The game was played at Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL
Columbus Blue Jackets, as a dry run prior to the facility hosting
first- and second-round games of the NCAA men's tournament on March
19 and 21, 2004.
Ohio State's floor was transported the three miles to the
downtown arena, as were the baskets and shot clocks.
It was the Buckeyes first game in Columbus that wasn't on campus
in more than 47 years.
Both Sullinger, from Arkansas, and Stockman, out of Clemson, are
transfers in their first season playing with the Buckeyes (3-3).
Sullinger finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds with Stockman
adding 14 points and five assists.
Virginia Tech (3-3) leading scorer Bryant Matthews, who came in
averaging 27.4 points a game after back-to-back games of 36 and 37,
was held to 15 by Ohio State's array of zone defenses. He hit just
6 of 17 shots from the field.
Zabian Dowdell led the Hokies -- who had beaten Ohio State in all
four previous meetings -- with 18 points.
Down by 16 at the half, Virginia Tech relied on sticky defense
and muscular play inside to get back in the game.
The Hokies held Ohio State without a point for the opening 4:05
and without a field goal in the first 5:32 of the second half,
going on a 13-1 run to pull to 41-37 on Dowdell's banked-in
perimeter shot from behind the foul line with 14:50 left.
But the Buckeyes reeled off the next nine points over a 4-minute
span. The spurt was started by Stockman's line-drive 3-pointer and
was capped by Stockman's backdoor alley-oop pass to Sullinger for a
dunk at 11:20 that made it 50-37.
A 6-0 Hokies run cut it to 58-52 with 3:45 left, but Terence
Dials drove the baseline and dunked off a pass from Brandon
Fuss-Cheatham at 2:07. Eight seconds later, Matthews was called for
his fifth foul on a charge and the outcome was all but decided.
The lead never dropped below the final margin again.
Sullinger hit 8 of 13 shots from the field and Stockman was 4 of
9 behind the 3-point arc.
Nothing went the Hokies way in the opening half.
Matthews was held to just four points by a cloying, trapping
1-3-1 zone. His first bucket of the game at the 6:17 mark cut Ohio
State's lead to 20-15 before the Buckeyes scored 11 of the next 13
points -- Stockman hitting two 3-pointers.
Sullinger scored all the Buckeyes' points in the opening 10
minutes, hitting all five of his shots from the field.
Virginia Tech's Jamon Gordon hit a 40-foot 3-pointer as the
first-half buzzer sounded, but the officials reviewed the shot on
videotape and ruled that it came after time had expired.
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