Greetings Hoops Fans! This is Dave Horning for Fan Podcast with a post-game review of the Ohio State – Penn State game … Penn State wins by 23 points in a game that was never close. Final Score: Ohio State 56 @Penn State 79.

Of course I’m disappointed by the loss, and that the loss was so big. The Buckeyes were just anemic on offense the entire game … that is after the first two minutes.

Ohio’s State’s Center, Kaleb Wesson, scored the first two baskets of the game and gave Ohio State an early lead at 4-2. At the 18:12 mark in the first half, Kaleb Wesson went up for a rebound and was attacked by Penn State’s Josh Reaves going for an offensive rebound and arriving late to the party. His body bounced off Kaleb’s – Kaleb is too big and strong for the 6-4 210 pound Reaves – so he had no chance for the rebound, but Reaves foot landed underneath Kaleb’s Wesson’s and it resulted in a significant ankle injury to Kaleb Wesson. This is less than 2 minutes into the game. It wasn’t an intentional foul – but I’m not going to call it an accident. However, Josh Reaves was not even called for a foul – and he should have. Reaves wasn’t really going for the ball – he had no chance for the rebound – so it could have been called a flagrant foul 1 because of the excessive contact during a live ball – but at a minimum, when a player is significantly injured, it should be a foul.

To watch the video re-play – visit Google and type in: ESPN Video Kaleb Wesson injury

It is shocking that Reaves comes from left field and makes no effort to rebound – he just body slams Kaleb as Kaleb is coming down with the rebound – the contact also trips Kaleb and results in an ankle injury – and no foul called on Reaves.

That Josh Reaves play was a textbook example of what would be called a charging foul in ice hockey – getting a 4 or 5 step run at a player and initiating body contact. In my opinion, it was a dirty play by Penn State’s Josh Reaves.

There is an expression in basketball – no harm – no foul – but on this play, Kaleb was injured. Even if it was an accident, there was harm and there should have been a foul.

I’m just not a big fan of players getting away with the alleged accidental tangling of legs – like in the last Ohio State – Penn State game when Keita Bates-Diop makes a game-tying three-point shot with 2.6 seconds left, and the Penn State defender trips Keita after the shot because their legs got tied up – no foul was called there either, but Keita should have had the “and one” free throw opportunity to give Oho State the lead.
After Wesson goes out, Penn State goes on a 12-0 run and Penn State never relinquished the lead.

I’m not going to claim that Ohio State would have won the game had Reaves not injured Kaleb Wesson, because the Buckeye offense was anemic all night long. The Buckeyes missed all seven 3-point shots in the first half, and were just 2 for 15 on the night. So, Penn State would probably have won the game without the dirty play, but Kaleb Wesson only played 17 minutes and, when he went back in, he looked to me that he had no explosive jump – he had several shots blocked – not something that would happen to a healthy Kaleb Wesson.

Penn State’s Josh Reaves is the leading defensive player in the Big Ten. He does not have to play dirty to be a solid defender. In fact, he did defend and shut down Keita Bates-Diop who scored only 10 points and only attempted only two 3-point shots the entire game.

In addition, I’m not going to blame the refs for this loss. However, I was pleased to see Buckeyes Coach Chris Holtmann collect a technical foul. It happened about two minutes after the Wesson injury when Josh Reaves got away with another another no-call – this time on Keita Bates-Diop. I think this did help improve the refereeing for the Buckeyes. But Ohio State’s offense was just too anemic – that is why we lost.

However, in spite of how bad we were playing, with 7 minutes left in the first half, the Buckeyes had the ball and were only down 9 points. On the next two possessions, Keita lost control of the ball going for a lay-up and then missed a jumper, and when Penn State’s Shep Garner made a 3-pointer, Penn State had re-established a 13-point lead.

Maybe Ohio State should have called a time-out at that 7-minute mark. The 4th timeout is always lost at half-time anyways, and a timeout might have allowed the Buckeyes to set up an offensive play to get Keita a better shot.

The Buckeyes did not effectively run their offense against Penn State – there were too many individual action plays – too few quality assists – and too many times the shot clock ran down forcing someone to take a 3-point attempt.

The Buckeyes were anemic on offense, and that is the reason Penn State won this game.

Another sign that it was not Ohio State’s night was the final play of the first half – an unmitigated disaster. With 2.6 seconds left. Penn State threw an inbounds pass the length of the court where Tony Carr caught it while being defended by two Buckeyes and made a lay-up and was fouled as time expired. It was the worst play of the season for the Buckeyes.

In the first 5 minutes of the second half, Penn State built a thirty point lead on two occasions, but to Ohio State’s credit, the Buckeyes did not give up. With Penn State leading by 54 to 24, Ohio State went on an 18 to 4 run to cut the lead to 16 at the 10 minute mark – with Keita Bates-Diop making a 3-point shot to cap the run. There were 10 minutes left. Could the Buckeyes pullout another come from behind victory?
As it turned out, no. Penn State was solid on offense the rest of the game and Ohio State could not catch-up. Did I mention the anemic Buckeye offense?

Final Score: Penn State 79 Ohio State 56 … just 56 points.

On the positive note, Kam Williams did return to the team and played 16 minutes, but he scored just 2 points, so the rust was showing. Will he get the start on Sunday at Michigan?

This is Dave Horning for Fan Podcast. Let’s put this game aside and go Beat Michigan!!