NCAA BASKETBALL: PENN STATE 71, OHIO STATE 70 -- Nittany Lions snap 18-game losing skid to Buckeyes
COLUMBUS, Ohio — D.J. Newbill didn’t know that Ohio State had Penn State’s number.
Newbill hit a pull-up jumper over Aaron Craft with 2 seconds left in overtime, lifting Penn State to a 71-70 victory over No. 24 Ohio State on Wednesday night and ending years of futility against the Buckeyes.
“There were 11 seconds left, we were down by one. I just cleared out one side of the floor,” Newbill said. “I knew they were going to try to stop me from going to the right because they’d been shading me left the whole game. I just made a quick, right-to-left crossover and pulled up with confidence. Fortunately, it went down.”
Newbill, who led the Nittany Lions (11-10, 2-6 Big Ten) with 25 points, also hit a 3 late in regulation that forced the extra session. He didn’t know, or even care, who was guarding him on the last shot. Craft is considered one of the nation’s best one-on-one defenders.
“They did everything they needed to down the stretch,” Craft said. “They made shots, they made big plays, they rebounded the ball. We just didn’t do it.”
Ohio State (16-5, 3-5) has lost five of six after a 15-0 start which saw it rise to No. 3 in the polls.
Northwestern also beat No. 14 Wisconsin 65-56 on Wednesday night, marking the first time the Nittany Lions and Wildcats won road games on the same day since Penn State joined the conference in 1993, according to the Big Ten Network.
Brandon Taylor added 19 points and Graham Woodward had 11 as Penn State ended Ohio State’s string of victories in the series at 18. Buckeyes coach Thad Matta was 17-0 against Penn State since taking over as head coach in 2004-05.
Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers said the subject of Ohio State’s domination wasn’t brought up.
“We never mentioned it. That’s over. We’re a new team,” he said. “We can’t be concerned about the past.”
Newbill said he had no idea that Ohio State had controlled the series.
In the overtime, Taylor gave the Lions a quick lead on a follow before Amir Williams, who had 12 points, hit a free throw and Lenzelle Smith Jr., who had 15 for the Buckeyes, scored to put their team up 68-67.
Smith was then hit in the face while shooting a 3 and made the last two of the three free throws for a three-point lead.
After the teams traded misses, Newbill ended up with the ball atop the key with the shot clock winding down. He drove the lane and got off the layup just in time to cut the lead to 70-69 with 39.4 seconds left.
The Buckeyes then turned it over when LaQuinton Ross, who led Ohio State with 16 points, drove and passed in traffic to Williams, the ball going out of bounds off his hands with 13 seconds left.
Penn State brought the ball down with Newbill waving off his teammates to take the ball one-on-one against Craft. From the right wing, he crossed over on the dribble and pulled up for a 14-foot jumper that caught nothing but net with 2 seconds left.
After an Ohio State timeout, Craft took the inbounds pass and drove over midcourt but was unable to get off a shot before the buzzer sounded.
“He had a tough pull-up when Aaron had him in front of him,” Matta said. “Yeah, that was a tough shot.”
Tim Frazier had a brilliant all-around game for the Nittany Lions, with eight points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 43 minutes.
The graduate student said it was one of the biggest wins he’s ever celebrated.
“Definitely. This is one of the biggest wins, especially under this new coaching regime,” he said, referring to Chambers, who is in his third year in Happy Valley. “I’d never beaten Ohio State. It’s a huge win against those guys.”
Ohio State led by 11 points with 7:58 remaining but couldn’t hang on in the face of a Penn State team which has come close repeatedly to pulling off big wins but has had difficulty closing the deal.
Not this time.
Newbill poured in a high-arcing 3 from in front of the Nittany Lions’ bench to tie it at 62 with 1:09 left.
Craft drove into traffic with 42 seconds left and the ball went out of bounds. After an official review, the ball was awarded to the Buckeyes. Craft drove and flipped up a shot that bounced on the back of the rim before falling with 34 seconds left to put the Buckeyes up 64-62. A free throw by Smith pushed the lead to three points.
After a timeout, the Nittany Lions ran a weave with Newbill hitting a 3 with 13 seconds left to tie it and force the overtime.
Smith was both angry and disappointed about his team’s recent failures.
“As a senior, this is not what I had in mind,” he said.