Dec 23, 2002

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Post Game Press Conference Audio
Ohio State Head Coach Jim O’Brien
Radford Head Coach Byron Samuels

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Sean Connolly scored 20 points and Emonte Jernigan sparked a key first-half run that helped Ohio State beat Radford 96-80 Monday night after a sluggish start.

Struggling to keep up with the smaller Highlanders, the Buckeyes went to a four-guard lineup midway through the first half and turned the game around.

Jernigan, getting extended playing time after forward Zach Williams picked up his second foul, had two layups – one off his own steal – in a 10-0 run that gave the Buckeyes (5-3) a 31-24 lead.

Jernigan also hit two of his three 3-point attempts and scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half as the Buckeyes took a 43-37 halftime lead.

Ohio State pushed its advantage to double digits in the opening minutes of the second half.

Velimir Radinovic added a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds, and Brent Darby had 19 points and eight assists for the Buckeyes.

Raymond Arrington scored 27 points and Whit Holcomb-Faye had 20 points and nine assists for Radford (2-7).

Connolly made 6-of-8 3-pointers and teamed with Jernigan to help carry the Buckeyes before halftime.

Connolly had 14 points – 12 on 3s – in the first half, when the Buckeyes hit 8-of-13 from 3-point range. Ohio State finished 10-of-19 beyond the arc.

The Highlanders made 15-of-26 3-point attempts after making only 13 field goals in a 97-64 loss at Akron on Saturday.

Because of injuries, Ohio State used just six players for most of the game. Point guard Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, recovering from surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, played just five minutes in the first half. Center Terence Dials missed his second straight game with back spasms.