TOLEDO, Ohio – Tanner Holden turned in a career afternoon on Saturday, tallying 27 points and 17 rebounds as the Wright State men’s basketball team closed out the non-conference schedule with a 79-72 victory at Toledo, handing the Rockets their first home loss of the season.
The Raiders now return home to open Horizon League action with two games inside the Nutter Center against Green Bay (Dec. 28) and Milwaukee (Dec. 30) to close out the calendar year.
Holden scored 20 of his 27 in the second half, including a personal 8-0 run from the 11:05 mark to 9:31 in the second half as part of a larger 16-5 run by the Raiders (10-3) to gain some separation. Holden finished the afternoon 9-of-10 from the floor and 9-of-12 from the free throw stripe, with his only missed shot coming on a putback tip in attempt in the final minutes before subsequently pulling down his own rebound and hitting both free throws after being fouled.
Cole Gentry was the other Raider in double-digits, finishing with a season-high 18 points – 13 of which came in the second half – including going a perfect 8-of-8 at the free throw stripe with all eight attempts coming inside the final minute. Jaylon Hall added nine points and seven rebounds, while Loudon Love tallied eight points and seven rebounds of his own in his return to action, starting and playing 28 minutes after missing the last five games with injury.
Wright State shot 42 percent (26-of-42) from the floor in the game, including connecting at a 46 percent rate in the second half, while the Raider defense held Toledo to just 30 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes before the Rockets ended the afternoon at 39 percent. The Raiders went to the line 10 more times than Toledo (28 attempts to 18), connecting on 22 shots (80 percent).
The Raiders won the battle on the boards 45-42 while forcing Toledo into 11 turnovers, resulting in 15 points. Wright State tallied 42 points in the paint, in part thanks to 18 fast break points.
Wright State lead throughout, holding the advantage for over 36 total minutes and never trailing after the opening minutes of the second half when it was a brief 36-35 Toledo lead. The one-point advantage was as high as the hosts would ever lead by during the back and forth first 20 minutes and the opening minutes of the second half, while the Raiders pushed out to as high as a 16-point lead with just under six minutes remaining.
The lead changed 12 times in the first half as the teams traded baskets, with Gentry’s three-pointer just before the break giving Wright State a three-point halftime advantage. The Raiders went on a 16-3 run over a 4:13 stretch between the 12- and eight-minute marks to gain separation heading into the final minutes. Holden had 10 of the Raider points during the run, including a pair of back-to-back steals and scores.
Toledo used a 9-2 run late to pull within six with 53 seconds remaining, but Wright State closed the afternoon out with Gentry’s 8-of-8 mark at the free throw line to seal the win.
Four players finished in double-figures and combined for 60 of Toledo’s 72 points in the loss, led by Marreon Jackson’s 21 points, followed by 15 points from Willie Jackson, 14 points from Luke Knapke and Dylan Alderson’s 10 points.