Men’s Basketball: Young perfect from distance, posts season-high scoring in Big Ten opener

The Lantern
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Ohio State graduate forward Kyle Young (25) stands behind the arc looking for an open teammate during the Ohio State-Niagara game Nov. 12. Ohio State won 84-74. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo Editor

One thing most Ohio State fans have been eager to see is whether one Buckeye would shoot the 3-pointer more often.

Known as the team’s “glue guy” for keeping them together, graduate forward Kyle Young was flawless beyond the arc Sunday at Penn State. He tied a career-best mark for 3-pointers, splashing all four attempts.

Young also reached a new season-high scoring output, leading Ohio State with 16 points in their 76-64 win over the Nittany Lions . His performance Sunday showed great improvement after a three-point outing in 20 minutes against No. 1 Duke Tuesday, when he shot 1 of 4 from the floor.

The Canton, Ohio, native kickstarted a stretch where Ohio State scored on five-consecutive possessions, draining two 3-point looks while the Buckeyes extended their lead to 27-19 midway through the opening frame.

The 6-foot-8 forward then scored eight of his points in the second half, matching junior forward E.J. Liddell for the most among Buckeyes in that time.

The Nittany Lions trimmed an 18-point deficit in the second half down to six with 50 seconds remaining. During Penn State’s comeback, Young swished two more 3-pointers, but came through with a pair of critical buckets at the charity stripe in the final minute.

He made two free throws with 26 seconds to go while Penn State threatened in crunch time, finishing with a perfect 4 of 4 total at the foul line. Young entered Sunday as Ohio State’s best free throw shooter among those with more than four attempts, raising his season clip to 90 percent.

Despite not starting yet in any of the Buckeyes’ eight games this season — missing the season-opener after recovering from a vestibular dysfunction diagnosis in the preseason — Young has contributed immensely off the bench.

He’s now scored double figures in four of his last five games. Interestingly, Young shot a meager 27.3 percent on his 3-point attempts prior to Sunday, and his career clip from distance is 28.6 percent. His showing Sunday brought his new percentage to 46.7 on the season.

Young is already a physical presence down low, entering Sunday night as the Buckeyes’ second-leading rebounder. He added a team-best seven boards in addition to a block and assist against the Nittany Lions.

The Buckeyes’ captain contributes important intangibles alongside his ability to be a presence offensively and defensively. Young and his four-plus seasons of experience showed how valuable he can be to an Ohio State team that is on the closing end of its nonconference schedule and the verge of solely Big Ten play.

But, if Young continues to pull back the arrow and shoot from deep, his versatility will pay big dividends no matter the end of the court or if he’s starting the game.

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