Authors: By RUSTY MILLER
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Sure, the score made it look bad. But there was still some good news for the young Wright State Raiders.
Preseason All-America Jared Sullinger had 19 points and nine rebounds in leading No. 3 Ohio State to a 73-42 victory over Wright State on Friday night in the Global Sports Shootout.
"There are some things for us to build on," second-year Raiders coach Billy Donlon said. "If you're just going to look at the final score, then I don't know if you're doing us complete justice."
A.J. Pacher had 13 points and Reggie Arcenaux added 11 for Wright State, which was 19-14 last season, but doesn't have a player on the roster with more than a year of experience with the Raiders.
Wright State had 16 turnovers at halftime and finished with 25. It never led, but it earned the respect of Ohio State coach Thad Matta.
"I thought we had pretty good activity defensively," Matta said. "They're a young ballclub. For them to go on the road, first game, they had pretty good poise. Hopefully we had something to do with (the turnovers)."
William Buford had nine of his 13 points to lead a second-half charge for the Buckeyes. Point guard Aaron Craft had 10 points and just one turnover in 28 minutes in the opener for both teams.
Bigger, quicker Ohio State was 26 of 38 at the free-throw line compared to Wright State's 10 of 15.
"We really just came out and put our foot on their throat," Sullinger said. "We just picked up the intensity. We got tired of it being a back-and-forth game."
The Buckeyes must replace three starters from last year's Big Ten regular-season and tournament champion (34-3) that won its first 24 games and was ranked No. 1 before losing 62-60 in the NCAA regional semifinal to Kentucky. This year's roster includes only one senior (Buford), one junior, and 10 sophomores and freshmen.
"They're going to be phenomenal," Donlon said of the young Buckeyes. "But it's going to take some time to have them get used to their roles."
Up by 14 at the break, the Buckeyes pulled away on field goals by Buford, Deshaun Thomas and Sullinger to push the lead to 40-20. Buford, the Buckeyes' second leading scorer a year ago, added two more baskets in the 10-0 spurt.
"We were just trying to be aggressive," Buford said. "We got in the bonus and kept trying to be aggressive."
While Ohio State prepares to host No. 8 Florida next week, the Raiders take on a small Division III in Kenyon on Sunday. It'll be another step in the growing process for them.
"There's a lot from a competitive standpoint to be proud of," Donlon said.
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