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Can Matta and company build on Wisconsin win, make late season run ?

COLUMBUS -- Can the OSU men mount a late season charge coming off a dominating home win against 16th ranked Wisconsin ?

The 16-win Buckeyes know two wins to close the regular season might improve their chances to get a bye in the Big Ten Tournament.

"JT and I have old man bodies so the fewer games the better," said sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle, who had 17 points against the Badgers. "We just have to win."

"We're 17 games into the conference season and I have to tell our guys to bring their A game," questioned head coach Thad Matta. "I hope that we're ready to go."

The Nittany Lions enter the game 14-15 overall and 6-9 in conference play. Freshman Tony Carr leads the team offensively with 12.9 points per game, Fellow rookie Lamar Stevens adds 12.5 ppg. Juniors Shep Garner (12.0) and Payton Banks (11.0) also contribure double-digit points. Mike Watkins, another PSU freshman, leads the team in rebounding with 8.1 a game.

Ohio State leads the all-time series with the Nittany Lions 33-14. Ohio State owns a 12-8 advantage in State College and a 17-4 record in Columbus.

The teams have met six times on neutral courts with the Buckeyes owning a 4-2 edge in those games. Thad Matta teams are 21-2 overall vs. Penn State. Matta’s Ohio State teams are 8-1 at the Bryce Jordan Center and 9-1 in Value City Arena. Matta is 4-0 vs. Penn State in Big Ten Tournament play. Jae’Sean Tate averages 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in three career meetings vs. the Nittany Lions. JaQuan Lyle averages 14 points and 5.5 boards in two career meetings.

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