CLEVELAND – It took five extra minutes, but it was a record-breaking afternoon all around as the Wright State men’s basketball team earned an 81-74 overtime victory on Saturday afternoon over Cleveland State and Raider head coach Scott Nagy earned his 500th collegiate victory.
The Raiders improved to 24-6 overall and 14-3 in the Horizon with the win, securing themselves at least a share of the Horizon League regular season title, their third in program history. Wright State is one game up in the standings with one game to play and will have an opportunity to clinch the title outright on Friday night at Northern Kentucky on ESPNU (7 p.m.).
For Nagy, his 500th career win comes in his 25th season. He won 410 games in 21 seasons at South Dakota State before tallying seasons of 20, 25, 21 and 24 (and counting) wins with the Raiders.
Saturday’s victory was the team’s 24th of the year, setting the new program standard for most wins in a regular season in the Division I Era for Wright State. The previous high of 23 was accomplished twice, 2006-07 and 2012-13. The win was also the Raiders’ 14th Horizon League victory of the year, the new standard, surpassing the 13 league games won in the 2006-07 season.
Saturday was also Wright State’s fifth Horizon League road victory, tying the program record accomplished four times previously, most recently last season. The Raiders will have a chance to set that mark next week.
As for the game itself, four Raiders finished the afternoon in double-digits scoring, led by Bill Wampler’s 23 points. Loudon Love was right behind him with 22 points while adding a team-high nine rebounds, Cole Gentry finished with 16 and Tanner Holden added 12 points of his own.
In the overtime session, the quartet was responsible for all 16 of Wright State’s scoring.
The Raiders led for nearly 36 minutes, with Love’s free throws at the nine-minute mark of the first half giving Wright State a lead that it would have until the final four seconds of regulation. Wright State led by as many as 10 in the second half but saw Cleveland State close regulation on a 5-0 run over the final three minutes to go to overtime when Torrey Patton hit a 30-plus foot shot to tie the game. Wright State scored six of the first nine points of the extra session on the way to the win.
Wright State shot 52 percent (28-of-54) from the floor and held Cleveland State to a 40 percent mark (28-of-70), but the difference came at the free throw stripe, where the Raiders were 20-of-30 (67 percent) and allowed the Vikings only 17 trips to the line (12-for-17).
The Raiders lost the battle on the boards, getting outrebounded 43-32, but saw 28 of their rebounds come on the defensive glass. They did finish with six blocks (three from Love, two from Grant Basile and one from Jaylon Hall) and had a 42-36 advantage in points in the paint.
Patton finished with a team-high 21 points for Cleveland State, who also got double-digit scoring efforts from Hugo Ferreira (14 points) and Algevon Eichelberger (13 points).