Postgame Quotes:Penn State 71, No. 24 Ohio State 70 (OT)

Jan. 29, 2014

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Penn State (11-10, 2-6) 71, No. 24 Ohio State (16-5, 3-5) 70 (OT)
Jan. 29, 2014
Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 15,453

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On battling through a slump
“This feels different from past slumps because of the position we were previously in. We have to be tougher physically and mentally. It’s been stressing us out for weeks now. I don’t like this position but it is the reality of where we’ve put ourselves. We have to come back.”

On looking at the big picture
“It’s hard because I think about my friend Dan [Peters]. He’s a fighter. You think that a loss in basketball is the end of the world but this is reality.’

Aaron Craft, senior guard
On the game tonight
We weren’t the tougher basketball team tonight. That’s what it comes down to. Ten-point lead with however much time left and we just couldn’t pull it off.”

On improving the team’s performance
The worst thing we can do is just think about the future and hope for things to get better. We have to do something about it if we want things to get better. It’s the next game mentality. We have to find a way to be better than Wisconsin this weekend.”

Lenzelle Smith Jr., senior guard
On losing this game as a senior
This game hurts the most out of any game since I’ve been at Ohio State. Hats off to them, they had a cause and they wanted this game. We have to get back to being a team and wanting a win. As a team, I don’t think we care enough.”

On what is needed to avoid these losses
Toughness. Character. Camaraderie. Leadership. I take full responsibility for that. As a senior, I need to do a better job picking my team up and trying to do my best.”

On following the Illinois win
“Prior to that game, we lost everything: our chemistry, our toughness and our heads were down. We got to rock bottom and decided not to feel sorry for ourselves. Once we got a win, we felt like we were winners again and in reality, in this league, if you don’t come ready to play every night you’re going to lose, as we saw tonight.”

Patrick Chambers, Penn State head coach
On breaking an 18-game losing streak against the Buckeyes
“We came in here just trying to get better and we came out with a win. We hit some good shots and made some good stops. We’re a new team. This is 2013-14. We’re worried about this year and we can’t be worried about the past. ”

On what this win means to Penn State
“I’m excited for our players.  It’s so hard when you lose by one possession and the ball doesn’t bounce your way. Sometimes you make the big shots, sometimes you don’t. Tonight we did, and we learned from those other close games this season how to execute with great confidence.”

DJ Newbill, Penn State redshirt junior guard
On his game-winning shot in overtime
“I just did a right-to-left crossover and pulled up with confidence. Luckily, it went down.”

On rallying from a deficit to force overtime against Ohio State
“Our mindset was to keep chipping away. We just kept playing hard and believing in each other. It’s all about attitude. Coach just told us to keep digging and digging. We struck together and played for each other.”