Penn State rolls to 64-47 win over Ohio State

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 10, 2004

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - An already dismal Ohio State season got bleaker on Saturday.

Marlon Smith scored 23 points to lead Penn State to a 64-47 win against Ohio State, dropping the Buckeyes to their third consecutive loss.

Ohio State (8-7, 0-2 Big Ten) hit just 20 of 55 shots from the field (36 percent) and misfired on all 13 3-point attempts.

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It was the Buckeyes' worst loss to Penn State (8-5, 2-0) in 27 meetings.

''I don't think that there were any points for us to score across the board,'' Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien said. ''When we have 19 turnovers and we only get to the free throw line eight times and we go 0 for 13 on 3s, where do you think the points are going to come from?''

A 14-2 run to open the second half put Penn State (8-5, 2-0 Big Ten) ahead by 13. Robert Summers scored six consecutive points to cap the stretch.

Summers finished with seven points and eight rebounds while Aaron Johnson scored 12 and had six rebounds for the Nittany Lions.

''We had too many turnovers, our perimeter guys were 6-for-31 from the floor, and we don't get to the foul line,'' O'Brien said. ''We just could not score enough points.''

Velimir Radinovic led Ohio State with 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Buckeyes haven't opened the Big Ten by losing their first two games since O'Brien's first season in 1997-98. That team lost its first 14 conference games and finished 8-22.

First-year Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said his team always seemed to come up with timely plays.

''We made some big shots. We made some big plays. We guarded well and we got big rebounds when we needed to get them,'' he said. ''Ohio State missed some easy shots.''

Penn State is 2-0 in the conference, its best start since it opened the 1995-96 season by going 4-0. The Nittany Lions shot 57 percent in the second half and scored 28 points off Ohio State turnovers.

''We played like we wanted it more,'' Summers said. ''We have a knack of playing like we want to win. We hustle on defense and we have a lot of workhorses.''

That has not been the case for the Buckeyes, who have constantly shuffled their lineup to find a cohesive unit. So far, that goal has been out of reach.

Penn State took a 27-26 halftime lead when Ben Luber stole the ball as the Buckeyes were trying to run down the clock for the final shot and scored when Ohio State was called for goaltending on his layup.

While Ohio State has struggled to find itself, the Nittany Lions seem to be moving in the opposite direction.

''We've been playing great the past five games,'' Smith said. ''Everyone is cohesive and has been together. It takes time and starts off the basketball court. I have been talking to coach, everyone is talking to him and building a relationship with him to build chemistry.''

The Buckeyes outrebounded the Lions 35-30 and had 10 more shots from the field.

Asked how much his team's poor perimeter shooting had to do with Penn State guessing right on defense, O'Brien said, ''I really have no idea. I thought we got more than enough opportunities to make some shots. They were changing their defenses. From my perspective, I thought no matter what they played that we were able to get the ball inside.''