Greetings Hoops Fans! This is Dave Horning for Fan Podcast with a post-game review of the heart-breaking loss that was suffered by the Ohio State Buckeyes and all of us fans in a game against the Penn State Nittany Lions last Thursday, January 25th at the Schott, Penn State winning by the score of 82 to 79.

It was a shot from just about mid-court that was made by Penn State’s Tony Carr as time expired that gave Penn State the victory. Should the shot have been more aggressively defended? That is an interesting controversy – and the answer is always yes, up until the point where a foul is called and gives the opponent a chance to have 3 free throws … so it is a fine line – that shot had less than a 50% of going in – and it did bank off the backboard, so there is reason to believe that luck was involved, but, ironically, it was taken from almost exactly the same place on the court where Andrew Dakich made a long 3-point shot just before half-time against Michigan State.

So, in my opinion, I won’t be criticizing the defense of the Buckeyes on that final play, but I would like to note that Ohio State was not ready at the beginning of the game when Penn State made its first 5 3-point shots they attempted, the first two in the first two minutes of the game by Penn State’s Shep Garner – who is known for going for the long NBA range 3-pointers. The Buckeyes just were not ready at the beginning of the game to defend these long 3-s that were shot, and were known that would be shot, by Shep Garner.

The good news was that the Buckeyes fought back and almost pushed the game into overtime. Trailing by 13 points at 57 to 44 with less than 8 minutes left, the Buckeyes mounted a furious comeback and tied the score at 79 with just 5 seconds left.

If you go to my website, you can see some video of the great plays that brought the Buckeyes back.

Here’s how the end of the game unfolded:

With Ohio State trailing by 13 points with just 7 and 1/2 minutes left, CJ Jackson makes this 3-point shot to begin the comeback.

With just 1:36 left in the game, and Ohio State trailing by 6, Andrew Dakich makes a nice play that results in a steal for the Buckeyes.

The 3-point shot that Keita Bates-Diop made with just 1:15 left to cut the Penn State lead to just 3 at 79-76 (assist by CJ Jackson):

With just 19 seconds left, Jae’Sean Tate makes a great drive and revers lay-up to cut the lead to just 1 at PSU 77 OSU 76 – and he was foulded, so there should have been a “plus-one” free throw!!

Keita Bates-Diop makes a long 3 with just 5 seconds left to tie the score at 79-79 (assist by CJ Jackson):

Please also note that Keita was fouled after making the shot and should have been given a free throw.

And this video is from YouTube and courtesy of the Big Ten Network – shows Penn State’s Tony Carr hitting the game winner:

Like all Buckeyes fans, I’m upset and disappointed when we lose, but the loss can be explained by two factors:

(1) Penn State shot lights out – making 11 of 14 3-point shots, including their first 5 in a row in the first 4 minutes of the game as they built an early 16 to 6 lead, and all 5 of their 3-point shots that they took in the second half.

For the entire game, Penn State made 28 of 48 and Ohio State made 28 of 50 – so both teams made 28 baskets – it’s just that Penn State made 11 3’s, compared to just 7 3’s for the Buckeyes. But Ohio State did make 7 of 15 3-point shots, which is good – I’ll take that on most nights and the Buckeyes will win.

Also, consider that Ohio State out-rebounded Penn State, had more assists and the Buckeyes were a perfect 16 for 16 on Free Throws. So, the Buckeyes could have overcome Penn State’s hot night of shooting, except for the second factor:

(2) The referees were terrible and one-sided. Usually when refs are one-sided, it is because they are intimidated by the home crowd. These refs were terrible, calling touch fouls on Keita Bates-Diop (who picked up his 4th foul with 14 minutes left to play) while letting Penn State grab, hold and tackle Kaleb Wesson down low. On three occasions, Buckeye defenders made great blocks on layups where our players got “all ball”, and were still called for the fouls. And, on Ohio State’s last two baskets, Jae’Sean Tate and Keita Bates-Diop should have been given the “and one” as they were both fouled after their shots. That last no-call on Keita Bates-Diop’s defender was after he made the game tying 3-point shot – the Penn State defender tripped Keita Bates-Diop which hindered Keita’ ability to get back for defense against game winning mid-court shot.

I know that Coach Holtmann and the official Buckeye and Big Ten announcers can’t bad-mouth the refs, but I can and I will.

Check out these videos to see how Kaleb was being harassed and the ridiculous jump ball call on Keita.

Kaleb intentionally held

Jump ball was called on Keita?

We need an assistant coach to be the designated Technical Fouler – and I think that Student Assistant Coach Greg Oden is the right person. We need to protest the grabbing, holding and tackling of Kaleb Wesson underneath – the refs need to stop letting the opponents foul in this manner – it’s not only a foul – it’s an intentional foul as these opponents are not going for the ball. We can NOT just allow that to happen.

Another important factor was discussed on The Fan 97.1 FM with Tim and Bennie on Friday morning when they had Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch on as a guest. Adam was saying that Ohio State needs more production from its bench – more scoring – and I think he has a point. We got just 5 points on 2 of 8 shooting from our bench.

We did get this nice 3-point shot by Andrew Dakich, but we need more from him, Micah Potter and Andre Wesson.

So, Ohio State falls to 9 and 1 in the Big Ten and in second place alone. Coming up next for the Buckeyes, another Home game against Indiana this coming Tuesday night at 7:00pm. The crowd at the Penn State game was great – they were into the game and were supportive the whole game. Every game from here on in will be a contest, so come on out to the Schott and watch great basketball.

This is Dave Horning for fan Podcast. Go Bucks!