks at the basket. To Penn State’s credit, they kept fighting. They kept clawing.
D.J. Newbill scored 23 points, Tim Frazier added 16 and Penn State held off a late rally by the Buckeyes.
Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers didn’t think it was the matchup or the fact that it was Senior Night that allowed his team to beat Ohio State again.
No, it was something more basic.
I think we were mad, he said, emphasizing that Penn State (14-14, 5-10 Big Ten) had been thumped by Iowa and Nebraska in its previous two games. It just happened to be Ohio State tonight. We came out and played desperate and with a sense of urgency. And we played angry.
The Buckeyes (22-7, 9-7) were led by LaQuinton Ross, who scored 19 points. Craft, plagued by foul trouble most of the game, added 10.
It was one of those games where two guys pound the ball off the backboard and it bounces out and they make a 3 on us, Matta said. Little things like that is kind of the way the game went.
No. 7 LOUISVILLE 88, TEMPLE 66: In Louisville, Ky., Russ Smith had 24 points, moving into ninth place on Louisville’s career scoring list, to lead the Cardinals (24-4, 13-2 American Athletic Conference) to their seventh straight win.
DUQUESNE 71, No. 10 SAINT LOUIS 64: In St. Louis, Micah Mason had 22 points, and Jerry Jones added 19 as the Dukes (12-15, 4-10 Atlantic 10) snapped the Billikens’ school-record 19-game winning streak.
Saint Louis (25-3, 12-1) had not lost since dropping a 70-65 decision on Dec. 1 to unbeaten Wichita State, now ranked No. 2 in the country.
ARKANSAS 71, No. 17 KENTUCKY 67, OT: In Lexington, Ky., Coty Clarke scored seven points in overtime as the Razorbacks (19-9, 8-7 SEC) completed a season sweep with the upset of the Wildcats (21-7, 11-4).
Free throws were the difference in the game, with Arkansas making all six attempts in overtime and going 16 for 16 overall. Kentucky was 12 of 22 from the line.
HOUSTON 77, No. 21 MEMPHIS 68: In Houston, Danuel House had 19 points, and the Cougars finished on a 14-5 run to win their second consecutive game.
No. 7 DUKE 71, WAKE FOREST 56: In Durham, N.C., Haley Peters scored a season-high 22 points as the Blue Devils (25-4, 12-3 ACC) beat the Demon Deacons for the 40th straight time.
No. 9 MARYLAND 92, BOSTON COLLEGE 66: In Boston, Alyssa Thomas scored 26 points to move into second place on Maryland’s all-time women’s scoring list, carrying the Terrapins to their third straight win.
No. 13 NC STATE 79, PITTSBURGH 68: In Pittsburgh, Markeisha Gatling scored 20 points and Len’Nique Brown added 19 points, including six straight free throws in the final 90 seconds of the game, to lead the Wolfack (24-5, 11-4 ACC).
No. 16 NEBRASKA 72, ILLINOIS 65: In Lincoln, Neb., Jordan Hooper, a Nebraska native and lone senior on the roster, scored 29 points on Senior Night to lift the Cornhuskers (22-5, 12-3), who are in a three-way tie with Michigan State and Penn State for the Big Ten lead with one game left.
No. 21 MICHIGAN STATE 75, NORTHWESTERN 44: In Evanston, Ill., Aerial Powers put up 19 points and pulled down 13 rebounds as the Spartans (20-8, 12-3) stayed alive in the Big Ten race.
No. 25 IOWA 65, OHIO STATE 61: In Iowa City, Iowa, Theairra Taylor scored 21 points to lead the Hawkeyes (22-7, 10-5 Big Ten).