No. 13 Ohio St. 75, Penn St. 62

It wasn’t a memorable game for Jon Diebler – until the very

end.

The Ohio State guard had misfired all night and didn’t have an

assist or a rebound in 40 fruitless minutes. But the last shot he

took, and the only one he made, saved the day for the 13th-ranked

Buckeyes.

Evan Turner scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half and

Diebler hit a critical 3-pointer to lead No. 13 Ohio State to a

75-62 victory over Penn State on Wednesday night.

Diebler had not scored and was 0 for 6 from the field until he

hit a shot from behind the arc with 1:29 left to give the Buckeyes

some breathing room after Penn State (8-14, 0-10 Big Ten) had cut

what was once a 13-point lead to 65-62.

“I was thinking, ‘This one’s bound to go in,”’ said Diebler,

Ohio’s career prep scoring leader with 3,208 points. “I always

feel that the next one’s going to go in.”

His basket started the Buckeyes (17-6, 7-3) on a 10-0 run to

close the game and handed the Nittany Lions their 10th straight

loss.

“It was just one of those games where they weren’t falling,”

Diebler said. “We didn’t play our best, but you have to give Penn

State credit. Still, we won. That’s all that matters.”

William Buford added 19 points and David Lighty had 12 for the

Buckeyes, who have won their last six conference games and have

beaten the Nittany Lions in their last 12 meetings.

Talor Battle had 24 points and David Jackson 12 for luckless

Penn State.

“History kind of repeats itself,” said Nittany Lions coach Ed

DeChellis, whose team has played on even terms with almost every

team in the conference but has yet to pull out a win. “We hung in

there as long as we could. We’re down three and what’s-his-name hit

a big shot – his only shot of the game.”

Ohio State improved to 14-0 at home this season, where it is

shooting 54 percent from the field.

The Buckeyes scored eight of the first 10 points and never

trailed, then got big buckets from Turner time and again in the

second half whenever the Nittany Lions threatened to slice into the

lead.

But Penn State, down 12 at halftime, never really went away. The

Nittany Lions cut the lead to seven points four times before

finally narrowing it to 65-62 on two free throws by Jackson with

1:53 remaining.

Ohio State worked the ball around before Turner – who added 10

rebounds and six assists – found Diebler open in front of the

Buckeyes bench. The junior hit nothing but net.

Turner then added three free throws and Buford four to close out

the game.

Battle and Turner were teammates on the U.S. World University

Games team this summer. They guarded each other off and on

throughout the game and seemed to enjoy attacking each other.

“It’s tough. He’s been losing,” Turner said of the losses

piling up on his friend. “I know when we lost a couple around here

it seemed like there were some gray clouds over our heads. He

probably feels like it’s a thunderstorm or a lightning

strike.”

Battle, like Turner, also flirted with a triple-double, adding

nine rebounds and seven assists.

Asked if anyone can guard Battle, DeChellis said, “I don’t

know. Can anyone stay in front of Turner? Both kids make their

teammates better. It was fun to see two top players in the league

go at each other like that.”

The Buckeyes built their early lead on a 3-pointer by Lighty,

three points from Turner and a vicious tomahawk dunk by Buford –

and never trailed again.

Penn State’s Bill Edwards, an Ohio native coming off a

career-best 10-points, 13-rebounds effort in a loss at No. 10

Purdue on Sunday, limped off the court at the 11:26 mark with Ohio

State on top 15-8 at the time. He twisted an ankle and did not

return.

Buckeyes coach Thad Matta didn’t have any doubts when he saw

Diebler go up for his last shot.

“I knew the odds were he had to make it,” he said. “We didn’t

shy away from Jon. He’s a shooter.”

DeChellis saw the most recent game as similar to the nine losses

before it.

“That’s kind of the way things have gone,” he said.