By HAL McCOY
Wright State University did not make a statement Friday night in the Nutter Center — they made a full-blown filibuster in front of a national television audience.
The Horizon League’s second best team, Northern Kentucky, came to town believing it could knock off the Raiders and move into a first-place tie.
It was a pipe dream. Wright State committed mass mayhem, a 32-point blowout, 95-63. It was beyond total domination. Wright State was favored by four points and oddsmakers only missed it by 28 points.
Northern Kentucky creates problems with a stifling match-up zone defense, but the Raiders put the paper shredder to it.
Led by big man Loudon Love, the Raiders dominated the paint area like a prospector staking a claim.
And when Love, freshman Tanner Holden and Bill Wampler weren’t scoring in the paint, the rest of the Raiders were burying three-point shots.
Holden, a 6-6 guard from Wheelersburg, led the Raiders with 20 points and snagged 13 rebounds for the second straight game.
Love joined Holden in the double-double category with 16 points and 11 rebounds. And adding fuel to the point deluge was Bill Wampler with 19, Jaylon Hall with 15, Trey Calvin with 12 and Cole Gentry with 11 — six players in double figures,
Northern Kentucky entered the game with the third best three-point defense in the country (26 per cent). Wright State was unfazed. The Raiders buried 12 three-pointers on 22 attempts. with Calvin making four in four attempts.
On the other side of the ledger, Northern Kentucky had been a proficient three-point shooting team. Wright State’s defense held them to 4 for 22, 2 for 12 in the first half when the Raiders constructed a 48-28 lead.
Northern Kentucky’s Tyler Sharpe is the best three-point sharp-shooter in the Horizon League. But the Raiders chased him off the three-point line, forcing him to score in other ways. He led Northern with 18 points, but nobody has ever had to work so hard for 18 points. He was 1 for 5 from the three-point line.
The Raiders pulled out all stops in this one. It was ‘Greenout Night’ and WSU wore its road green uniforms. Coach Scott Nagy and his staff were barefoot to draw attention to his shoe distribution program to the needy, especially in Haiti.
Governor Mike Dewine, who has an educational program in Haiti, was one of 6,217 in attendance, WSU’s biggest crowd of the season.
Wright State jumped to a 10-2 lead and never looked back while pushing its league-leading record to 8-and-1 and its overall record to 18-and-4. Northern Kentucky fell to 6-and-3 in the Horizon and 14-and-7 overall.
The Raiders scored 40 of its 95 points in the paint and made 36 of its 59 shots, a glossy 61 per cent. Meanwhile, Northern Kentucky hit only 26 of its 66 attempts, 39 per cent.
Wright State? The Raiders could hardly miss. Holden was 7 for 10. Wampler was 7 for 9. Hall was 6 for 8. For the Raiders, it was an night during which the basket looked as big as a hula hoop.