In only his sixth collegiate game, the 6-foot-9 widebody out of Columbus, Ohio, muscled his way to the third double-double of his blossoming career with 11 points and 13 rebounds to lead the second-ranked Buckeyes to a 58-44 victory in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night.
|ACC-Big Ten Challenge|
"He loves to win and he knows how to win," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "For him to go 36 minutes, I mean, it was hotter than a beach in that gym tonight and I was really, really pleased with how he kept competing."
Sullinger defended Chris Singleton, Florida State's top scorer, for part of the game. Singleton was held to eight points, half his season average.
"We knew defense was going to win the game," Sullinger said.
Jon Diebler led the Buckeyes (6-0) with 12 points and David Lighty added 10.
Ohio State jumped to a 7-0 lead and never trailed, building its biggest lead at 40-23 on William Buford's jumper with 15:45 left in the game.
Florida State (5-2) closed within 49-42 on Deividas Dulky's only 3-pointer with 4:30 left.
"We've been on the road in difficult situations before," Lighty said. "I think it's us not being rattled and just being ready for everything that comes at us."
Ohio State had a 42-33 rebounding advantage, but dominated the offensive boards 17-7 with Sullinger getting six.
"I pride myself on the rebounding," Sullinger said. "If I'm not rebounding, I'm really not effective."
Freshman Ian Miller had 11 points and Derwin Kitchen added 10 for the Seminoles, who shot 35.4 percent and committed 22 turnovers, including 14 in the second half. Florida State shot 33 percent in a 55-51 loss to Florida on Sunday.
"I hate to say it, but they outmuscled us," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We gave them too many extra possessions."
Both teams shot poorly in the early going, but Ohio State's domination of the backboards allowed the Buckeyes to stay comfortably ahead on the way to a 28-17 halftime lead.
Florida State shot only 26.1 percent in the first half while Ohio State was slightly better at 36.7 percent but enjoyed a 25-14 rebound advantage.
Singleton had a second successive cold-shooting night, making only 2 of 9 tries from the field on the heels of a 2-for-12 showing in a loss Sunday.
Ohio State is 6-0 against Florida State, including back-to-back victories in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Buckeyes prevailed 77-64 in last year's game at Columbus.
After winning its first five games of the season against weaker opponents, Florida State struggled again against the Buckeyes as it had Sunday against the 18th-ranked Gators.
During a first-half timeout, Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher was presented the trophy for winning the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The 20th-ranked Seminoles (9-3) will play No. 12 Virginia Tech (10-2) on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C., for the ACC title with the winner advancing to the Orange Bowl.