Ohio State finally had a leading scorer not named DeShaun Thomas on Saturday afternoon. This Buckeye’s name was Sam Thompson and he lit up Penn State for 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists, while shooting .857 from the field.
With DeShaun having an unusually tough day from the field, 4-13 for 11 points, the lanky Thompson stepped up when Ohio State needed it most. Of course, the Buckeyes are simply far more talented than their foes from State College, but Thompson’s performance allowed the Buckeyes to get past Penn State fairly easily.
While Thompson was getting open looks left and right, the Penn State shooters were struggling mightily. Finishing the day shooting 32.5% from the field and 23.5% from beyond the 3 point line, the Nittanny Lions were in trouble from the get-go. Guard D.J. Newbill had arguably the best day of any Penn State player, posting 15 points on 5-9 from the field and 5-8 from the free throw line. He added 4 boards and 6 assists to go along with his great shooting performance.
The win wasn’t as easy as the Buckeyes wanted it to be, as they tried and tried but just couldn’t close the door for quite a while. Eventually, the Buckeyes closed it out and took home the win in State College.
The Buckeyes move to 15-4 on the season, 5-2 in the Big Ten, while the Nittany Lions are still searching for their first B1G win of the season.
Ohio State has a massive game waiting for them on Tuesday when Wisconsin comes into Columbus. Wisconsin, this afternoon, beat the mighty Golden Gophers of Minnesota to notch their 5th B1G win. Before a matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Badgers were undefeated in B1G play, but lost in Carver-Hawkeye arena to a relentless Iowa squad. They then lost their second straight game against the Michigan State Spartans at home by two points.
Wisconsin is an overlooked team in the national conversation. Two of their losses are against Florida and Creighton, two tough ranked opponents, while they’ve lost heartbreakers to Michigan State, Virginia, and Marquette. The quality wins of the Badgers could rival many in the country. Wisconsin has wins against two #12 teams in the country (Illinois and Minnesota), as well as a win against the Indiana Hoosiers, who were the #2 ranked team in the country at that time.
The nationally-televised game against Wisconsin could be a hard fought and tough game for both sides. It’s obvious that Wisconsin, who is nationally unranked at this time, is being overlooked while the Buckeyes, who still don’t have an identity, have struggled in certain situations. In their biggest win of the season, Ohio State beat #2 Michigan in Columbus. The home-court advantage could be the saving grace for Ohio State on Tuesday night, and hopefully could help them to a great win against a good Wisconsin team.