ESTERO, Florida – Wright State men’s basketball senior Bill Wampler entered the Gulf Coast Showcase two points shy of the 1,000-point mark for his career and he left no doubt as he poured in 27 points to lead the Raiders past Weber State 72-57 in the opening game of the Gulf Coast Showcase.
Wright State advances on the winners’ side of the bracket and will take on La Salle on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Wampler scored the first 12 points of the night for Wright State, while his 27 points were a season-high and two off his career-best. It was his second career matchup against Weber State in Florida – as a freshman at Drake in 2015, he scored three points against Weber State in the Gulf Coast Showcase.
Wampler now has 1,025 points in his career, having tallied 617 points in two seasons at Wright State and 408 points at Drake (2015-17).
Loudon Love also factored heavily into the stat sheet, finishing with 17 points and 12 rebounds, his third double-double of the year. Skyelar Potter added eight points off the bench while Grant Basile contributed six and Trey Calvin tallied five as part of the Raiders’ 19 bench points.
Wright State out-rebounded Weber State 33-31, with 14 boards on the offensive glass. Led by Love’s 17 points, the Raiders finished the night with a 42-30 scoring advantage inside in the paint. Wright State shot 48 percent from the floor (28-for-58) while holding Weber State to 37 percent – and just 29 percent in the first half.
Wampler came out firing, hitting a jump shot at the 18:15 mark to reach the 1,000-point mark before rolling off a pair of threes, another jumper and two free throws to stake the Raiders to a 12-6 advantage on the way to his 20 first half points. Wright State then used an 8-0 run over a 3:15 stretch in the middle of the first half to put some distance between themselves and Weber State, the 2015 Gulf Coast Showcase champions and took a 39-23 lead into the halftime break.
The second half was much of the same for the Raider offense, with Wampler and Love combining for 10 of Wright State’s first 12 points out of the break to push out to a 23-point advantage at the 15-minute mark.
After Weber State whittled the Raider advantage down to 12 with 3:51 remaining, the Wright State defense responded with back-to-back possessions with Love in the middle of the action – first with a steal and then with a block on the next trip down the floor as the Raiders wrapped up the night.