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Carr Powers Penn State Past No. 8 Buckeyes

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - When Penn State sophomore Tony Carr subbed out of the game with 1:27 left on the clock, an energized Bryce Jordan Center crowd stood up to roar. 

With the Nittany Lions inches from completing their second series sweep against Ohio State in the Patrick Chambers era, it's a moment Carr will never forget.

In front of nearly 11,000 clad in white, Carr powered Penn State past No. 8/9 Ohio State for a 79-56 victory. It's the fourth straight for Penn State, moving the Nittany Lions to 19-9 on the year and 9-6 in conference play.

"Life is all about memories and moments like that," Carr said following his fourth 30-point performance of the season. "I just want to cherish it."

Long before hordes of students stormed the court in a postgame frenzy, the buzz in the BJC was clearly palpable. Penn State students poured into their seats as early as an hour before the first whistle, quickly spilling into every available overflow section.

Even Chambers noticed. Something special was about to go down.

Trailing 4-2 early in the game, Penn State wasted little time getting fired up, using a 15-2 run capped off by Carr's second triple of the night to jump ahead by as many as 11, 17-6. 

The Nittany Lions then widened their advantage to as many as 14, holding Ohio State's Keita Bates-Diop without a single point until the clock ticked down to the 7:45 mark in the first half. 

The Buckeyes managed to trim the deficit to nine, 25-16, but Penn State confidently answered with a 7-0 run punctuated by back-to-back triples from Carr and junior Josh Reaves.

"It was important to keep our confidence that way," Chambers said. "We talked about one possession. Don't think about the end result, don't think about when the buzzer's going to go off. Think about the next possession. Take care of the possession that's in front of us and that's all you can control." 

The Nittany Lions would not be derailed, using a 13-2 run spanning nearly four minutes to close out the first half with a 24-point lead, 45-21. 

It was Carr who sent the crowd into pure pandemonium, snatching the ball from mid-air off a Reaves baseline heave before crashing to the ground in between a pair of fallen Buckeyes to see the ball fall through the hoop for the and-1. He nailed the free throw attempt with one second left on the clock. 

"We go over that play sometimes but it never ends like that," Carr said. "That was crazy. I heard coach yell so I knew Josh was going to throw it, but everything just worked out perfectly that play."

Penn State went 5-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half, with Ohio State headed into the locker room at 0-for-7.

"Everybody really contributed to really slowing down Ohio State," Chamber said. "I've seen them score in bunches and the game is over like that. For us to really draw that line in the sand and really defend and guard those guys is big for our confidence." 

The Nittany Lions held the Buckeyes to a season-low 56 points, keeping Bates-Diop to 10 points and Jae'Sean Tate to six.

The mark in the sand went from a line to a trench as The Nittany Lions quickly bolstered the lead to as many as 30 out of the break. Penn State would only strengthen its defensive grip, wihtout letting the lead dip below 16 for the remainder of the second half.

"When the pieces come together it's fun to be a part of, it's fun to watch," Chambers said.

There's no denying Penn State has endured its fair share of challenges throughout the year, but for Chambers, Thursday marks one more step.

"Early in the season we took some hits," Chambers said. "We learned from failure. We really did. We learned from those setbacks on how to respond to those situations, on how to respond to adversity. You can see it in our guys' body language and in our faces. They were just so determined tonight not to let them back in it in the second half."

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