Buckeyes Clinch Big Ten/ACC Challenge Championship for the Conference

Drew GatewoodAnalyst IDecember 3, 2009

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 20:  Evan Turner #21 of the Ohio State Buckeyes takes a shot against the California Golden Bears during the consolation game of the 2K Sports Classic on November 20, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Ohio State defeated California 76-70.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Ohio State has had a rough history lately in the Big Ten/ACC challenge, but that all changed last night with it’s 77-64 victory over Florida State. The Buckeyes have had to play North Carolina the last two seasons in the challenge, but got that hurdle out of the way a few weeks ago in Madison Square Garden.

They once again lost to the Tar Heels, and it looked like they would once again struggle in the upcoming game with Florida State in the challenge.

Evan Turner proved the critics wrong once again last night during his 25 point 13 rebound double double, showing the nation that Ohio State shouldn’t be underestimated. Sharpshooter Jon Diebler gunned down 22 points several coming off Turner’s assists.

Jeremie Simmons chipped in 14 points off the bench and was the only other Buckeye in double figures.

Soloman Alabi had 21 points for the Seminoles and was aided by Derwin Kitchen’s 12 points and Michael Snaer’s 10 points. The Seminoles shot 41 percent, but had 20 turnovers that eventually doomed any chance of a second half comeback. Once again, Ohio State proved itself as the nation’s leader in defense.

The Big Ten clinched the championship with OSU’s win over Florida State with a record of 6-5 over the ACC. The players weren’t focused on the challenge fore league supremacy, but more on the challenge on the court in the form of the Seminoles.

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“We didn’t really focus on the showdown between conferences; we just wanted to close out our game.” Diebler said when interviewed in the post game press conference.

Even Thad Matta was reserved about winning the challenge and focused on another impressive stat for the Buckeyes. “I’m proud of our guys that on Dec. 2 we’ve played three teams ranked in the Top 25.” The Schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Buckeyes who still have No. 20 butler on the schedule before begging a grueling start to Big Ten play.

Ohio State (6-1) will get back into action on Saturday against Eastern Michigan (5-2) at noon.


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