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Wright State displays inside muscle, rolls to 95-63 win over NKU in nationally televised showdown

By Don Owen
NKyTribune reporter

FAIRBORN, Ohio — The first-place showdown quickly turned into a colossal beatdown Friday night at the Nutter Center.

Loudon Love and Tanner Holden each collected double-doubles as Wright State took control of the Horizon League standings by rolling to a 95-63 win over Northern Kentucky. The Raiders (18-4 overall, 8-1 Horizon League) scorched the nets for 61 percent shooting from the field and picked up a key victory in dominating fashion.

Love finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, while Holden added 20 points and 13 boards. Bill Wampler netted 19 points for the Raiders, who jumped out to a 21-8 lead and never relented in front of a national television audience on ESPNU.

NKU’s Tyler Sharpe drives past Wright State’s Jaylon Hall (0) in the second half Friday night. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

“What we talked to our team about all week was if you’re not careful in an important game like this, you get away from the little things that have made you good,” NKU head coach Darrin Horn said. “Credit Wright State, because they played really well early on and hit some really tough shots. Some of which was them playing well, and some it was us not being as good as we need to be defensively.

“When that happened, I thought our guys really got away from who we need to be in order to be good on the defensive end, and offensively. In a game like this, when you’re playing another good team and they’re playing as well as they are, you just can’t do that. And it got away from us.”

The Raiders buried 12 shots from 3-point range, with Trey Calvin shooting 4-for-4 from beyond the arc and finishing with 12 points. Cole Gentry and Jaylon Hall each hit a trio of 3-pointers, much to the delight of a raucous crowd of 6,217.

“We just weren’t as aggressive as we needed to be, especially on the basketball,” Horn said of his team’s defense.

Tyler Sharpe scored 18 points to lead NKU, which dropped to 14-7 overall, 6-3 in the Horizon League. The Norse entered Friday’s showdown riding a five-game winning streak, but frigid shooting from 3-point range (4-for-22) and Wright State’s 43-28 advantage on the glass doomed the visitors.

Jalen Tate and Bryson Langdon each finished with 16 points for NKU. Adrian Nelson grabbed eight rebounds, while Silas Adheke added seven points and six boards.

Wampler dished out six assists for Wright State, which is 25-12 all-time against NKU. The Raiders improved to 10-2 at home this season.

“We had good preparation, but obviously we never expected anything like that,” Wampler said of the 32-point margin. “They (NKU) are a really good team, and we still have to play them again. It will be a tough game at their place. It always is.”

NKU continues a three-game road swing next Friday night at Green Bay. The Norse conclude the trip Feb. 2 at Milwaukee.


Sharpe 8-14 1-3 18, Adheke 3-5 1-2 7, Faulkner 1-9 0-0 3, Langdon 6-14 3-4 16, Tate 7-13 1-1 16, Eleeda 0-7 0-0 0, Nelson 1-1 1-2 3, Harris 0-3 0-0 0, Djoko 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-66 7-12 63.
Wampler 7-9 4-7 19, Love 7-15 2-4 16, Gentry 4-8 0-0 11, Holden 7-10 5-6 20, Hall 6-8 0-0 15, Basile 1-2 0-0 2, Ash 0-1 0-0 0, Calvin 4-4 0-0 12, Manns 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 36-59 11-17 95.
HALFTIME: WSU 48-28. 3-POINTERS: (NKU 4-22, WSU 12-22). REBOUNDS: NKU 28 (Nelson 8), WSU 43 (Holden 13).
RECORDS: WSU 18-4, 8-1 HL; NKU 14-7, 6-3 HL.

Wright State’s Bill Wampler (1) finds his path to the basket cut off by NKU defender Adrian Nelson (4) in the first half. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

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