COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior Jon Diebler equaled an Ohio State record with nine three-pointers as the No. 2 Buckeyes (9-0) stayed unbeaten with a wire-to-wire 83-55 win over the FGCU men’s basketball team on Wednesday night at Value City Arena in front of 12,613 fans.
Diebler knocked down 9-of-14 from beyond the arc en route to surpassing his career-best by one point with 29 points. All 14 of Diebler’s shot attempts came from beyond the arc, as the Buckeyes knocked down 13 long range field goals for the game.
“We knew we wanted to stop their big guys inside, so we packed the lane and, unfortunately, they made shots,” said head coach Dave Balza. “This is a terrific team that excels on both ends of the court so we had to pick our poison.”
The loss is the fifth in a row for the Eagles (2-6), who were led by freshman Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South) who notched a season-best 12 points all on three-pointers. Redshirt sophomore Anthony Banks (Lantana, Fla./Santaluces HS) was the only other Eagle in double figures with 10, his seventh double-digit performance of the season.
After falling behind 42-16 at the half, FGCU turned in a much better showing over the final 20 minutes by shooting 52 percent (14-27) from the floor and battling the stout OSU frontline to a 14-14 draw on the boards.
For the game, the Eagles shot 44 percent (20-46) from the field and a respectable 38 percent (8-21) from three-point land. On the flipside, the Buckeyes made 49 percent (32-66) of their shots and 13-of-28 from long range.
One of the biggest differences in the game came in the turnover department where 22 FGCU miscues, including 14 in the first half, led to 22-12 advantage in points off turnovers for OSU. The Buckeyes were able to get extra possessions with 12 offensive rebounds, while limiting the Blue and Green to a season-low five offensive caroms. OSU finished with a 37-28 edge on the glass.
Senior Reed Baker (Naples, Fla./Bishop Verot HS/Michigan) and sophomore Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) each chipped in with eight points, while freshman Christophe Varidel (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Academy) had seven points in the second half. Junior point guard Marlon Rivera (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico/Sagemont HS/Santa Fe CC) had a solid floor game with a game-high seven assists and five rebounds.
After Diebler’s 29 points, it was junior William Buford with 17 points and six rebounds. Midway through the second half, Buford became the 47th Buckeye to surpass 1,000 career points. Two-time Big Ten Player of the Week and freshman superstar Jared Sullinger was limited to 11 points, seven below his season average.
Aiding in Sullinger’s slow night was the debut of junior Kevin Cantinol (Clearwater, Fla./Calvary Christian HS/Ole Miss), who saw his first action as an Eagle after transferring mid-season in 2009-10 from Mississippi. Cantinol, 6-foot-9, 253-lbs., saw a career-high 24 minutes.
FGCU will stay in the state of Ohio to complete its two-game road swing when it takes on Toledo on Saturday evening. Tip time at Savage Arena is slated for 7:00 p.m. while the game can be heard live for free on www.FGCUAthletics.com through the service of Stretch Internet. Voice of the Eagles Tom James will have the call.