Hoop Preview: @ No. 1 Ohio State

Nittany Lions tangle with the Buckeyes for the second time in a week, this time in Columbus. After losing by two at the Jordan Center, is there any hope for a Penn State upset this time around?

Penn State @ No. 1 Ohio State

Tipoff: 8 p.m. at Value City Arena

Records: Penn State 10-15, 1-11; Ohio State 24-3, 12-1.

Coaches: Ed DeChellis is 41-72 in four seasons at Penn State and 146-165 in 11 seasons overall; Thad Matta is 70-21 in three seasons at OSU and 172-52 in seven seasons overall.

Series: Ohio State leads 22-13.

TV: ESPN-Plus. Tom Hamilton (play-by-play) and Bill Hoskett (color). See clearances here.

Radio: ESPN 1430. Steve Jones (play-by-play) and Dick Jerardi (color) will call the game for the Penn State Sports Network.

Last Time Out: Penn State was crushed by No. 2 Wisconsin (75-49) in Madison Saturday. Ohio State thumped Minnesota (85-67) on the road Sunday.

Next Up: Penn State plays host to Illinois Saturday at 2 p.m. It will be Senior Day for the Lions.

Lineups: Penn State -- G Danny Morrissey, 6-3 So. (10.2), G Ben Luber, 6-0 Sr. (5.7), F Geary Claxton, 6-5 Jr. (16.4), F Jamelle Cornley, 6-5 So. (14.1), F Milos Bogetic, 6-10 So. (4.3). Ohio State -- G Daequan Cook, 6-5 Sr. (11.9), G Jamar Butler, 6-2 Jr. (8.5), G Mike Conley Jr., 6-1 Fr. (10.5), F Ivan Harris, 6-7 Sr. (8.8), C Greg Oden, 7-1 Fr. (15.3).


• Quickie Quiz: When was the last time Penn State faced a top-ranked team? The answer later.

• The Lions have lost 11 straight games. The Buckeyes have won 11 straight games.

• Ohio State held a slim 14-13 lead in the all-time series before winning the last eight games.

• Each of PSU's last two losses to the Buckeyes have been tight. OSU escaped the Jordan Center (64-62) when Mike Walker missed a last-second 3-pointer one week ago. In the 2006 Big Ten tournament, the Buckeyes rallied for a 63-56 win.

• Penn State has blocked 13 shots in 12 Big Ten games, by far the worst in the league and less than half as many as 11th-place Northwestern (27). That helps explain why conference opponents are making 49 percent of their shots vs. the Lions. If PSU was blocking even three shots per game, the opponents' percentages would drop by roughly five points.

• Oden has 46 blocks in the league.

• Reserve guard Mike Walker has played 96 fewer minutes than starter Ben Luber in the Big Ten and has one fewer point.

• Reserve center Joonas Suotamo's mom, Sonja, made the eight and a half hour flight from Helsinki to Philadelphia over the weekend, then caught a commuter to Happy Valley. She is driving to Columbus today with the Walker family so she can see her son play college ball for the first time.

• Penn State has gotten out of the 60s twice in Big Ten Play, scoring 83 in a home win over Northwestern Jan. 3 and 74 in a home loss to Indiana Jan. 13. Yet the Lions still rank eighth in the conference in scoring offense (61.7 ppg). It is hard to imagine four teams being worse offensively, but in a down year for the league it is true.

• Quiz Answer: The Lions last tangled with No. 1 in 2005, when they played host to top-ranked Illinois. The Illini won handily, 83-63. Penn State is 0-9 all-time vs. No. 1, but has dropped four of those games by five points or less and have taken two top-ranked teams to overtime.

Prediction: Ohio State 78, Penn State 58

Comment: The Buckeyes will not be foolish enough to take the Nittany Lions lightly this time around.

FOS Record: 20-5


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