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Big Ten Tournaments: Ohio State Dominates Second Half For Championship

Penn State played the scrappy, deliberate brand of basketball that helped it advance to the Big Ten Tournament championship game against Ohio State, but in the end, the Buckeyes were just too much for a Nittany Lion team that had played four games in four days and won the conference crown with a 71-60 victory.

William Buford finished off what was a strong season against Penn State, leading the Buckeyes with 18 points and three rebounds. Jared Sullinger posted his third double-double of the tournament, finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jon Diebler added 15 points as well on 5-8 shooting and 3-5 from 3-point territory.

Talor Battle led Penn State with 24 points and five rebounds. Jeff Brooks had 19 points and a team-high six rebounds.

The Lions hung with the Buckeyes for much of first half before surrendering a 3-pointer to Diebler at the buzzer, allowing Ohio State to take a 29-23 lead into the locker room. After the half, Ohio State took over and maintained a double-digit lead straight down to the final buzzer.

The state sheet reflected the top-ranked Buckeyes' might. Ohio State outshot Penn State 51%-39% and won the rebounding margin 27-25. It also won the bench scoring stat 9-4.

It was clear Penn State didn't quite have the magic it had earlier in the weekend from the tip. The Lions tried to slow the Buckeyes down, but whenever Ohio State got the game going up and down, it was really no contest.

Penn State now awaits its NCAA Tournament fate. Most projections have the Lions inside the field of 68, however, the selection committee could always throw a curveball.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.