Ohio State Focused On Penn State With Top-Five Game Against Michigan Looming

By February 17, 2021 (4:19 pm)Basketball

While No. 4 Ohio State will host No. 3 Michigan on Sunday afternoon in a game that has both Big Ten and NCAA Tournament implications, head coach Chris Holtmann is focused solely on Thursday’s trip to Penn State (8 p.m on BTN).

“We’ve got great respect for Penn State and the fact that we were down eight with a few minutes to go,” Holtmann said during his press conference on Wednesday afternoon, referring to the 83-79 win over the Nittany Lions on Jan. 27. “The last couple games we’ve played (at the Bryce Jordan Center) haven’t been close. They’ve beat us handily. I think our guys are well aware of how good this Penn State team is. 

“So, to be honest with you, I think we have a great understanding based on what they’ve done to us the last couple years and our absolute battle with them here.”

Ohio State hasn’t won at Penn State since the 2016-17 season, with the Nittany Lions winning their last two meetings in State College by 18.5 points per game. It’s worth noting, though, the only matchup between the two teams during the 2018-19 campaign was in Columbus.

“We’ve just talked about Penn State with our group,” Holtmann said. “That’s really been our focus. We’ve not really mentioned anything else or beyond that because that’s pretty much how we’ve taken every game. I think our guys understand that we’re going to need to play well. We’re going to need to play really well. We’re going to need to play one of our better games.”

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