STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Jon Diebler had career highs of 30 points and 10 3-pointers on Tuesday night and No. 1 Ohio State routed Penn State 82-61 to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title.
Diebler went 5 of 6 from behind the arc in the first half as the Buckeyes (28-2, 15-2) built a 15-point lead and never let up. The senior's 10 3s set a school record and tied the conference record.
Freshman center Jared Sullinger bullied his way through the lane for 10 points and 10 rebounds — though he wasn't needed much in the second half with Ohio State leading by as many as 26 points.
The win allowed the Buckeyes to earn at least a share of their fourth conference championship in six years and stay one game ahead of second-place Purdue. Ohio State can claim the conference title outright with a win over No. 10 Wisconsin on Sunday.
Senior Talor Battle scored 18 points in his final regular-season home game for Penn State (15-13, 8-9).
The Nittany Lions fell way short of an upset that could have drastically improved their fading NCAA tournament chances. There was so much anticipation on campus, the game drew 15,403 fans — the sixth-largest crowd in the 15-year history of the Jordan Center — and a record student turnout of more than 6,000.
Instead they got to watch Ohio State dissect Penn State's defense with ease in ascending to another Big Ten crown.
After an emotional pregame ceremony honoring the seniors, Penn State never found its footing and didn't have an answer for Diebler, who finished 10 of 12 from the field, all from 3-point range.
The man some fans call "3bler" lived up to his nickname. It didn't matter if he was wide open. Or fading away from a defender. Or with a bad look at the basket with a hand in his face.
With Diebler's hot hand leading the way, Ohio State shot 55 percent overall, including 60 percent (18 of 30) in the second half.
A 3-minute stretch of the first half exemplified Penn State's frustrations. Sullinger hit a 12-footer over Jeff Brooks before William Buford dunked following a steal to make it 22-10. Buford finished with 21 points.
Following a timeout, Battle tried to regain momentum for the Nittany Lions with an acrobatic scoop shot in the lane. But Diebler rushed down on the break for a 3 from the wing to make it 25-12 with about 5 minutes left in the half.
The rest of the game was a mere formality.
Diebler, who already holds the Big Ten record for career 3s, set a Jordan Center record for 3-pointers.
In contrast, the Nittany Lions had some bad luck, with some early shots rattling in and out of basket. They had a slim margin for error against the Big Ten's best offense (72.9 points per game).
David Jackson had 12 points, while Andrew Jones added 10 for Penn State.