Penn St Nittany Lions at Ohio St Buckeyes, Value City Arena, Columbus, OH
Saturday, January 15, 2011, 5:30 pm Eastern, TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Line: Ohio St -19
Current Line: Ohio St -17
Opening Total: 123 1/2
Current Total: 129
Money Line: no line
Penn St is 10-6 on the season and 3-2 in Big Ten play. They have been pretty inconsistent on the year, but are playing much better right now. They are coming off back to back wins against ranked teams Michigan St 66-62 and Illinois 57-55. Both of those games were at Penn St. The Lions have losses to Ole Miss, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Maine, Michigan, and Purdue on the season. They really don’t have a quality win outside of conference play unless you count victories over Atlantic 10 teams Duquesne and St. Joseph’s. Penn St also has a win over Indiana in conference. Ohio St is 17-0 and ranked #2 in the country. They are primed to be the #1 team in the rankings next week if they win this game, with #1 Duke having lost earlier this week to Florida St. They are 4-0 in Big Ten play and have a half game lead over Purdue in the standings. The Buckeyes are one of 4 undefeated teams left in the country. Ohio St has wins over Florida, Florida St, South Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan. on the season. Ohio St has been tested so far in the rugged Big Ten. They have won their last 3 conference games by a total of 12 points. Ohio St has won 13 games in a row against Penn St. The last 3 games have gone over the total. Ohio St is 9-2 ATS at home against teams with winning records the last 2 seasons.
Penn St reserve guard is listed as doubtful for this game due to a suspension. He only plays 15 minutes a game and averages 5.8 points a game. He hasn’t played the last 5 games for the Nittany Lions. Guard Talor Battle leads the team in scoring with 20.9 points, and also averages 3.2 assists a game. Battle is the leading scorer in the Big Ten. Battle also averages 4.9 rebounds a game. Forward Jeff Brooks leads the team in rebounds with 8.2 a game and blocks with 1.8 a game. He also averages 13.3 points, and 1.8 assists a game. David Jackson averages 10.6 points, and 4.7 rebounds a game. Guard Tim Frazier leads the team in assists with 4.5 a game and steals with 1.4 a game. Penn St is outscoring opponents 66-65 on the season. Penn St shoots 41.9% from the field and 32.1% from 3 point range. Penn St opponents shoot 43.4% from the field. The Lions make 71.8% of their free throws. PSU averages 34.2 rebounds and has a rebounding margin of +1.4. Penn St averages 12.3 assists and 11.3 turnovers a game. They force 13.3 turnovers a game on defense. Penn St averages 5.3 steals and 3.1 blocks a game.
Ohio St has 5 players averaging double digit scoring. Freshman forward Jared Sullinger leads the team in scoring with 17.5 points, and rebounding with 10.1 a game. In addition to averaging a double double, he is also averaging 1.2 assists and 1.1 steals a game. Guard William Buford averages 13.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1 steal a game. David Lighty leads the team is steals with 1.6 a game. He is also averaging 13.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists a game. Jon Diebler averages 12.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals a game. Deshaun Thomas averages 10.1 points, and 4.7 rebounds a game. Aaron Craft leads the team in assists with 4.8 a game and also averages 1.6 steals a game. Dallas Lauderdale leads the team in blocks with 2.2 a game. Ohio St is outscoring opponents 80-57 on the season. The Buckeyes are shooting 50.2% from the field and 40.1% from 3-point range. Buckeye opponents shoot 40.6% from the field. Ohio St makes 68.8% of their free throws. The Buckeyes average 36.9 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +6.9. They average 17.7 assists and 11.1 turnovers a game. The Buckeyes force 17.7 turnovers a game on defense. They average 8.1 steals and 3.9 blocks a game.
Though Penn St has been playing well recently, this doesn’t look good for them. All of Penn St’s weaknesses are Ohio St’s strengths. Penn St is 8th in the Big Ten in scoring with 66 points a game, and Ohio St is 8th in the nation in scoring defense allowing 57 points a game. Penn St gives up 39.5% shooting from 3-point range and the Buckeyes make over 40% of their 3 pointers. Battle will get his for Penn St, but the key is to get Brooks going. Penn St is 6-0 when Brooks scores 17 points or more. As strange at it seems, Penn St is better when Battle doesn’t score as much. They are 2-4 when Battle scores 26 or more, but 8-2 when he scores 21 or less. That is because when Battle isn’t scoring he is getting the others involved in the offense. I think Penn st will hang around for a while and Ohio St will pull away late.
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