University Park, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The 23rd-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes play their final true road game of the season on Wednesday night when they take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in Big Ten Conference play at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Ohio State has won 18-of-19 at home but is just 3-7 as the visiting team. The Buckeyes enter this tilt looking to build on back-to-back road wins as they toppled Nebraska last Thursday, 81-57, and then held off Purdue on Sunday by a 65-61 final.
Penn State, on the other hand, is mired in a five-game slide and has dropped 13-of-16 overall since Big Ten play began. The Nittany Lions took Iowa to overtime on Saturday but came away with an 81-77 loss. This marks their final home game of 2014-15.
Ohio State cruised to a 75-55 victory over the Nittany Lions in the first meeting in Columbus back on Feb. 11. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series, 30-14.
OSU rallied back from a 12-point deficit to take down Purdue on Sunday. After shooting a dismal 26.9 percent from the floor in the first half, the Buckeyes shot 54.5 percent in the second stanza and also held a key 18-4 scoring edge at the foul line over the final 20 minutes. Freshman D'Angelo Russell had another solid performance to strengthen his Big Ten Player of the Year candidacy, finishing with a game-high 28 points, seven rebounds and two steals. On the season, he is averaging a team-best 19.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per outing. Sam Thompson (10.6 ppg) joined Russell in double figures with 14 points in the last game.
The Nittany Lions boast their own guard who can hang with Russell in the scoring column in senior D.J. Newbill, who leads the Big Ten with 20.4 ppg, just ahead of the Buckeyes freshman. However, Newbill has simply not gotten very much help from his supporting cast as he is the only player on the team averaging double figures. Brandon Taylor is next in line with 9.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per tilt.
The Nittany Lions placed four in double figures against Iowa, but they also committed 15 turnovers and watched the Hawkeyes convert 25-of-27 free throws for the game. Newbill led the way with 19 points, although his in-bounds pass was stolen with 30 seconds left in overtime, which proved critical to the outcome.