Big Ten Diaries: Here Comes Penn State

The Big Ten Diaries recaps the previous night's action in Big Ten Basketball, but of course, you're probably smart enough to figure that out on your own.

Penn State Nittany Lions 68 Illinois Fighting Illini 64

While the top four spots in the Big Ten figure to belong to MSU, OSU, Indiana, and Wisconsin, don't be surprised if the Penn State Nittany Lions sneak up into 5th place this season. After only being able to win three conference games last season the Nittany Lions picked up their second conference win in as many games on Sunday afternoon in Champaign.

The duo of Geary Claxton and Jamelle Cornley looks like one that could give a lot of Big Ten teams trouble this season, as both players had their second consecutive double-doubles at the expense of the Illini. Cornley lead Penn State with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Claxton scored 11 and grabbed 11 boards as well.

The Illini had a chance to win the game after freshman Demetri McCamey hit two three-pointers in the final minute to pull Illinois within a point with 10 seconds left, but his floater in the lane that would have won the game missed it's mark and Illinois lost it's second straight home conference game, and third overall.

Another factor that helped Penn State pull of a big road victory was outworking the Illini 49-24. This despite the fact the Nittany Lions don't have a single player over 6'5 in their starting lineup.

Illinois' next two games are at Wisconsin and Indiana, so if Bruce Weber's already feeling the heat for his teams lackluster play, just wait until they start out 0-4.

Ohio State Buckeyes 62 Northwestern Wildcats 51

Maybe Ohio State should leave the Big Ten and join the Big East or the ACC because, frankly, they just aren't getting much of a challenge in the Big Ten. With their win over Northwestern on Sunday, the Buckeyes have now won 18 straight conference games, with their last loss coming at Wisconsin on January 9th of 2007.

They're even showcasing a new star every game. In their conference opener against Illinois, Jamar Butler scored a career high 32 points. On Sunday against Northwestern Butler didn't score a single point, but did manage to dish out 11 assists and grab 10 rebounds. Of course, Jamar didn't need to do any scoring because Kosta Koufos and Jon Diebler provided all the offense Ohio State needed.

Koufos dominated the first half with 15 of his 17 points coming before the break, and Diebler took the second half over by scoring 10 of his 15 points. Koufos also pulled in 12 rebounds to lead the Buckeyes.

As for the Wildcats, well, at least they're getting a good education!


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