I'm not even sure why I'm writing this. The game went exactly as expected, if not worse. The Buckeyes raced out to a 24-6 lead with just over 6 minutes remaining the first half, and it was a slugfest from there on out with neither team looking particularly interested. Penn State buried its effort under a pile of bricks on the offensive end. They shot just 7-32 for the first half and were down by 20 at halftime.
PSU was at least competitive in the second half, but OSU called off the dogs. And even when they did, OSU's talented freshmen reserves came in and dominated. The bigger, stronger, and more athletic Buckeyes controlled the inside from the start to finish. Sasa Borovnjak and Jon Graham had their hands full all game long with Jared Sullinger (20 points and 13 rebounds). Graham picked up 5 fouls in just 8 minutes, while Sasa didn't score in his 25 minutes of action. Ross Travis did what he could inside, but he was blocked 3 times by freshmen big man Amir Williams near the end of the game (2-10 from the floor for 5 points).
Tim Frazier, Jermaine Marshall, and Cammeron Woodyard were PSU's only threats (16, 14, and 10 points respectively), but neither of three were efficient (all shot 36% or worse). Frazier was more productive than I thought he'd be with 16 points and 4 assists, but he played nearly the whole game including when OSU let up. Speaking of, I understand trying to instill a never give up attitude among these guys, but Chambers has to be cautious with the wear and tear on Tim. He's never played this many hard minutes on his skinny frame, and he has seemed a bit gimpy this last week or two.
It's hard to think the loss of Billy Oliver and Trey Lewis having a damaging impact on PSU's offense, but this team is so scoring-deficient they need all the help they can get. They've really done well in other areas like taking care of the basketball and rebounding most of this conference season. But when it comes to putting the ball in the hoop, they are atrocious. We can only hope this team shoots itself out of any ineptitude records they are likely approaching. ESPN already showed that PSU's shooting in conference play was the lowest out of any major-conference team and that was before tonight's egg.
Chambers got his second technical on the Penn State bench this season after arguing a flagrant foul called on Tim Frazier for elbowing Aaron Craft, even though he attempted to clear space with what I thought looked like a legal move. Apparently not. It wasn't a malicious attempt or whatever by Frazier, but the announcers claimed the call was justified. I really hate that rule as it handicaps the offensive player. Credit Craft for playing fearless, aggressive defense and for willing to stick his nose in there, but I just don't understand how the offensive player is suppose to counter in that position.
Looking ahead, PSU finally has a 'bye' during the conference season and has the weekend off. I'd imagine Chambers will give the guys off tomorrow before they start preparing for Wisconsin next Tuesday night at home. Wisconsin has hit their stride after a slow start to conference play. We all know DeChellis' history against the Badgers, but we'll see what Chambers has in store for Bo Ryan.