Buckeyes venture to Happy Valley for Big Ten Opener

The Ohio State Buckeyes will face the Penn State Nittany Lions tonight in their first conference game of the year, tip-off is at 7:30 pm ET on BTN from the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, PA.

The 5-2 Buckeyes should come into this game with a ton of energy following their come-from-behind win over the #1 ranked Duke Blue Devils. The Buckeyes trailed by as many as 15 in the second half but found a way to battle back and secure the victory. A combination of forcing the Blue Devils to settle for tough shots, foul trouble for the Blue Devil big men, and clutch shooting from Cedric Russell as well as leader EJ Liddell were keys to the win. For the first time, this season Ohio State was led in scoring by someone other than Liddell. This time around, sophomore Zed Key topped the box score with 20 points, proving to be a force in the paint. However, Liddell did contribute a double-double with 14 points, 14 rebounds to go along with three blocked shots. The Buckeyes will need to see more players step up offensively outside of the obvious EJ Liddell, like Russell and Key, if they want continued success for the remainder of the season.

The Nittany Lions come into this game with a record 4-3, with narrow losses to LSU and Miami and a 25-point defeat to UMass. Penn State is led by first-year head coach, Micah Shrewsberry, formerly an Associate Head Coach with Purdue and assistant with the Boston Celtics. His veteran squad boasts a starting rotation of four seniors and junior which is led in scoring by Forward Seth Lundy and Guard Sam Sessoms. The Nittany Lions will look to shoot well from long distance, dominate the glass, and control pace with solid defense, all of which have been key components to their wins. They will also be looking to stifle a homecoming game for Ohio State guard Jamari Wheeler, who is a grad transfer for the Buckeyes following four successful years with the Nittany Lions.

Will the Nittany Lions bounce back following a tough overtime loss to Miami? Will Ohio State keep the ball rolling following their massive win over #1?

Tune in on BTN at 7:30 pm ET as the Buckeyes roll into Happy Valley looking to pounce on the Lions and move to 1-0 in conference play.

Feature image: AP Photo, Jay LaPrete