Ohio State snapped out of a stunning four-game losing streak and managed to maintain its spot in the Top 25 with a win over Illinois but still needs to put in a lot of work to get back to the top of the Big Ten. The 23rd-ranked Buckeyes will attempt to get back to .500 in the conference when they host Penn State on Wednesday. The Nittany Lions are sitting in last place but picked up their first conference win last week.Ohio State won its first 15 games before an overtime loss at Michigan State began a downward spiral that included losses at Minnesota and Nebraska in which it managed an average of 57.5 points. The Buckeyes finally got their offense going in the second half against Illinois, putting up 38 points in the period en route to a 62-55 triumph Thursday. "Our problem is not solved, we have a long way to go," coach Thad Matta told reporters after the win, "but the time off will be a great time to recollect, reflect and get healthy."TV: 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten NetworkABOUT PENN STATE (10-10, 1-6 Big Ten): Defense had been the problem for the Nittany Lions, who surrendered an average of 74.3 points in dropping their first six Big Ten games. Penn State lost at the buzzer at Purdue on Jan. 18 and broke through against the Cornhuskers by putting forth a better effort on the defensive end, including a full-court press that provided a key turnover and transition dunk during the second half of the 58-54 triumph. "We need to make winning plays," coach Patrick Chambers told reporters. "We need to get more 'attitude' plays and do the little things to help our team win."ABOUT OHIO STATE (16-4, 3-4): The Buckeyes had six days off to figure out what went right in the Illinois game and how to carry that over to a rough stretch that includes trips to Wisconsin and Iowa next week. Ohio State is in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense but had slacked on that end during the losing streak before putting it together against the Illini. The Buckeyes forced a season-high 15 turnovers in that contest and got credit from Matta for their work on that end. "We did not play perfect, but I loved our energy on defense," he said. "We played extremely hard on defense and got back to rotating."TIP-INS1. Ohio State has won 80 straight home games against unranked opponents.2. Penn State leading scorer D.J. Newbill (17.2) has scored at least 16 points in four straight games after totaling seven in the previous two contests.3. The Buckeyes have not lost to the Nittany Lions (17-0) since Matta took over as head coach in 2004-05.PREDICTION: Ohio State 73, Penn State 61