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Saturday's Big Ten: Penn State tops No. 20 Ohio State 90-76

Travis Johnson
Associated Press

State College, Pa. — Although foul trouble kept him on the bench for nearly 20 minutes on Saturday, Penn State forward Lamar Stevens channeled his frustration to play efficient minutes.

Stevens scored 14 of his 24 points in the second half and Penn State defeated No. 20 Ohio State 90-76 Saturday to keep pace in the Big Ten.

Myreon Jones scored 20 points, Seth Lundy added 12 and Myles Dread had 10 for the Nittany Lions (13-5, 3-4 Big Ten) who snapped a three-game losing streak and led by double digits for most of the afternoon.

Penn State's Lamar Stevens (11) finished with 24 points in the Nittany Lions' 90-76 win over Ohio State Saturday.

Penn State lost to Ohio State by 32 on Dec. 7. The Buckeyes (12-6, 2-5) have lost five of their last six games.

“I don’t think we made any adjustments,” Stevens said. “When we went there, they punched us and we weren’t able to respond. They had one of those games where they weren’t missing anything.”

The tables were turned on Saturday. The Buckeyes made just 23 of 54 field goals and endured long scoreless droughts in the first half.

Duane Washington Jr. had 20 points, Kaleb Wesson scored 19 points and Andre Wesson added 12 for the Buckeyes, who trailed by 15 at halftime and by as many as 20 with 15:10 to play.

Kaleb Wesson’s 3-pointer pulled the Buckeyes within 12 with 2:39 left, but they didn’t get closer.

“Our effort wasn’t quite what it needs to be for sure,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “I thought it was our worst defensive effort of the year, but give them credit, they hit a lot of difficult shots.”

Ohio State’s lone lead came in the opening minutes before Penn State used an 11-0 run to take control midway through the first half.

Washington broke up the run with a 3-pointer, Ohio State’s first basket in nearly five minutes, before Penn State extended the lead to 14 with a run that included five points from Stevens.

The do-it-all forward said he became a “good cheerleader” after he picked up his third foul early in the second half.

The Buckeyes cut Penn State’s lead to seven with Andre Wesson’s third 3-pointer of the half, but the Nittany Lions used a 14-6 run over the final 3:14 to take a 42-27 lead into the locker room.

“We had a little bit of a losing streak there, and you never want one to lead to two, two to lead to three,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “We can get better, this was a great game for us. But you’ve got to put it back-to-back-to-back.”

More Big Ten

(At) No. 17 Maryland 57, Purdue 50: Following two straight losses — one lopsided, another agonizingly close — No. 17 Maryland was under intense pressure to maintain its unbeaten record at home.

Getting 18 points and 10 rebounds from Jalen Smith, the Terrapins defeated Purdue to avoid their longest skid of the season.

“We needed a win. Obviously, it’s an understatement,” coach Mark Turgeon said. 

After falling to Wisconsin 56-54 on Tuesday, the Terrapins (14-4, 4-3 Big Ten) showed their resilience by scoring the game’s first nine points and quickly moving in front 28-10. Purdue battled back, finally closing to 53-50 with 3:52 left before the rally fizzled.

Freshman Donta Scott scored a career-high 13 points, Aaron Wiggins added 12 and Anthony Cowan had seven assists for Maryland, now 11-0 at home and 0-4 in away games. So it goes in the Big Ten, where winning on the road is never easy.

“It’s hard to win at home, too,” Turgeon said.

True enough.

The Terps seemed on their way to a lopsided victory before being outplayed by Purdue (10-8, 3-4) in the second half. Maryland led by 10 points before Trevion Williams hit a jumper and Isaiah Thompson connected from beyond the arc to make it 52-47.

It was 53-50 before Smith followed a Purdue miss with a resounding dunk with 2:06 remaining. A series of missed shots and turnovers followed before Cowan made two free throws with 12.5 seconds to go.

The Boilermakers went scoreless over the final 3:52.

Nojel Eastern scored 14 points for Purdue. Looking for an encore to their 71-42 rout of Big Ten leader Michigan State last Sunday, the Boilermakers instead fell to 1-5 on the road — their lone win was at Ohio last month.

“Maryland just lost two games. From a human behavior standpoint, you think they’re not going to be ready to play?” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “You think they’re not more comfortable in their own arena? You’ve just got to find a way.”

The Boilermakers were 8-0 this season when holding the opposition to 59 points or fewer.

Maryland shot 28% in the second half, including 0 for 9 from 3-point range. It was quite a contrast from the first half, when the Terps went 14 for 26 — 7 for 15 from beyond the arc.

Asked if the discrepancy in the numbers could be attributed to Purdue’s defense, Painter replied, “You can probably give them more credit than they deserve in the first half, and give us more credit than we deserve in the second half.”

The Terrapins held Purdue scoreless over the opening 4½ minutes and took a 20-4 lead while getting assists on each of their first seven baskets. Five of those field goals were 3-pointers, including two apiece by Smith and Wiggins.

Minutes later, Scott hit a jumper and a pair of 3-pointers to make it 28-10. At that point, the Terps were 7 for 10 from beyond the arc.

On the other end, the Boilermakers shot 29% during the first 13 minutes and misfired on all four 3-point attempts.

(At) No. 24 Illinois 75, Northwestern 71: As Illinois coach Brad Underwood watched Northwestern play his Illini down to the wire, he couldn’t help but feel he was watching his own team from a year ago.

Trent Frazier scored 16 points, including hitting four 3-pointers, and Underwood’s No. 24 Illinois hung on for a win over the Wildcats.

“Northwestern is young but, boy, are they talented,” Underwood said. “It was very much like watching our team from last year.”

Illinois (13-4, 5-2 Big Ten) had five players in double figures. Ayo Dosunmu scored 14 points, Giorgi Bezhanishvili had 13, Kofi Cockburn 12 and Andres Feliz added 10. 

Illinois led by four at the half and was up 69-60 with 3:50 remaining. Northwestern went on an 8-2 run capped by A.J. Turner’s 3-pointer with 44 seconds left. Dosunmu answered with a jumper 26 seconds later. Miller Kopp hit a 3-pointer with 7 seconds remaining to get Northwestern within 73-71. Dosunmu then hit two free throws a second later to seal the game. 

“You want to stop Ayo? Go ahead,” Underwood said.

“I just came up big,” Dosunmu said of his late-game jumper. “Got to my pull up and it came up clean.”

Robbie Beran led Northwestern (6-11, 1-6) with 17 points. Kopp had 16 points, Pat Spencer 14 and Ryan Young added 12.

Frazier was 3-of-5 from the field in the first half, all three from beyond the 3-point line, He also hit two free throws and led all scorers with 11 points before halftime.

Illinois led 38-34 at the half.

Indiana 82, (at) Nebraska 74: It took a second-half spurt to build a 19-point lead and then tough defense during an eight-minute scoring drought for Indiana to collect a rarity — a Big Ten Conference road win over Nebraska.

Trayce Jackson-Davis had 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead Indiana (14-4, 4-3). Joey Brunk had 16 points and Justin Smith finished with 15.

Going into Saturday, there had been only six Big Ten conference road wins, which, Indiana coach Archie Miller said, made the win at Nebraska important.

“It’s very, very hard to win in this league on the road,” Miller said.

Cam Mack scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half for Nebraska (7-11, 2-5).

Up 46-41 at half, Indiana opened the second period with a 16-2 run, scoring six straight to take a 52-41 lead on Brunk’s jumper with 17:53 remaining, and stretched the lead to 62-43 on Smith’s 3-pointer with 15:02 left.

Nebraska came storming back with a 13-2 run of its own, cutting the Hoosier lead to 70-62 on Mack’s free throws with 8:03 remaining. Both teams then struggled to score with Indiana missing shots and Nebraska turning the ball over.

Brunk scored three straight, including the Hoosiers’ first basket in 8:07, that stretched the lead to 73-62 with 4:45 left. Nebraska cut the deficit to six twice in the final minute, both on Thorir Thorbjarnarson layups. But a pair of Jackson-Davis free throws with 27 seconds left sealed the Indiana win.

Thorbjarnarson finished with 13 points for the Cornhuskers. Dachon Burke added 12 points and Haanif Cheatam had 10.

“They got up on us early,” Jackson-Davis said. We kind of weathered the storm. Then we punched them in the mouth a little bit and they came right back, but I’m glad we found a way at the end to get the job done.”

The Cornhuskers used an 11-0 run to take a nine-point lead midway through the first half. Indiana countered with a 22-6 spurt to go up eight on Jackson-Davis’s layup with 2:25 left in the half and led by five at intermission.

Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said his young, inexperienced team hasn’t yet learned how to battle through the tough stretches in which they fall too far behind to make up the difference and win games.

“We just aren’t deep enough, talented enough right now to fight through those stretches,” Hoiberg said. “We certainly showed that we’re capable, but the overall consistency needs to get better.”