By Alex Hsi
In the most exciting game of the 2018 B1G Tournament thus far, the #7 Penn State Nittany Lions upset the #2 Ohio State University Buckeyes. Tony Carr did everything for the Lions, scoring 25 points, grabbing 6 rebounds, and dishing out 5 assists. The sophomore guard out shined Keita Bates-Diop, the B1G Player of the Year, who netted 25 points for the Buckeyes.
The two teams played a tightly contested first half, with Penn State taking a 33-32 lead into the locker room. The Nittany Lions’ lead grew to as much as 8 early in the 2nd half, but the tide began to turn halfway through the period, when Bates-Diop threw down an electrifying dunk, followed by a inbound interception by grad-transfer Andrew Dakich. With newfound momentum, the Buckeyes began to heat up. Bates-Diop played like the conference player of the year, making shots from all over the court and dominating the boards late. However, Tony Carr matched his every move, providing consistent scoring for PSU when they needed it most.
Back-to-back threes from both teams with 5 minutes remaining in the second sped up the pace of the game, paving the way for a back-and-forth finale to an already exhilarating game. With just under a minute remaining, Penn State junior Josh Reaves kept his team in the game, collecting his own rebound after a miss and drawing a foul. Reaves would make both free throws, cutting the Ohio State lead to just 1. A star all season, Keita Bates-Diop coughed up the ball with only 17 seconds remaining, leading to a Reaves dunk off a fantastic feed from Tony Carr. The hands of Tony Carr go on to clinch the win for PSU, as the sophomore blocked CJ Jackson as time expired. The Nittany Lions brought the MSG crowd to their feet, as the Reaves dunk and Carr block were the loudest moments of the entire tournament.
It was déjà vu all over again for Ohio State, as they have now lost to Penn State three times in the 2017/2018 campaign. The Nittany Lions take on the #2-seeded Purdue Boilermakers at 4:30 PM in the B1G Tournament semi-finals.
Tony Carr, F, PSU (25 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists)
Keita Bates-Diop, F, OSU (25 points, 5 rebounds)
Lamar Stevens, F, PSU (15 points, 7 rebounds)