INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Sam Sessoms scored 18 points and No. 11 seed Penn State rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half to beat sixth-seeded Ohio State 71-68 on Thursday night in the second round of the Big Ten tournament.
The Nittany Lions ended a four-game skid against Ohio State and advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2018, where they will face No. 3 seed and ninth-ranked Purdue.
Penn State (14-16) used a 14-3 run for their first lead of the game, 56-54, with about six minutes to play.
Joey Brunk’s jumper for Ohio State tied it, then Sessom’s three-point play gave the Nittany Lions the lead for good.
It was a two-possession game inside the final minute — until Jamari Wheeler hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Ohio State (19-11).
Jalen Pickett added 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists for Penn State.
John Harrar had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Myles Dread also chipped in 12 points for the Nittany Lions, which shot 32-percent (9 of 28) in the first half but 61.5-percent (16 of 26) in the second.
E.J. Liddell scored 25 points to lead the Buckeyes.
Malaki Branham added 16 points and Brunk had 10.
Liddell scored 10 points with two 3-pointers as Ohio State opened the game with a 20-7 run and led 33-24 at the break.
The Buckeyes stretched it to 37-26 with 18:49 remaining.