Butler scores 20, Penn St. goes cold, in Ohio State’s 68-56 win
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP)—Jamar Butler’s sweet shooting and Penn State’s second-half cold spell helped Ohio State win on the road.
Butler scored 20 points and the Nittany Lions went 10-plus minutes of the second half without a bucket in the Buckeyes’ 68-56 victory on Tuesday night.
Seven-foot freshman center Kosta Koufas added 10 points as Ohio State (15-6, 6-2 Big Ten) wore down pesky Penn State (10-10, 2-6) late and snapped its three-game road losing streak.
Koufas converted an offensive rebound before Butler hit a long jumper just before the shot clock expired to give the Buckeyes a 47-44 lead with about 11 minutes left.
After the Nittany Lions’ Brandon Hassell had his shot blocked, Butler hit another tough shot—a 3 from the wing with a defender’s hand in his face—to extend the lead to 52-44 with nine minutes left.
Meanwhile, Penn State couldn’t hit a bucket for 10 minutes after Jamelle Cornley’s layup with about 14 minutes left gave them a 44-40 lead. Penn State struggled for good shots during the stretch after finding success early against Ohio State’s zone defense.
Andrew Jones led Penn State with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman point guard Talor Battle had 15 points.
Battle and fellow guard Stanley Pringle formed a quick backcourt tandem that helped create shots early against the Buckeyes, who were ninth in the nation in field goal defense (37 percent).
But Butler, a senior point guard, was better, hitting 4 of 9 3-point attempts. He’s a sharpshooter and veteran presence on a squad that relies heavily on youngsters like Koufas.
Ohio State has won 10 straight against Penn State, with the last loss on Jan. 10, 2004.