for this game

Sullinger lifts Ohio State past pesky Penn State

Jan 16, 2011 - 2:14 AM Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Jared Sullinger had 19 points and his three- point play with 13.2 seconds left lifted No.2 Ohio State to a 69-66 win over Penn State.

Sullinger added six rebounds and five assists while Aaron Craft contributed 19 points and seven assists for the Buckeyes (18-0, 5-0 Big Ten), who have won their past four games by a combined 15 points.

"I think tonight's game was a great example of college basketball at its finest," said Ohio State head coach Thad Matta. "Penn State made shots, and had some tremendous players; I think that towards the end that we weren't challenging shots or pressuring the ball, but we ended up with the win. Our offense was very effective."

David Jackson had 19 points and five rebounds while Talor Battle donated 15 points for the Nittany Lions (10-7, 3-3), who were coming off wins over Michigan State and Illinois.

After Craft nailed a three-pointer from the top of the circle with 4 1/2 minutes left to give the Buckeyes a 60-55 lead, Jeff Brooks slammed the ball home and two free throws from Jackson made it a one-point game.

Battle then stole the ball from Craft and drove the length of the floor for the easy two points and a 61-60 lead under three minutes to play.

William Buford, though, answered as he calmly drained a three-pointer for a 63-61 advantage with 2 1/2 minutes left.

Battle was then given an offensive foul for charging, but Ohio State was unable to take advantage as Sullinger was also called for charging to give the ball back to Penn State.

Battle was fouled and made both his free throws to tie the game, but Sullinger was fouled as he hit a hook shot and made his subsequent free throw with 59.8 seconds left for a 66-63 lead.

Jackson, though, countered at the other end as he came down with an airball from Battle and was fouled as he put the ball in. He hit his free throw for a 66-all contest with 43.2 seconds to play.

Sullinger was then fouled putting in a layup and his three-pointer forced Penn State to go for the long-range shot, which Battle clearly missed right before the buzzer to give the Buckeyes the win.

"We thought we could win; our kids rallied," said Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis. "You're not just going to roll over when you're down eight or ten points. You're going to fight and claw back. Hopefully, we'll build on it."

The Lions held a 10-7 lead just over seven minutes into the game on a Battle slam and increased that to 27-23 on a Jackson jumper with under five minutes to play in the half.

A Brooks three-pointer increased the advantage to 30-25, but Ohio State closed the half on a 7-2 run with Sullinger's free throws making it a 32-32 game after 20 minutes.

Ohio State opened the second half with consecutive three-balls from Buford and Diebler and later increased its lead to 10 points on a Sullinger three-point play that made it 44-34 with 16 1/2 minutes left.

The Lions were able to keep the game from getting out of hand and an Andrew Jones layup cut the deficit to two, 57-55, with 5 1/2 minutes remaining.

Game Notes

Buford totaled 13 points and Diebler had 10 in the win...Brooks and Tim Frazier each had 11 points for Penn State...The Buckeyes host Iowa on Wednesday...Penn State plays at Purdue on Wednesday...Ohio State leads the series with Penn State, 25-12, including an 8-0 record at Value City Arena.