Behind a career-high 29 points from Cole Darling, 22 in the first half, the Wright State men's basketball team jumped out to an early lead and held off Morehead State in the second half for a 66-57 victory Saturday afternoon at WSU's Nutter Center.
The Raiders came out on fire, jumping out to a 14-4 lead six minutes into the game thanks in part to Darling scoring the first seven points. Morehead State answered with five straight of its own and only trailed 21-15 following three Jarrett Stokes free throws at the 7:56 mark, but six more Darling points pushed the margin back up into double figures.
The lead was as much as 14 following another Darling three-pointer before the Eagles scored the final four points to make 37-27 at the half.
Wright State was 12 of 20 from the field, including five of seven on three-pointers, in the first half while MSU shot 56 percent and was three of six from behind the arc.
WSU led 48-26 on a Matt Vest three with 14:07 remaining, only to see Morehead State trim the deficit to 54-49 with 6:09 to play. Baskets by Darling and Miles Dixon, though, prevented the Eagles from getting any closer and the Raiders eventually extended the lead to 66-55 in the final seconds before a Kahlil Owens layup rounded out the scoring.
Both teams finished with impressive shooting numbers as Wright State shot 60 percent overall, six of 12 from three and 18 of 24 at the foul line while Morehead State hit for 50 percent, five of 13 from three.
Darling ended with a career-high 29 points, shattering his previous best of 21 last February 12 against Milwaukee. The junior forward made each of his first eight shots, including three three-pointers, and was three for four at the line in scoring 22 of those points in the first half.
Vest was the only other Raider to score in double figures as he had 10.
Stokes paced Morehead State (4-4) with 12 points while Devon Atkinson and Angelo Warner each had 11.
Wright State (5-2) is right back on the road Monday for a 7:00 matchup at Bowling Green.
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