Local college basketball: Ohio State routs PSU
STATE COLLEGE – Left open in the corner, Sam Thompson found an uncontested path to the basket along the baseline and contorted his body around 6-9 center Sasa Borovnjak for a layup and three-point play.
With Big Ten-leading scorer Deshaun Thomas having an off day, the lithe 6-7 Thompson stepped up Saturday for No. 14 Ohio State.
He scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, and the Buckeyes took advantage of cold-shooting Penn State for a 65-51 victory.
“I really did the easy part,” the sophomore said. “Guys found me, I was wide open, and I just knocked down some shots.”
Jermaine Marshall had 16 points for the Nittany Lions, who have lost 18 straight to the Buckeyes. Thomas finished with 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting, well below his league-leading average of 20.5.
Thompson picked up the slack from the field for Ohio State (5-2 Big Ten, 15-4), while Lenzelle Smith Jr. helped put away pesky Penn State by hitting 5 of 6 from the foul line over the final 4:13.
An 11-minute stretch without a field goal in the first half hurt the Nittany Lions (0-8, 8-12).
“If you told me that we’d hold Deshaun Thomas to 11 points, I’d tell you we’re in the game with a chance to win,” coach Patrick Chambers said.
D.J. Newbill had 15 points and six assists, while Borovnjak added nine points. The Nittany Lions did draw within 59-49 with 2:41 left off two foul shots from Marshall.
But Smith (11 points, eight rebounds) was clutch at the foul line down the stretch, and Thompson hurt the Nittany Lions all day.
He answered one Penn State run with a 3 from the wing to keep the lead at double digits. His acrobatic drive around Borovnjak for the three-point play put Ohio State up 43-27 with about 13:30 left.
“Sam was tremendous today. I really challenged Sam to play his best basketball,” coach Thad Matta said. “From the standpoint of what he brought to the table today, I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Matta wasn’t happy with the way that his team committed 13 second-half fouls to give the Nittany Lions life. The free-throw line has been a strength for Penn State in conference play at 71 percent, second-best in the Big Ten behind Illinois’ 73 percent.
Poor shooting early had spoiled thoughts of a Penn State upset.
Oklahoma State 80, West Virginia 66: Told he needed to change his jersey number right in the middle of the season, Oklahoma State freshman Phil Forte wasn’t even given an option. The number 13 was the only one immediately available, so that’s what he was getting.
Forte scored a career-high 26 points in his first game since the switch, Markel Brown added 24 points and Oklahoma State rallied from 13 points down to rout West Virginia 80-66.
“I can’t complain, 13 worked well today,” Forte said. “I’m going to stay with that number. I understand the circumstance, it’s out of my control, and there’s nothing I could do about it and it’s for a good reason.”
Forte had been wearing No. 10 before the university realized during the week that the number was never supposed to be worn again in honor of the 10 men killed when a team plane crashed on the way back from a game at Colorado in 2001. The number was retired during a halftime ceremony two years ago, and a banner hangs from the Gallagher-Iba Arena rafters in recognition.
Forte was at his best in the new number, making 6 of 11 from 3-point range to tie his career best for 3s in a game. Brown was 4 for 6 from behind the arc as Oklahoma State went 10 for 19. The Cowboys were a season-worst 2 for 16 on 3-pointers in their previous game, a loss at Baylor Monday.
Forte hit three 3-pointers as the Cowboys (3-3 Big 12, 13-5) wiped away their big deficit with a 19-3 burst to finish the first half, then connected on two more during an 11-4 run early in the second half that put OSU in command. Oklahoma State’s lead stretched to 15 after an electrifying stretch that featured a three-point play off of a tip-in by Michael Cobbins, a steal and run-out slam by Marcus Smart and then Cobbins’ two-handed dunk.
The Mountaineers (2-4, 9-10) never got closer than 11 over the final 10 minutes.
“They made shots that we didn’t,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “We kind of helped them. We helped them by leaving them. It’s a lot easier to have to make one after you’ve made a couple.
“We helped off the wrong people and at the wrong times.”
Eron Harris scored 17 points to lead the Mountaineers, and Deniz Kilicli had 12 points before fouling out with 6:35 to play.
West Virginia’s first three weeks of Big 12 play have been filled with wild swings.
The Mountaineers blew a 12-point lead in the second half of their conference debut before losing to Oklahoma, overcame a late 10-point deficit to win at Texas in overtime and rallied from an 18-point second-half hole at Iowa State only to lose on a layup in the final seconds.
This one fit right in.
Terry Henderson had a two-handed slam and a 3-pointer as West Virginia used a 20-4 run to take control early, holding the Cowboys to just two baskets over an 11-minute stretch.
Dayton 72, Duquesne 56: Josh Benson’s 17 points led five Dayton scorers in double figures as the Flyers defeated Duquesne 72-56.
Trailing 20-13 with 7:48 left in the first half, Dayton (2-3 Atlantic 10, 12-7) outscored Duquesne 17-4 to take a 30-24 halftime lead. The Flyers then began the second half with an 11-2 run for a 41-26 advantage.
Dayton’s Kevin Dillard and Vee Sanford, with fellow guard Khari Price limited to 4 minutes after taking a knee to the thigh, held Duquesne’s two leading scorers, Sean Johnson and Derrick Colter, to two points each. Colter was 0-for-11 from the field and Johnson 1-for-6 as the Dukes (0-6, 7-13) lost their eighth consecutive game.
Dyshawn Pierre scored 13 points, while Dillard, Sanford and Jalen Robinson scored 10 each. Devin Oliver had 10 rebounds, his ninth game in double figures this season.
Jeremiah Jones and Quevyn Winters scored 16 points each for Duquesne.
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