STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Whether wide open, fading away from a defender or with a bad look at the basket with a hand in his face, Ohio State's Jon Diebler had one of those games in which he just couldn't miss.
The senior some fans call ``3bler' lived up to his nickname in Happy Valley.
Diebler had a career-high 30 points and set a school record with 10 3-pointers Tuesday night to lead top-ranked Ohio State to an 82-61 rout of Penn State to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title.
Diebler went 5 of 6 from behind the arc in the first half as the Buckeyes (28-2, 15-2) built a 15-point halftime lead and never let up.
Senior Talor Battle scored 18 points in his final regular-season home game for Penn State (15-13, 8-9).
Diebler's 10 3s tied a conference record.
``Ironically, I told him in shootaround, 'We need a big night from you tonight. You're going to get your shots,'' Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said.
That would be 10-for-12 shooting for Diebler, all from behind arc, including a stretch of nine straight 3s until he missed his last shot from behind the arc with 2:03 left.
No matter, Matta let him sit out the rest of the game with Ohio State ahead comfortably by 23 points. Diebler had no idea was having a record-setting night.
``I just found out. It's cool, I guess it's something I'll look back on later down the road,' Diebler said. ``I'm just happy we won. It was a great team effort.'
Freshman center Jared Sullinger bullied his way through the lane for 10 points and 10 rebounds - though he wasn't needed much in the second half with Ohio State leading by as many as 26 points.
The win allowed the Buckeyes to earn at least a share of their fourth conference championship in six years and stay one game ahead of second-place Purdue.
But there wasn't much talk afterward about tying for the title - a loss by No. 6 Purdue at Iowa on Saturday or an Ohio State win over No. 10 Wisconsin on Sunday would give the Buckeyes the title outright.
``We still have one game left,' Matta said. ``We've at least got a share of it and that was about all that was said.'
The Nittany Lions fell way short of an upset that could have drastically improved their fading NCAA tournament chances. There was so much anticipation on campus, the game drew 15,403 fans - the sixth-largest crowd in the 15-year history of the Jordan Center - and a record student turnout of more than 6,000.
Instead they got to watch Ohio State dissect Penn State's defense with ease in ascending to another Big Ten crown.
``You don't see that very often,' Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said about Diebler's shooting. ``We didn't have any answers for them.'
David Jackson had 12 points, while Andrew Jones added 10 for Penn State.
After an emotional pregame ceremony honoring the seniors, Penn State never found its footing and didn't have an answer for Diebler. With Diebler's hot hand leading the way, Ohio State shot 55 percent overall, including 60 percent (18 of 30) in the second half.
A 3-minute stretch of the first half exemplified Penn State's frustrations. Sullinger hit a 12-footer over Jeff Brooks before William Buford dunked following a steal to make it 22-10. Buford finished with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting.,
Following a timeout, Battle tried to regain momentum for the Nittany Lions with an acrobatic scoop shot in the lane. But Diebler rushed down on the break for a 3 from the wing to make it 25-12 with about 5 minutes left in the half.
The rest of the game was a mere formality.
Diebler, who already holds the Big Ten record for career 3s, set a Jordan Center record for 3-pointers.
In contrast, the Nittany Lions had some bad luck, with some early shots rattling in and out of basket. They had a slim margin for error against the Big Ten's best offense (72.9 points per game).
``It didn't help that Diebler just could not miss,' Battle said. ``It's disappointing. It's very disappointing. ... We've just got to move on and leave this one behind.'
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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