Hoop Preview — @ Ohio State

<B>Penn State @ Ohio State <P>Value City Arena</B> <P><B>Game Time:</B> 8:00 p.m., Wednesday

Ed DeChellis Audio (WMV)

Records: Penn State 7-11, 1-4; Ohio State 12-7, 1-4.

Coaches: Ed DeChellis is 16-30 in his second season at Penn State and 121-123 overall. Thad Matta is 12-7 in his first season at OSU and 114-38 overall.

Series: Ohio State leads, 15-13.

Last meeting: The Buckeyes beat the Lions 71-64 in Columbus last March.

Last time out: Penn State beat Northwestern (65-62) at the Jordan Center Saturday. Ohio State fell (67-60) at Indiana the same day.

TV: WPSX (Mike Gleason, Bob Hosket).

Radio: Penn State Sports Network (Steve Jones, Dick Jerardi).

Next up: Penn State plays host to Wisconsin Saturday. Ohio State is at Northwestern the same day.

Probable Starters:

Penn State — G Ben Luber, 6-0 So. (6.1 ppg), G Mike Walker, 6-2 Fr. (6.6 ppg), F Geary Claxton, 6-5 Fr. (11.8 ppg), F Travis Parker, 6-5 Jr. (12.3 ppg), F Aaron Johnson, 6-8 Jr. (14.3 ppg).

Ohio State — G Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, 6-1 Sr. (6.1 ppg), G Tony Stockman, 6-1 Sr. (13.6 ppg), G J.J. Sullinger, 6.5 Jr. (10.3 ppg), F Ivan Harris, 6-8 So. (9.6 ppg), Terence Dials, 6-9 Jr. (16.4 ppg).

Quick Quiz: The Buckeyes have played three overtime games this season. When was the last time PSU and OSU went OT?

Penn State Notes:

• Penn State has lost 26 straight Big Ten road games. Including conference tournament action, the Nittany Lions have dropped 29 consecutive league outings away from the BJC. Penn State’s last Big Ten road win was at Iowa (78-73) in the next to last game of the 2000-01 regular season.

• From the oops department: The OSU press notes list Marlon Smith as a probable starter for the game, even though the sophomore guard has been lost for the season (and potentially will not play again) due to a blood clot in the brain.

• Claxton has been the most effective Lion in Big Ten play, where he is averaging 15.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

• Johnson’s 21 rebounds against Northwestern are the most ever by a PSU player in a Big Ten game (Jarrett Stephens had 18 at Michigan in 2000). Johnson also set a Jordan Center record with the performance.

• As a team, Penn State leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds per game (13.17).

• Stat watch: Penn State has 237 offensive rebounds in 18 games. Ohio State has 180 in 19 games. PSU must dominate the glass to have a chance in this one.

Ohio State Notes:

• Penn State somehow held Dials to eight total points in two games last season.

• The Buckeyes have lost four straight by an average of just over seven points per game.

• Ohio State is 0-5 when trailing at the half this year and 12-2 when leading at the break.

• This is the first time Matta has coached against Penn State.

• Stat Watch: OSU is 13-6 when scoring 70 or more points and 2-7 when scoring less than 70. Strong defense is another obvious key for the Lions.

Quiz Answer: Joe Crispin went nuts in the extra session as Penn State beat Ohio State 98-85 in OT at the Jordan Center in 1999.

FOS Prediction: Ohio State 75, Penn State 67.

Comment: The Buckeyes have a chance to right the ship with consecutive games against PSU, Northwestern and Purdue.

FOS Prediction Record: 12-6.


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