Wright State would begin the final month of the regular season with a rematch of their final game of the 2019-20 season… the 2020 Horizon League semifinals against the UIC Flames.
The teams would start out slowly on offense, just like the Raiders did last March.
Throughout the half it would get faster and faster, as they ultimately took their first double digit lead with 5:45 remaining. Wright State would lead by a score of 33-23 at the break.
Less than a minute out of the half, Loudon Love would reel in his eighth double-double of the season, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
He would help the Raiders to a 72-47 victory to start the weekend, stretching their win streak out to six.
Trey Calvin would finish the game scoring 12, his first double digit scoring performance in three games. Grant Basile was a point shy of a double-double.
On Saturday, the Raiders would look to match their longest win streak of the season, as well as their fifth sweep of the Horizon League season.
They would be looking forward to doing that, starting the game out on a 9-2 run and taking a double-digit lead before the second media timeout.
It would never get too high for the Raiders in the first half as they alternated ten and seven point leads for the final ten minutes of the half.
Leading 36-29 at the break, the Raiders shot 50% from deep and outrebounded the Flames by five in the first frame.
UIC would come out of the half cutting it down to five, but a big 7-0 Raider run got the lead back out to 12 early.
The Raiders would grind out the rest of the half, leading by 11-15 for the majority of it. They would be able to stretch it out to 21, and ultimately win by a score of 77-57.
Both head coaches’ sons were able to play late, as Loudon Love racked in yet another double-double late in the half. He finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Grant Basile and Tanner Holden would each score double-digits as well.
Wright State would enter Valentine’s Day weekend looking for their longest win streak of the season. Also, it would possibly be Loudon Love’s final two games ever at the Nutter Center.
The Raiders would come out looking cool with their camouflage jersey’s. Their offense was the same, cold.
A big 7-0 run would give them a 14-10 lead at the second media timeout, as the Raiders made an amazing play to keep the ball alive, as well as their offense.
Milwaukee would get hot and regain the lead, but a 15-2 run before the half-allowed Wright to take a 42-28 lead at the half.
“If it wasn’t for that (run) we wouldn’t of won the game,” Head Coach Scott Nagy would say later on.
This was also in large part to their free throw shooting, where they were 11-12 from the charity stripe early.
Milwaukee would continue cutting into the lead during the second half, but the Raiders would respond as multiple players made key contributions.
Five Raiders scored double digits as they beat Milwaukee is game one, 92-81. This would stretch out their win streak to a season-high eight. Loudon Love led the way with 21, as Jaylon Hall scored 14 off the bench. Alex Huibregste made a couple key threes, as he ended the day a perfect 2-2 from behind the arc.
“Everyone on this team can score, and for sure at a high rate. I think it’s just that give-and-go offense,” said Love postgame.
Wright State would shoot 75% in the second half, but Milwaukee scored 53 points, making it a close game.
Later in the night, Cleveland State would drop a game against Detroit Mercy, creating a tie in first place between the Vikings and the Raiders. They would each win on Saturday, making the final weekend crucial for the ever important #1 seed and automatic bid to the NIT.
“What our guys have done, I can’t even tell you how proud I am of them,” said Nagy about the teams fight to first throughout the season.
Loudon Love would enter Saturday in what was more-than-likely his final game at the Nutter Center. He would make it a night to remember. The Raiders would lead in the first half by as much as 22, taking a 52-37 lead at the break.
Love finished the game scoring 29 and rebounding 12.
Milwaukee would cut the lead down to single digits about halfway through the half but could never get it down below six. Another great second half for the Panthers.
“It felt a little like bit like yesterday, pretty identical,” Nagy would say postgame.
The Raiders would finish their 2020-21 home campaign out rebounding their opponent by a score of 44-29, along with shooting over 50% from deep.
Jaylon Hall would have another big game, shooting 4-4 from deep, only missing one shot on the game, and scoring 19 off the bench as the Raiders extended their win streak to a season-high 12.
Hall attributed his great play to the movement, saying postgame, “The back-cuts and just the constant movement got me open. And my teammates again finding me, at the right time, giving me the chance to knock down those shots.”
Wright State will finish their regular season with a weekend series against rival Northern Kentucky. They have clinched either the first or second seed of the Horizon League Tournament.