Love leads Raiders past UIC on Valentine’s Day

Sports

FAIRBORN, Ohio – The Wright State men’s basketball team remained undefeated at home in Horizon League play and improved to 3-0 in national television broadcasts with a 75-58 victory over UIC on Friday night, snapping what had been a three-game losing streak to the Flames.

The Raiders now get set to close out the regular season home schedule on Sunday afternoon against IUPUI on Senior Day inside the Nutter Center. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m., and Wright State will honor its senior class following the conclusion of the game.

Friday night, Wright State (22-5, 12-2 HL) took a six-point lead into the locker room at 39-33 before turning the defense up in the second half as the Raiders held UIC (12-14, 7-6 HL) scoreless for the first five minutes of the period and allowed just four Flames points in the first nine-plus minutes while extending the lead out to as many as 16 points.

The Flames cut the Raider lead down to single digits with a quick 7-2 scoring run out of the under-eight media timeout to make it 59-51, but Wright State answered with a 9-1 run of its own to push the contest back out to a double-digit lead to cruise to the finish.

Loudon Love finished with a game-high 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting and a 6-of-6 mark from the free throw line while adding a game-high nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal. The 24 points were three shy of his career-high and his 17th double-digit scoring game of the season. He has now scored in double-figures in 13 of 14 Horizon League contests, with five games of 20-plus points.

Bill Wampler tallied 19 points of his own, including 12 in the first half, and Tanner Holden tallied 16 points, 11 of which came over the final 20 minutes.

The Raiders were 44 percent from the floor (25-of-57) and hit six of their 22 three-point attempts (27 percent). The stat of the night came from the free throw line, where Wright State was perfect in the first half (6-of-6) before finishing the night at 91 percent (19-of-21).

Defensively, Wright State held UIC to 34 percent shooting (21-of-61) overall, including just 29 percent in the second half, and 23 percent (5-of-22) from three. UIC was 11-of-16 (69 percent) from the free throw line, but just 50 percent from the stripe in the second half.

The Raiders won the battle on the boards 43-34, including tallying a nine-rebound edge on the defensive glass. Wright State forced 18 UIC turnovers, but also gave the ball up 18 times themselves.

Three UIC players finished in double figures, led by Tarkus Ferguson’s 18 points, while Marcus Ottey added 15 and Jordan Blount had 10 points.

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