Should Have Done More
With Penn State’s 82-79 upset win over No. 13 Ohio State, the Nittany Lions showed the rest of the Big Ten that when they are at full strength, they can be a difficult team to beat — especially when they hit 11-of-14 from three-point territory.
PSU guard Tony Carr led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting and 4-of-5 from three-point range. Three of those points came at the buzzer, giving the Nittany Lions the win.
Sometimes it’s just your night and everything is falling. That was the case for Penn State Thursday evening, but OSU head coach Chris Holtmann believes that his team could have done more to get the win.
“You look at them, and they’re really talented. I think Carr is clearly a pro,” Holtmann said. “He will be a first-round draft pick here at some point. He was 10-for-14 and four-for-five tonight. Their guys just played well.
“We have got to figure out a way to put our guys in better position defensively, and then we have to come out with more presence than what we did.”
Let’s Get Physical
Penn State hit 28-of-48 (.583) shots for the game, scoring from deep and inside. They painted a fantastic box score, but according to Holtmann, the difference wasn’t the way the Nittany Lions shot it, it was the way they brought it.
“They were the more physical team the entire night,” he said. “One of the most physical games I’ve coached in and we have to do a better job of responding.”
The Buckeyes responded at the end, and nearly pulled the game out, but the response ended up being too little, too late. Now they have a Big Ten loss in the standings, but Holtmann will make sure something positive comes out of this game.
“Win or lose tonight, we were going to need to learn a lot from this game because of how physical they were,” he said. “Again, I thought they were more physical than we were, and they just made more effort plays for certain segments of the game. So, we were going to need to learn from this game one way or another.
“I think our guys, because of this stretch, it’s mandated they get two days off, and they need that physically and mentally. This is not unlike what we thought could happen at some point, we will see how we respond. Indiana is really good, playing as well as anyone in the league, so we need to be better and hopefully we will.”
In the hours leading up to the game, Ohio State announced that Keita Bates-Diop was battling an illness and may not play against Penn State, but he was out there for warmups from the outset.
“When I got here I knew I was going to play,” he said. “I was pretty hydrated before the game so I felt pretty good.”
It was obvious that he felt “pretty good” by his 25 points and clutch three-pointers down the stretch.
“He has played great against us every year,” said Penn State head coach Pat Chambers. “He has been fantastic and when he went down last year, I knew it was going to be rough for Ohio State. The shots that he made tonight were unbelievable. He is a big-time player.”
KBD wasn’t interested in taking all of the credit, however.
“Coach drew up plays with multiple options, and coming down the stretch I was an option on all of them,” he said. ‘I was just trying to make the right play. Jae’Sean got a layup down the stretch too, so it wasn’t all me.”
Not a Definition
After the game, Chris Holtmann spoke to his team in the locker room. What did he tell his players?
“He just made sure that everybody knows that this is just one game so it won’t define us for the rest of the season,” said Jae’Sean Tate. “We’ve got eight more games left in the Big Ten. We’re going to learn from this one obviously, and do what we can to make sure we don’t lose anymore.”