Ohio State vs Florida State

Time: 07:30 P.M. EST
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Ohio State has every reason to believe its second trip to the Sunshine State will go just as well as its first.

Two weeks after earning an early signature victory in Florida, the second-ranked Buckeyes visit Tallahassee for Tuesday night's ACC/Big Ten Challenge game looking to stay unbeaten in five meetings against Florida State.

Defense was tough to find in Ohio State's 93-75 win at then-No. 9 Florida on Nov. 16, but coach Thad Matta's team could hardly miss as it shot a season-high 62.9 percent and got 26 points apiece from Jared Sullinger and David Lighty.

The Buckeyes (5-0) have shot 49.7 percent in their three subsequent games, but their defense has been a bigger story. They've held those three opponents to an average of 43.7 points and 32.5 percent shooting while forcing 19.3 turnovers per game.

Miami of Ohio tried to continually bleed the shot clock during Friday's visit to Columbus, but it shot 29.4 percent from the floor. Ohio State, meanwhile, hit 52.1 percent of its shots and Lighty led the way with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists in a 66-45 win.

"When teams plan for us, they don't really know where to start," said Lighty, the fourth player to lead the Buckeyes in scoring. "We have so many weapons and have the ability to score points both inside and outside. We can do a little bit of everything."

Two of Ohio State's most dangerous weapons are freshmen. Reserve Deshaun Thomas is averaging 14.8 points, second-best off the bench among players in the six BCS conferences.

Sullinger, meanwhile, continues to impress the opposition. He's only averaged 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in his last three games after his dominant effort against Florida, but Miami coach Charlie Coles believes he's more than just one of the nation's top freshmen.

"Sullinger is one of the smartest kids I've ever seen as a player," Coles said. "He's Adrian Dantley at 6-foot-8. Dantley was 6-4. That's who that kid is. He's not the best freshman in the country - he's a top 10 player in the country. Right now."

Ohio State is 3-5 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but it's 4-0 against Florida State - including a 77-64 win in the challenge last season in Columbus. Buckeyes guard Jon Diebler hit 6 of 12 3-pointers and had 22 points in that victory.

Diebler hit 4 of 7 from beyond the arc at Florida, but the Seminoles (5-1) weren't nearly as successful in exposing the Gators' zone defense Sunday. Florida State shot 33.3 percent in a 55-51 loss in Tallahassee.

"We missed out on a very good opportunity tonight and it's back to the drawing board," coach Leonard Hamilton said.

Florida State still figures to have a good shot at hanging with the Buckeyes thanks to its own defense. The Seminoles led the nation in opponents' field-goal percentage in 2009-10 at 37.7, and they're third this season (33.3).

They'll likely need a big effort from junior Chris Singleton. The reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year is averaging 15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 2.8 blocks, and he'll be counted on to outplay Sullinger and Dallas Lauderdale underneath.

Singleton had eight points, eight rebounds and six turnovers before fouling out last season against the Buckeyes.

Florida State is 6-5 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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SportsLine
Game Forecast
Category
0%Chance of Winning0%
0-0vs Top 250-0
vs NCAA
vs Non-NCAA
vs Common Opponents
More Projections from SportsLine

Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Indiana15-327-824
Michigan St.13-529-612
Maryland12-627-914
Purdue12-626-915
Iowa12-622-1129
Wisconsin12-622-1343
Ohio St.11-721-1474
Michigan10-823-1357
Northwestern8-1020-12115
Penn St.7-1116-16119
Nebraska6-1216-18165
Illinois5-1315-19149
Minnesota2-168-23257
Rutgers1-177-25294
ACC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
N. Carolina14-433-75
Virginia13-529-83
Miami (Fla.)13-527-89
Louisville12-623-817
Duke11-725-1120
Notre Dame11-724-1231
Va. Tech10-820-1589
Clemson10-817-14131
Pittsburgh9-921-1253
Syracuse9-923-1472
Florida St.8-1020-1482
Georgia Tech8-1021-1569
NC State5-1316-17123
Wake Forest2-1611-20159
Boston College0-187-25250

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Key Players
David<br>Lighty
David
Lighty
G-F, OHST
31.8 Min. Per Game 30.3 Chris<br>Singleton
Chris
Singleton
F, FLST
15.6 Pts. Per Game 15.8
4.2 Ast. Per Game 2.0
4.8 Reb. Per Game 9.8
50.9 Field Goal % 47.6
42.9 Three Point % 31.3
62.5 Free Throw % 83.3
 
 
 
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