Sunday, March 14, 1999


Scoonie says slump no concern

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        INDIANAPOLIS — Honestly, Scoonie Penn is not worried.

        Ohio State's junior point guard was a combined 7-of-27 shooting (.259) in the Buckeyes' first two NCAA Tournament games, in which he averaged 11 points.

        Penn came in averaging 17 points — and 21 over the previous eight games.

        “It seems to be off,” he said of his shot. “The thing about it is, I'm getting good looks. If my shot's not on, I'm not going to be too concerned about it as long as I can help the team in other ways. Whatever I have to do to win, I'm going to do.”

        In Saturday night's 75-44 victory over Detroit, that meant a career-high 12 rebounds for Penn, whose previous best was seven. He also had 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting.

Tough look
        Penn finished the game with his chin bandaged, and he was supposed to get some stitches late Saturday night.

        “I just ran into an elbow,” he said. “I don't think it was intentional.”

        Penn hit three three-pointers to set a school single-season record with 79.

        He has hit at least one three-pointer in 217 consecutive games.

        The Buckeyes have already set team records for three-pointers (202) and threes attempted (566).

Unexpected help
        George Reese provided some surprising assistance off the OSU bench.

        The 6-foot-7 junior grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds and added five points in 17 minutes.

        His best rebounding game before that was eight on Dec. 21.

        “They had guys kind of like the same size as me, and we were just down there battling,” Reese said. “The ball was just bouncing to me today.

        “It's kind of contagious. You get a couple defensive rebounds and it's like a rhythm and you want to get every ball.”

Looking ahead
        Next up for Ohio State is No. 1-seeded Auburn. The most the Buckeyes have watched the Tigers was their second half Saturday night.

        The players' consensus: Auburn is tough.

        “Oklahoma State gave them a run for their money and hopefully we can do the same,” sophomore Michael Redd said.

Missing in action
        Ohio State played Saturday night without guard Neshaun Coleman, who had a 103-degree temperature and was diagnosed Friday with strep throat.

        Coleman has the third-most three-pointers among the Buckeyes (32) and the second-best three-point percentage (.372).

Chart climber
        Redd is only a sophomore, but he is already passing some familiar names on Ohio State's all-time scoring chart.

        Redd scored 27 points against Murray State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and 15 on Saturday, bringing his career total to 1,304.

        That moves Redd past Clark Kellogg and into 19th place on OSU's all-time list. Next in line is No. 18 is Jim Cleamons (1,335).

Notable numbers
        Saturday night was Ohio State's 50th all-time NCAA Tournament game. In 19 appearances, the Buckeyes are 33-17. ...

        OSU is 18-1 in its first NCAA games. ... The Buckeyes have won 10 of their last 12 games. ...

        Detroit is 29-112 vs. teams from the Big Ten.


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