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Buckeye victory notches Big Ten first Challenge title

Paul Woo / Lantern Photographer

The Ohio State men’s basketball team triumphed over Florida State, 77-64, Wednesday in the final game of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The Buckeyes put the final nail in the ACC’s coffin, giving the Big Ten the deciding win and its first ever victory in the Challenge’s 11-year history.
 
The game played out the same way the Big Ten/ACC Challenge had early on. Like the rest of the Big Ten, OSU garnered an early lead, but just as its conference had done, the Bucks left the door open.  
But when in doubt, the Buckeyes and their conference pulled it out.
 
Florida State fought back within two, but that was the closest the Seminoles would come all night. OSU opened its lead back up to 11 at halftime with key shots and strong defense.
 
In the second half it was all OSU. The Buckeyes forced FSU to play fast with their smaller lineup and pushed a lead to more than 20.
 
The Big Ten relinquished a 3-0 lead in the Challenge early Tuesday night, and eventually needed OSU’s victory to finalize the Big Ten’s first win in 11 tries.
 
Junior Jon Diebler used guard Evan Turner’s penetration to set up big shots for three. He knocked down six of 12, scoring 22 on the night.
 
“Our penetration and our shooters were really amazing tonight and we really complement each other well,” Turner said. “That was key for us.”
 
Turner again set the pace for OSU, immediately penetrating and scoring within seconds of the tip-off. Effective penetration to the basket is something Turner excels at even though he was unable to utilize in OSU’s only loss of the season, to North Carolina.
 
His 25 points on 10-17 shooting led the Buckeyes. He also added 13 rebounds and five assists.
 
Turner said it has been frustrating to constantly hear about ACC’s dominance over the Big Ten and the rest of the country.
 
“That’s a championship right there. It’s huge,” Turner said jokingly about the win. “You can’t say this is the biggest night of our lives, [though]. We’ve had some pretty big nights.”
 
Turner joked earlier in the week that if the Challenge was tied at five games apiece, a victory would call for confetti and cutting down the nets. No nets were removed after Big Ten’s first ever win over the ACC, but a ton of pressure finally was.


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