STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State coach Patrick Chambers didn't
think it was the matchup or the fact that it was Senior Night that
allowed his Nittany Lions to beat Ohio State again.
No, it was something more basic.
"I think we were mad," Chambers said, emphasizing that his team had
been thumped by Iowa and Nebraska in its previous two games. "It just
happened to be Ohio State tonight. We came out and played desperate and
with a sense of urgency. And we played angry."
D.J. Newbill scored 23 points, Tim Frazier added 16 and Penn State
held off a late rally by No. 22 Ohio State for a 65-63 victory Thursday.
The Buckeyes (22-7, 9-7 Big Ten) had a chance to win at the end.
Coming out of a timeout with 6.8 seconds left, Lenzelle Smith Jr.'s
3-pointer rimmed out. The Nittany Lions (14-14, 5-10) grabbed the
rebound and time expired.
Ohio State was led by LaQuinton Ross, who scored 19 points. Aaron Craft, plagued by foul trouble most of the game, added 10.
"It was one of those games where two guys pound the ball off the
backboard and it bounces out and they make a 3 on us," Ohio State coach
Thad Matta said. "Little things like that is kind of the way the game
Penn State swept the season series. The Nittany Lions upset then-No. 23 Ohio State 71-70 in overtime on Jan. 29 in Columbus.
Nittany Lions forward Donovan Jack made a turnaround jumper, was
fouled and hit the free throw to give Penn State a 60-55 lead with 1:59
Ross and Craft each made a pair of free throws, sandwiched around two
by Frazier, to pull the Buckeyes to 62-59 with just more than a minute
Frazier pushed Penn State's lead to five with 39.4 seconds left with a pair of free throws.
After Ross made two more free throws, Shannon Scott stole the
inbounds pass and passed to Trey McDonald for a layup that cut it to
Penn State missed two free throws on the ensuing possession, but
Smith's shot caromed off the rim and over the backboard, giving the
Nittany Lions the ball back with under 10 seconds left.
Frazier was fouled and made one of two at the line, setting up Smith's last-second attempt from 3-point range.
"When we executed what we were supposed to do, it was amazing what
happened. We didn't have the flow that we normally do," Matta said.
"That was the difference. We talked about it and talked about it. We
couldn't get it to where we needed it."
Frazier, a senior point guard, was recognized before the game as part
of Senior Night festivities. He is one of 10 finalists for the Senior
CLASS Award, given annually to a student-athlete with notable
achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom,
character and competition. Frazier will leave Penn State as the school's
career leader in assists.
Frazier acknowledged that his uneven play early was due to the emotions and nerves of the night.
"It was very emotional. I was basically trying to hold back tears in
the beginning. Obviously you tell at the beginning of the game I had so
many emotions running through me. Turnovers left and right. Airballs,"
Chambers was happy to see a player who has meant so much to the program get a win on such a special night.
"He's an amazing kid. A man now. He's a man," Chambers said. "It's
Senior Night. You've got family there. You've got one game left in this
building. You've been here five years. You've invested time and energy.
He puts so much into this program. You can't blame the guy for being
jacked up. I was happy to see us get a win for him."