COLUMBUS, OH -- No. 21 Florida State suffered an ugly defeat at the hands of No. 15 Ohio State in their ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup, falling 77-64. The loss, which came in the final game of the 11th annual event, gave the Big Ten their first ever victory in the Challenge, 6-5.
"I thought we just got beat by a team that in my opinion played with a lot more of a sense of urgency than we did," Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We didn't match their intensity level."
Once again, Florida State (6-2) struggled on the offensive end. The Seminoles committed 20 turnovers while shooting just 25-for-61 (41.0%) from the field and a woeful 2-for-16 (12.5%) from the perimeter. The Seminoles once again started slow and sloppy committing 12 turnovers in the opening half.
"Once again, I think we cannot and make 12 turnovers in the first against the 15th ranked team in the country and expect to compete at this level," Hamilton said. "Most of the turnovers that we had, if you go back and look at them, they were unforced, poor decisions."
Early turnovers, and a general lack of focus in the opening half, is something that plagued the Seminoles throughout their recent road trip.
"It is just something we have got to correct over this next period before Christmas break, before we get into the ACC," sophomore forward Chris Singleton said. "If we keep doing this and playing this type of competition. It is going to be a rough season."
The Seminoles were not much better on the defensive end, allowing Ohio State (7-1) to shoot 25-for-58 (43.1%) from the field and an impressive 12-for-28 (42.9%) from the perimeter. Leading the 3-point barrage for the Buckeyes was guard Jon Diebler, who was 6-for-12 from deep on his way to 22 points.
"I've got to take my hat off to Jon Diebler," Hamiltons said. "Our scouting report certainly told us to look out for him but he was tough to find. They did a good job with some misdirection and kick-out plays that got him open. His performance gave them an extra edge and kept their entire team in rhythm."
Starting point guard Evan Turner led all scorers racking up 25 points en route to a double-double (13 rebounds).
"He is as advertised," Hamilton said of Turner. "He is a great guard that was very difficult for us to handle."
For the Seminoles, they were led in scoring by center Solomon Alabi, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort. Derwin Kitchen contributed 12 points while freshman guard Michael Snaer had 10 points coming off the bench.
Sophomore forward Chris Singleton, who entered the game as the Seminoles' leading scorer, had only eight points and fouled out with more than six minutes remaining in the game.
Hamilton's club wraps up their grueling road trip with a 4-2 record over the six games away from Tallahassee. He is glad his team will now return home, and enjoy a few days of work amongst themselves.
"We get a chance to come home and get some practices under our belt and regroup," Hamilton said. "These have been learning experiences for them and I am sure we are going to benefit from the caliber of competition that we have had to play this early in the season."
They will now return home to face Florida International this Sunday at 1 p.m. That game will be televised on SUN Sports.