Sunday, March 28, 1999

OHIO STATE NOTEBOOK


Moore stymies Penn

        ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun didn't think it was a hard decision.

        He calls Ricky Moore the best defensive player he's ever coached and knew that he had to put the 6-foot-2 senior on Ohio State point guard Scoonie Penn.

        All night.

        “As Scoonie goes, so goes Ohio State,” Calhoun said.

        Penn was held to 11 points in the Buckeyes' 64-58 loss to the Huskies on Saturday night in the NCAA semifinals.

        The 5-10 junior finished just 3-of-13 from the field and said he didn't get more than one or two open looks at the basket all night. Penn made two of his seven three-point tries and scored only five points in the second half.

        “I just wanted to make all his shots tough,” Moore said. “He made a couple of them. You just have to make him work even harder the next time down the court.”

        Moore was only 1-of-7 shooting himself but did have a team-high eight rebounds.

        “I think he was the MVP of their team tonight,” Penn said. “He paid attention to me the whole game. He didn't have anything else to do. His job was just to stay on me.”

M.I.A.
        It looked like senior Jason Singleton was going to be the X-factor for the Buckeyes. He came into the Final Four averaging 8.9 points a game and had nine in the first half against Connecticut.

        But that was it for Singleton, who took only one more shot the rest of the game and was shut out in the second half.

        He wasn't the only one unable to help Penn and sophomore Michael Redd.

        Center Ken Johnson, who had 12 points and seven blocks last week against St. John's, was just 3-of-8 from the field with six points, five rebounds and three blocks against the Huskies.

        Freshman Brian Brown, starting his fifth straight game, scored just five points on 2-of-8 shooting.

Where's No.12?
        Penn took the court wearing jersey No.35 — with no name on the back of his shirt — instead of his customary No.12.

        After he finished warming up before the game, he went to the locker room and his jersey was nowhere to be found.

        “I don't think it had anything to do with the game,” Penn said later.

Never mind
        OSU fans need not worry for one moment about Penn or Redd turning pro before next season. That question came up in the locker room after the game.

        “I don't think he plans on leaving,” Redd said of Penn. “We've already discussed that. We want to come back and do more things.”

        Penn agreed.

Line of the day
        When excusing the Buckeyes players from the postgame press conference, the woman running the interviews announced that “the B.C. locker room is open.”

        Boston College is where OSU's Jim O'Brien used to coach.

        The woman caught herself, smiled and corrected the mistake. O'Brien, also smiling, said: “Some things just do not die easily.”

       



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Face it: UConn was just better
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MARCH MADNESS PAGE