Whoever it was that snuck back into the Palestra in Philly and brought that mojo back deserves a standing ovation, as does the crowd inside the BJC that braved typical January weather and forced the athletic department to raise the curtains on the upper bowl for the first time this season. On an afternoon that was tabbed as THON Day, complete with a student section of 7K strong and an appearance from current Miami Dolphin and former Nittany Lion tight end, Mike Gesicki, the solid win over a team that throttled the Nittany Lions by 32 back in early December was just what the doctor ordered. It added up to another win over a Top 25 team and should help pad Penn State’s resume in its quest to put on those dancing shoes in March.
Stevens came back strong as he led all scorers with 24 points that included one of his patented thunderdunks in the closing minutes of the game. An impressive move that was featured on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day. Myreon Jones added a much-needed 20 as he found his shooting touch and Seth Lundy poured in a valuable 12 points as the true freshman continues to garner more minutes. Mike Watkins was a terror down low as he added nine points and became a roadblock for anything the Buckeyes tried to bring in the paint. Jon Harrar put in an unexpected six points of his own and Myles Dread put the final nail in the coffin when called upon as he swished away free throws over the final two minutes to finish with 10 points all told.
Any win over the hated Buckeyes makes for a good day and this one could not have come at a better time. The Nittany Lions displayed all the talent that had them ranked as the year began and refused to throw in the towel on a season that had so much promise after that trip to Philly just a couple weeks ago. Up next, there’s no time for a hangover as Penn State travels to Ann Arbor for a date with the red-hot No. 19 ranked Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday night before getting a week off to prepare for the final stretch. Penn State (13-5, 3-4 Big Ten) holds a one-game lead on the Wolverines (11-6, 2-4) in conference play and a hard-to-come-by road win would go a long way towards locking in a highly coveted first-round bye in the conference tournament as the season comes down to the wire over the next month. So don’t break out those dancin' shoes just yet, Nittany Nation, but sweet revenge tells us the march to madness is still alive and well!