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Halftime Analysis: Ohio State vs. Penn State in Big Ten Basketball Opener

Here are some first-half thoughts from the Big Ten opener between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions.

After falling behind early, the Buckeyes fought back to regain the lead (and then some) in their first Big Ten game of the season. Ohio State currently leads 41-30 at the break. Here are some key observations and takeaways from the first half:

* Not sure why Penn State fans were booing Jamari Wheeler early on? He played 127 games for the Nittany Lions (majoring in rehabilitation and human services) before transferring to Columbus as a grad student. It's not like he left them high and dry midway through his career.

* Anyways... you have to love the early aggression from both teams. Each group came out firing to capture momentum while playing under control at the same time. It can be a tough balance in a conference opener.

* Penn State's top gun Seth Lundy was the initial assailant... scoring nine points on 4-of-5 shooting before you could blink. PSU went on a 12-0 run in the process, and certainly needs that type of "leading man" as a home underdog.

* Good teams weather the early storm and settle in... especially as road favorites in a classic "letdown spot." Such is the case for Ohio State tonight off that emotional win against Duke...

* Nevertheless, this is exactly what Ohio State did by embarking on a 14-3 run to jump ahead before the midway point. It was critical in not allowing the Nittany Lions to gain too much confidence. Many times, games are won/lost in the first half based off setting the tone...

* Ohio State continued getting three-point makes from practically everyone, as six different Buckeyes made at least one shot from long range. Not sure that's sustainable over a 40-minute game, but it doesn't have to be.

* The above comment is even more true when you consider E.J. Liddell didn't make his first basketbal until 1:18 to play in the first half.

* There is plenty of time left for Penn State (playing its sixth-straight home game) to strike a rally, but you have to be pleased with the Buckeyes holding a double-digit lead at intermission.

* NOTE: Lundy scored just two points over the final 16+ minutes of that first half.

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