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Buckeyes' Sullinger is healthy enough

Jared Sullinger, left, posts up on Lamar’s Stan Brown during the first half of his 18-point, 11-rebound effort for Ohio State.

Associated Press

Jared Sullinger, left, posts up on Lamar’s Stan Brown during the first half of his 18-point, 11-rebound effort for Ohio State.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jared Sullinger felt he needed to play, even if he wasn't 100 percent.

Whatever that percentage was, it was still pretty good.

Sullinger bounced back from his latest injury to put up 18 points and 11 rebounds, leading No. 2 Ohio State past Lamar 70-50 on Tuesday night.

"It's life. You don't go through a career in basketball injury-free," the 6-foot-9 sophomore said. "Fortunately, it's now instead of life."

The most important stat was that he played 30 minutes.

"I missed too much," he said of his recent minutes lost due to physical ailments. "The back spasms and now the foot, I've got to get back into the routine. I can't really sit here and wait for it to heal up. By that time, I won't have my timing down on plays, defensively or offensively. So I had to get back as soon as possible."

Coach Thad Matta said it was essential for Sullinger to get back on the court. He said any absence, but particularly that of your best player, adds to the trials of being a coach.

"It does because you're not in full force. It's the unknown — is this guy going to play, is he going to practice, how good is he if he does," Matta said. "Without question those are some of the things that play into it. Hopefully now we're getting him back and we can continue to see the improvement on a daily basis."

Deshaun Thomas, chosen Big Ten player of the week on Monday, added 16 points for the Buckeyes (11-1). His streak of making 17 2-point field-goal attempts ended on his first shot.

NO. 1 SYRACUSE 80, BUCKNELL 61: Kris Joseph had 17 points, Scoop Jardine added 14 and the Orange (12-0), in its second straight week at No. 1, won its 30th straight nonconference home game.

NO. 3 KENTUCKY 82, SAMFORD 50: Doron Lamb scored 26 for the Wildcats (10-1), who won their 41st straight home game despite missing star forward Terrence Jones, out with a dislocated left pinky finger. Before the game, Kentucky announced that walk-on guard Sam Malone tore a ligament in his left knee Saturday night. There is no timetable for his return.

NO. 4 LOUISVILLE 69, CHARLESTON 62: Kyle Kuric had 17 points and eight rebounds for the host Cardinals (11-0), who trailed 57-55 with 5:06 to play but went on a 9-2 run over the next three minutes.

NO. 15 PITT 71, ST. FRANCIS (PA.) 47: J.J. Moore had 15 points for the host Panthers (11-1), who won their ninth straight by holding the Red Flash to 35 percent shooting.

GATORS AILING: Coach Billy Donovan said guard Mike Rosario and forward Cody Larson are doubtful to play for No. 11 Florida on Thursday against FSU. Rosario missed practice because of a strained back, and Larson is slowly working his way back from strep throat.

BLOW TO 'NOLES: Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said forward Terrance Shannon will have surgery on his left shoulder and miss the rest of the season. Shannon was third on the Seminoles in scoring (8.6 points) and was averaging 4.4 rebounds.

MIAMI: Senior guard DeQuan Jones received approval to return to competition after he sat out the first 10 games because of an NCAA investigation into recruiting allegations.


UF 83, CHARLESTON SO. 59: Jordan Jones had 20 points and Jennifer George 19 points and 10 rebounds for Florida (8-3) in the Gator Holiday Classic. UF will play Duquesne in the championship game at 7 tonight.

NO. 3 NOTRE DAME 90, UCF 38: Skylar Diggins had 14 points to lead six players in double figures for the host Fighting Irish (11-1), who shot 52 percent from the field and had a 46-28 rebounding advantage.

NO. 4 STANFORD 97, NO. 6 TENN. 80: Senior Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored a career-high 42 for the Cardinal (8-1), which pulled away from the Vols (7-3) to extend its school-record home winning streak to 68 games at Maples Pavilion.

NO. 9 DUKE 107, UNC-WILM. 45: Allison Vernerey scored 18 of her 22 in the decisive first half for the host Blue Devils (8-2), who forced 40 turnovers, shot 57 percent and never trailed.

NO. 11 OHIO ST. 88, S. UTAH 50: Tayler Hill had 24 points to help the host Buckeyes (12-0) overcome a sluggish start in their third game in four days.

NO. 13 GEORGIA 63, MONTANA ST. 49: Khaalidah Miller and Jasmine Hassell had 13 points each as the Bulldogs (9-2) cruised in a Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic game.

NO. 18 GREEN BAY 80, BALL ST. 39: Julie Wojta had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the host Phoenix (9-0), who never trailed in coming off a 12-day layoff.

NO. 20 PURDUE 66, OAKLAND (MICH.) 47: Sam Ostarello had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the host Boilermakers (9-3), who won their second straight.

NO. 22 TEXAS 91, GRAMBLING ST. 38: Chassidy Fussell scored 19 and the host Longhorns (9-2) opened the game with 19 straight points and finished with their largest margin of victory this season.

NO. 23 UNC 65, ECU 61: Chey Shegog had 19 points for the visiting Tar Heels (8-2), who twice got rebounds after missing free throws in the final 23 seconds.

Buckeyes' Sullinger is healthy enough 12/20/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 12:14am]
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