Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop fell to the ground after drilling his third consecutive 3-pointer in one minute, this shot tying Penn State at 79.
Bates-Diop immediately stood up, raising both hands with three fingers pointing up, signifying his latest triple. With just five seconds remaining in the game, Ohio State’s bench went wild. All of a sudden, after trailing for 37 minutes and 26 seconds of the game, overtime seemed inevitable.
Then, sophomore guard Tony Carr released an off-balance, near-half-court shot. The jubilation turned to disbelief when the ball hit the backboard and went through the net to give Penn State the 82-79 upset victory against Ohio State Thursday.
The shot wasn’t the result of bad defense. It was just bad luck.
“I think two of our guys contested the shot and he ended up double-pumping and throwing it up. It was a crazy shot,” Ohio State senior forward Jae’Sean Tate said. “Hat off to him he played a great game, he was very hard to stop tonight.”
Hitting two 3s in a minute, including one well beyond the 3-point line with 10 seconds remaining, Bates-Diop gave the Buckeyes hope. There was still a chance they could pull off a win after trailing the Nittany Lions by nine with less than three minutes remaining.
But emotions shifted in a matter of seconds, when Carr made his fourth 3-pointer, this one coming from near half-court.
As junior guard C.J. Jackson watched Carr’s shot bank off the glass and fall in, he immediately fell flat on the court in disappointment while the Penn State bench went into a frenzy, dogpiling on the court beside him. Fans at the Schottenstein Center exited the stands shocked and devastated.
The game ended on two improbable, back-to-back long-range 3s, by the Big Ten’s two leading scorers. After what looked like a comeback for the Buckeyes, Carr’s final shot put Penn State on top, which gave the Buckeyes their first loss in Big Ten play.
But it was not just the game-winning shot by Carr that put the Nittany Lions in the position to beat Ohio State. The buzzer-beating 3 was just the shot that capped it off.
“We’ve got to be more assertive when we start off the game. We didn’t lose on that last shot,” Tate said. “They played a great game.”
Carr led both teams with 28 points. He was 4-for-5 from 3 and 10-for-14 in the paint. The Nittany Lions were hot from behind the arc the entire night, hitting 11-of-14 triples. Penn State’s 58.3 shooting percentage was the highest Ohio State allowed to a Big Ten opponent so far this season.
“I feel like we definitely outplayed them from the tip. We were just more focused. We were just more hungry,” Carr said. “Big kudos to [Bates-]Diop. He made tough shots down the stretch.”
Bates-Diop finished with 25 points, shooting 4-for-6 from 3. He did his job with 10 seconds remaining and the ball in his hands.
It just wasn’t enough to fix the damage already done.