STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The up and down seasons that Penn State basketball fans have grown accustomed to yielded a surprising result Thursday night in Columbus.
Behind 28 points from Tony Carr, including last-second dramatics in the form of 3-pointers from both teams that were heaved within the final five seconds, Penn State stunned the home crowd in Columbus, leaving town with the upset against the No. 13 Buckeyes, 82-79. It was the Lions' first road win against a ranked opponent since 2014 and it doesn't get more entertaining than this:
There may not be a more dramatic moment for Penn State (14-8, 3-5 Big Ten) this season as Pat Chambers' team -- one that went into Columbus after dropping three of their last five games -- also welcomed the return of their top defender.
Josh Reaves, who missed the past four games while dealing with an academic issue, posted 10 points, three blocks and two steals. The Lions had gone 1-3 with Reaves out of the lineup but they now expect him to be on the floor the rest of the way, at least in terms of clearing up the academic issue.
Despite a back and forth game between Carr and Ohio State's (18-5, 9-1) Keita Bates-Diop -- whose own 3-pointer with five seconds left would've owned the highlight reel had it not been for Carr's 40-footer -- Chambers' team also got a 15-point and six-rebound performance from Lamar Stevens. But this night, one that saw Penn State deal Ohio State their first loss since Dec. 23, belonged to Carr.
With 10-of-14 field goal attempts plus five rebounds and five assists, Carr sealed a game that Ohio State stormed back into after trailing by 13 with eight minutes left in the game. It's the type of win that seems to happen at least once per year with this program, one that shows flashes of promise but then can blow the occasional second-half lead and/or drop a game to Rider, just like what happened a little more than a month ago.
It's why this team is usually entertaining in the Big Ten Tournament, seemingly not knowing what's going to happen with it from one game to the next. But on this night, the Nittany Lions were able to put all of the built up frustrations to rest.
Penn State returns to the Bryce Jordan Center for a game against Rutgers (12-10, 2-7) at 4 p.m. Saturday.