Florida State vs Ohio State

Ohio State's win clinches Big Ten's first victory in ACC Challenge


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Evan Turner smiled when asked the importance of No. 15 Ohio State's 77-64 victory over No. 21 Florida State.

"That's the championship right there," Turner said. "So that was huge."

Turner had 25 points and 13 rebounds and Jon Diebler added 22 points to lead the Buckeyes over the Seminoles, clinching the Big Ten's first victory in 11 years of its annual series with the ACC.

The conferences came into the night with three wins apiece in head-to-head matchups. Wisconsin's 73-69 upset of No. 6 Duke set the stage for the Buckeyes (6-1) to put the Big Ten over the top, ending a decade of frustration against the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Ohio State coach Thad Matta reluctantly conceded that the win meant a little extra.

"It does, I guess," he said. "It's so hard because the Big Ten is a great conference and the ACC is a great conference. It's a unique situation for early in the year. I'm proud of our guys that on Dec. 2 we've played three top 25 teams already."

Reserve Jeremie Simmons added 14 points for the Buckeyes, who improved to just 3-5 in the annual series with the ACC, with another win vacated by NCAA violations in 2000.

At the end, after the Big Ten had won six of the 11 matchups, Ohio State's student section chanted, "Big Ten! Big Ten!"

"We weren't really focused on that," Diebler said of the showdown between the conferences. "We were just trying to close out this game."

Solomon Alabi had 21 points for the Seminoles (6-2), perhaps road weary after playing their last six games away from home. Chris Singleton, the MVP of last weekend's Old Spice Classic, fouled out with eight points and eight rebounds.

Derwin Kitchen had 12 points and Michael Snaer 10 as Florida State shot 41 percent from the field and had 20 turnovers.

The Buckeyes led by 11 at halftime and maintained their lead while both teams traded misses and occasional baskets for the first 7½ minutes of the second half.

Ahead 43-34 and with the Seminoles hanging around, the Buckeyes finally pulled away. Simmons hit a 3 from the right side off an assist from Turner. Turner then double-clutched on a short shot along the baseline and completed a three-point play. Simmons drilled another 3 and Kyle Madsen tipped in his own miss to swell the lead to 54-32.

Florida State never got closer than 11 points again.

"A lot of people know how tough this conference is," Diebler said, defending the Big Ten's failures in the past against the ACC. "But what it comes down to is at the end of March. A year ago, that was a Big Ten team [Michigan State] and an ACC team [North Carolina] for the national title."

The loudest roar might have come when Wisconsin's victory was announced with just under four minutes remaining. The crowd of 13,514 knew what Ohio State's impending win meant.

The teams combined to shoot just over 30 percent from the field, but the Buckeyes built a 31-20 halftime lead behind Diebler's 3-pointers. The junior hit 5 of 8 from behind the arc for 15 points, while Turner added 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

"I've got to take my hat off to Diebler," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We had a difficult time finding him in the first half."

Florida State held sway along the frontcourt, but couldn't hit anything from the perimeter and played fast and loose with the ball. The Seminoles had 12 turnovers -- many unforced errors -- to more than offset a 25-18 rebounding advantage.

"Our defense, especially in the first half, was really effective for what we wanted to get done," Matta said.

They came in among the national leaders in defense, limiting their opponents to 33 percent shooting from the field. The Buckeyes, seventh in the country in accuracy from the field at 52.2 percent, mustered just 32 percent in the opening half but hit 7 of 16 3-pointers.

The Seminoles fell to 7-4 in the annual matchup with Big Ten teams.

"We got beat by a team tonight that played with a lot more energy at the defensive end," Hamilton said. "They kept us from getting into any rhythm on offense."

Hunter sped to the interview room before some of the reporters could get there. He said there was no reason to cut down the nets.

"I think they were trying to get us out of there," he said with a laugh. "We all want to head home. I didn't want to keep you guys waiting."

The wait finally ended for the Big Ten.

Copyright 2017 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.
Jon Diebler's play is key in Ohio State's victory, scoring 22 points including six 3-pointers.  (AP)
Jon Diebler's play is key in Ohio State's victory, scoring 22 points including six 3-pointers. (AP)
Florida State #21 (6-2)204464
Ohio State #15 (6-1) «314677
FLST:Solomon Alabi 21 Pts
FLST:Solomon Alabi 10 Reb
FLST:Derwin Kitchen 4 Ast
OHST:Evan Turner 25 Pts
OHST:Evan Turner 13 Reb
OHST:Evan Turner 6 Ast

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Ohio StateFlorida State
Evan Turner
Solomon Alabi
Florida State Seminoles
D. Kitchen, G365-112-344412
S. Alabi, C298-135-6101221
C. Singleton, F253-102-68158
D. Dulkys, G170-60-02230
R. Reid, F151-21-23003
J. DeMercy, F271-50-04122
L. Loucks, G243-60-03148
M. Snaer, G164-62-240210
X. Gibson, F-C110-20-01020
J. Moreau, G50-10-00000
P. Jordan, GDid Not Play
T. Shannon, FDid Not Play
Totals 25-6212-1939102364
Ohio State Buckeyes
J. Diebler, G406-134-422122
D. Lighty, G-F401-42-67425
E. Turner, G-F4010-174-8136325
W. Buford, G241-122-44025
D. Lauderdale, F241-10-02142
K. Madsen, C162-40-03014
J. Simmons, G164-73-411114
P. Hill, GDid Not Play
N. Kecman, FDid Not Play
W. Offutt, GDid Not Play
D. Peters, GDid Not Play
Z. Sarikopoulos, CDid Not Play
M. Titus, GDid Not Play
E. Days, GDid Not Play
D. Reynolds, FDid Not Play
Totals 25-5815-2632141477
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Notre Dame0-06-039
Florida St.0-04-030
Miami (Fla.)0-04-0103
N. Carolina0-04-06
Boston College0-05-1161
NC State0-05-180
Va. Tech0-04-1124
Georgia Tech0-02-1213
Wake Forest0-01-4263

Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Ohio St.0-04-022
Penn St.0-05-1122
Michigan St.0-02-1200
Other games
BU 64 Final
UConn 92
Drexel 58 Final
Butler 59 Final
Stetson 48 Final
Louisville 80
ETSU 66 Final
Tenn 78
Illinois 76 Final
Alcorn St 31 Final
Kansas 98
UNLV 74 Final
Arizona 72
Wash St 69 Final
PV A&M 59 Final
Tx A&M 84
DUKE 69 Final
Wisc 73
POST 86 Final