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Ending the drought

COLUMBUS — 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.

Ohio State box

No. 15 OHIO ST. 77, No. 21 FLORIDA ST. 64

FLORIDA ST. (6-2)

Singleton 3-10 2-6 8, Reid 1-2 1-2 3, Alabi 8-13 5-6 21, Dulkys 0-6 0-0 0, Kitchen 5-11 2-3 12, Jordan 0-0 0-0 0, Gibson 0-2 0-0 0, DeMercy 1-5 0-0 2, Loucks 3-6 0-0 8, Snaer 4-6 2-2 10. Totals 25-61 12-19 64.

OHIO ST. (6-1)

Lighty 1-4 2-6 5, Lauderdale 1-1 0-0 2, Turner 10-17 4-8 25, Diebler 6-13 4-4 22, Buford 1-12 2-4 5, Simmons 4-7 3-4 14, Madsen 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 25-58 15-26 77.

Halftime—Ohio St. 31-20. 3-Point Goals—Florida St. 2-16 (Loucks 2-3, DeMercy 0-2, Singleton 0-3, Kitchen 0-4, Dulkys 0-4), Ohio St. 12-28 (Diebler 6-12, Simmons 3-5, Lighty 1-3, Turner 1-3, Buford 1-5). Fouled Out—Singleton. Rebounds—Florida St. 44 (Alabi 10), Ohio St. 34 (Turner 13). Assists—Florida St. 10 (Kitchen 4), Ohio St. 14 (Turner 6). Total Fouls—Florida St. 24, Ohio St. 14. A—13,514.