A Tale of Two Games: Wright State turns heads in multiple ways

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Wright State would head into the New Year looking to go 5-0 in Horizon League play for the second consecutive season. To do this, they made the trip up to Rochester, Michigan, and faced the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.

Oakland was coming off a fierce weekend sweep against rival Detroit Mercy, and looked to continue their momentum into this past weekend. It didn’t start off all that well for Greg Kampe’s squad.

The teams combined 5-21 from the field heading into the under-16 timeout. From there, it was all Raiders.

A big 14-3 run stretched Wright State’s lead out to double-digits before the under-12 media timeout. From there, they stretched that run out to an extended 39-5 run.

Wright would take a 25-point lead at the under-eight media, where Oakland was scoreless from the field for four and a half minutes, shooting 4-22 on the game.

The Raiders also dominated the boards throughout the first 12 minutes of the half, leading the Golden Grizzlies, 24-10.

At the break, Wright State would take a humongous, 49-21 lead and own the rebounding advantage by an even more impressive, 37 to 16.

College Basketball Twitter was all over the Golden Grizzlies during the first half, wondering how they allowed this to happen, again (they got dominated by Xavier on Thanksgiving Eve). It didn’t get much better in the second half.

At the 17:17 mark, Loudon Love grabbed his fifth double-double of the season and his 41st of his Wright State career. He would finish out the game 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Soon after him, Tim Finke would pick up his second career double-double. This one coming at 15:24. He finished the night off with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The Raiders would soon after that, stretch the lead out to as much as 40. Some Oakland runs were able to cut it down to 29, but that was enough.

Tanner Holden had another high scoring game for the Raiders, leading the way with 24 points in 27 minutes. 12 Raiders saw action.

Wright State would enter Saturday looking to go 6-0 in Horizon League play for the first time since 2017-18. Oakland wouldn’t let the Raiders come out too hot, starting the game out on their own 13-5 run.

The Golden Grizzlies defense came out swarming, forcing Wright State to take loads of threes. They took 25 on Saturday, something that Coach Scott Nagy says their defense is just designed for.

The shots wouldn’t sink though, as Oakland was able to get up double-digits early, just like Wright State the day before. OU would take a 24-7 lead right before the under-12 media timeout, as their offense was the most efficient of the weekend.

An Oakland technical out of the timeout really changed the game though, allowing the Raiders to retake the lead before the end of the half.

“They beat us by a thousand yesterday, just ridiculous on our part.” said Coach Greg Kampe at the half.

Grant Basile was a key cog to allowing that comeback. He would score 7 points, and pick up 9 rebounds off the bench as the Raiders led by three at the break.

“I was very proud of the guys at halftime. I knew coming off of yesterday’s game it was going to be tough.” stated Coach Scott Nagy at halftime.

The Raiders would start the second half out red-hot as well, going on a 9-3 run and taking a 49-40 lead.

Oakland would slowly crawl back though, retaking the lead at the 8:00. From there on out, it was all Golden Grizzlies.

Wright State would turn the ball over and over again, as they committed 19 of those on the day. A problem that has been honestly plaguing them the whole season.

Oakland would snap the Raiders prospects of a perfect Horizon League start with an 81-71 result on Saturday. Wright State’s first loss to the Golden Grizzlies in their past nine matchups.

“They just started playing harder. We had a chance to get several, several missed shots and we couldn’t get it. They had one Freshman (Townsend) that just whipped us on the glass and I think that was the entire turning point of the game.”

Tanner Holden led the Raiders once again, picking up his second double-double of the season at 16 points and 11 rebounds. Loudon Love lead the way with 17 points, and Trey Calvin and Jaylon Hall followed with 16 points and 10 points respectively.

Wright State will look to get back on track on national TV, as they host Youngstown State on Friday at 7:00. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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