E.J. Liddell scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half and the Buckeyes overcame an eight-point deficit in the second half after leading for nearly all the first.

Duane Washington scored 21 points and C.J. Walker added 13 for the Buckeyes (18-4, 12-4 Big Ten), who used a 15-0 run midway through the second half to take control and win their seventh straight.

“I did not think our guys were looking beyond anything other than this game,” Holtmann said. “I thought they were locked in on this game. I thought their preparation was very good. I thought they brought the appropriate amount of focus, knowing how good this Penn State team is.”

Good enough to have the Buckeyes’ numbers as of late.

The Nittany Lions nearly upset Ohio State in Columbus earlier this season. They hammered Holtmann’s squad by 23 in 2018 and won by 14 last season. Ironically, Penn State had also beaten the team ranked No. 4 in the AP Top 25 on its home court in three consecutive tries.

The Buckeyes led 47-43 at halftime after shooting 65% from the floor in the first half. They made nine straight baskets at one point, and six Buckeyes made shots in the opening 10 minutes.

The Buckeyes had already equaled their 11 conference wins from a year ago. Three out of their next five games will come against ranked opponents, and the Buckeyes get all of them at home, where they’re 10-1 this season