No. 16 Ohio State aims to stay perfect at home vs. Penn State

Ohio State is looking for a home-court advantage to get back in the win column when the No. 16 Buckeyes host Penn State on Sunday in Columbus.The Buckeyes (10-4, 4-2 Big Ten) have lost two of the past three games, with both defeats on the road. The latest was a 78-68 setback at No. 13 Wisconsin on Thursday.It was a game that the Buckeyes trailed by 13 points at the half and by 17 with four minutes left. They rallied to within six points, but couldn’t pull off the comeback.”I think the first 20 minutes, we didn’t (play hard enough),” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “I think the second 20 minutes, we did. To win on the road against a good team, that’s what it demands. I think we’ve been able to quote-unquote get away with it a little bit, but it’s an area we definitely have to get better.”Fortunately for the Buckeyes — who are 7-0 in Columbus — the game against Penn State (8-6, 3-3) starts a three-game homestand at Value City Arena. After facing the Nittany Lions, the Buckeyes will take on Indiana University-Purdue University on Tuesday and then Nebraska on Jan. 22.While the Buckeyes are 2-2 in conference away games, one of the victories was at Penn State on Dec. 5, 76-64.Under first-year coach Micah Shrewsberry, the Nittany Lions have come a long way defensively. On Tuesday in a 66-49 win over Rutgers, they held a Big Ten opponent under 50 points in regulation for the first time since Jan. 29, 2020, when Indiana mustered just 49 points against them.Leading the way for Penn State has been Seth Lundy, who is often tasked with guarding the other team’s top scorer. He limited Rutgers’ leading scorer Ron Harper Jr. to just seven points on 2-for-9 shooting.

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