Wright State grabbed a 2-0 lead in Tuesday night’s Horizon League tournament championship match-up with rival Northern Kentucky. It was the only time they were ahead as the Norse played a balanced game on both ends of the court while the Raiders shot 37.5 percent from the field. The result was a 77-66 victory for NKU (26-8) and a trip to the NCAA tournament. Wright State fell to 21-13 and, as regular season champions of the Horizon League, earned an automatic bid to the NIT.
Dantez Walton had 15 points and 14 rebounds for his first double-double for NKU. Jalen Tate scored 17 points; Zaynah Robinson added 15 points off the bench; Horizon League player of the year and tournament MVP Drew McDonald contributed 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists; and Tyler Sharpe had 11 points.
The Raiders struggled to consistently score and could not get stops on the defensive end, making it difficult to rally in a game they trailed for about 39 minutes.
Loudon Love was 2 of 13 and scored nine points. Bill Wampler led Wright State with16 points while Mark Hughes and Cole Gentry each scored 15.
The Norse built an 18-point lead with 5:02 remaining in the first half, but the Raiders chipped away. Gentry buried a 30-foot three-pointer to cut the Raiders’ deficit to 44-34 at halftime. Yet Wright State could not create sustained momentum, and NKU went on an 11-3 run midway through the second half and coasted to the Horizon League tournament championship.