Ohio State Jon Diebler was firing on all cylinders early and never relented as he led his Buckeyes to an 82-61 win against Penn State on Tuesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The senior tallied 30 points on 10-12 shooting from 3-point territory to sink the Nittany Lions on their senior night. William Buford added 21 points in the victory and freshman sensation Jared Sullinger earned another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the game.
The Buckeyes raced out to a double-digit lead early thanks to 26% shooting from Penn State in the first half, and though the Lions managed to bring their percentage all the way up to 49% by game's end, Ohio State, which maxed out at 60% shooting at one point in the second half en route to a lead of as many as 26, refused to concede ground and led comfortably throughout.
In their final regular season games in Happy Valley, Penn State's seniors were its big contributors. Talor Battle led the team with 18 points. David Jackson and Andrew Jones also cracked double figures with 12 and 10 points respectively. That was about all that went well for the Lions, though.
In addition to dominating the shooting percentage, but Buckeyes worked Penn State on the glass, 31-22 including 10-8 on the offensive end. Their 54% shooting was tough to out-do, too, as was Diebler's hot shooting from beyond the arc.
The loss leaves Penn State with little room to breath as it looks to sneak into the NCAA Tournament with an at-large berth. With 13 losses against only 15 wins, the safest math says the Lions need to win their next three games to get to 18 victories on the season. At that point, they'll have a reasonable case, and with a struggling Minnesota squad on the slate in the season finale and likely a low seed in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, the Lions will have a reasonable shot at getting two of those three. A possible matchup in the Big Ten quarterfinals, though, could be an adventure.
Either way, we'll have you covered here at SB Nation Pittsburgh as we close in on college basketball's postseason.