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Penn State-Ohio State: 5 Things to Know Before Penn State Goes for Regular-Season Sweep

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Mike Rhoades

Penn State (9-9, 3-4 Big Ten) is coming off the biggest win of the Mike Rhoades era, beating No. 11 Wisconsin 87-83 at the Bryce Jordan Center this past Tuesday night. Now, the team looks to sweep Ohio State (12-5, 2-4) in Columbus.

Here are five things to know before Penn State takes on Ohio State.

THE LAST TIME AROUND

Mike Rhoades has three big conference wins in his time as Penn State’s coach thus far. The most recent took place Wednesday against No. 11 Wisconsin and led to a court-storming at the Bryce Jordan Center.

A little more than a week before that, Penn State came from 14 down to beat Michigan at Philadelphia’s famous Palestra. But Rhoades first Big Ten win— and first one that made people pay attention— took place against this Ohio State team in December at the Bryce Jordan Center. Boy, was it something else. Penn State was down by 18 in the second half and came back to pull out an 83-80 win.

PSU has momentum right now, but it’s hard to beat a team like Ohio State twice, especially when Penn State’s yet to beat anybody on the road thus far. More on that, later.

‘YEACE’ IS ON A ROLL

Whether or not my nickname for Penn State’s backcourt duo of Ace Baldwin and Kanye “Ye” Clary is clever is up for debate. But what isn’t up for debate is that the two are rolling right now. Against Wisconsin, Clary led all scorers with 27 points— two away from matching his season high— and Baldwin added 20. A bench player as a true freshman during Penn State’s NCAA Tournament run last season, Clary has become one of the Big Ten’s most explosive offensive players, averaging over 19 points per game, good for fourth overall in the league and second among guards. Baldwin is second on Penn State in scoring (13.2) and leads the team in assists (4.9) and the country in steals per game (2.9). For Penn State to win big games, these two probably have to play like stars, and Saturday in Columbus qualifies as a big game.

WHAT ABOUT THE BUCKEYES

After losing to Penn State, Ohio State responded with four straight wins. But since then, Ohio State’s dropped three straight to Indiana, Wisconsin and rival Michigan, respectively. Ohio State’s 12-5 overall and 2-4 in the Big Ten. OSU’s been solid in Columbus, with an 8-2 home record. Penn State, on the other hand, hasn’t been good on the road.

ROAD WOES

None of Penn State’s nine wins have come outside of Pennsylvania. The team’s 8-2 at the Bryce Jordan Center and 1-0 at the Palestra, but a combined 0-7 on the road or on a neutral court. Penn State also hasn’t won in Columbus since the 2017-18 season, so it’s been a while.

HOW TO WATCH

Ohio State comes in as a 5.5-point favorite. Here’s more information on how to watch and listen to the game.

Time: Noon

TV: Big Ten Network

TV announcers: Jeff Leverig (pxp), Stephen Bardo (color)

Radio: Penn State Sports Network

Radio announcers: Steve Jones (pxp), Dick Jerardi (color)

SiriusXM: Ch. 388, 978 (app)

 

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