Wright State is back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003.
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Tennessee just dribbled out a 73-47 victory over Wright State.
The Raiders narrowly avoided being the first team eliminated from the round of 64 as Rhode Island’s overtime win over Oklahoma ended just a few minutes earlier.
Wright State shot 31.7 percent from the field and 19 percent from behind the 3-point arc, wasting a decent defensive effort against an athletic UT squad.
Loudon Love led WSU with 12 points and nine rebounds while Everett Winchester added 11 points for the Raiders, who fell to 0-3 in NCAA tournament play.
At the 3:58 mark and the final media timeout, it’s all over but the shouting for the Raiders.
They trail Tennessee 61-38.
The Raiders trailed by 15 at the midway point of the second half, but went to the under-8 media timeout still looking for their next point.
Coach Scott Nagy might be satisfied with his team’s defensive effort, but the Wright State offense has been nearly nonexistent.
With 7:13 to go, the Raiders are shooting 28.6 percent from the field and 21.1 percent from 3-point range while holding UT to respectable marks of 43.1 and 25 percent, respectively.
Tennessee dominated the first five minutes of the second half to put a stranglehold on the game.
Back-to-back 3-pointers pushed the Volunteers’ lead to 46-27 as the Raiders continued to struggle to score.
The Raiders were 1 for 7 in the first 4:52 of the half while Tennessee made 5 of 10 shots.
Wright State trails Tennessee 34-23 at the half.
The Raiders might be thankful to be that close after a long scoreless drought in the middle of the opening 20 minutes.
Everett Winchester led WSU in scoring in the first half with eight points.
He was 4 for 6 from the field while the rest of the team was 6 for 25.
Tennessee enjoyed a 24-16 rebounding advantage and shot 42 percent from the floor while holding the Raiders to 32.3 percent.
Wright State trailed by as many as 13 points but was down seven with 2:30 to go in the half, but Admiral Schofield scored an old-fashioned three-point play to quell the uprising.
He led the Vols with 10 points in the first half.
Complete Coverage: Raiders run to March Madness
The Raiders drew first blood on a pair of free throws by Parker Ernsthausen.
Then both teams traded a few empty possessions.
Tennessee did not score until more than three minutes had run off the clock. Admiral Schofield got them on the board with a 3-pointer.
Mark Hughes put Wright State back on top with a put-back, but that lead was short-lived.
Things opened up a little after that, and Tennessee took a 9-6 lead into the first media timeout.
After missing their first six field goals, the Volunteers made five in a row.
They opened up a 15-8 lead heading into the second media timeout, but that wasn’t the worst news for Wright State.
Horizon League Freshman of the Year Loudon Love picked up his second foul with 11:57 to go in the first half.
Through the first eight minutes, Tennessee had a 9-6 rebounding advantage and was shooting 46.7-percent from the floor while the Raiders were 3 for 10.
It was not hard to see Tennessee’s advantage athletically in the first half.
The Volunteers used it to hit the offensive glass, erase shots in the paint and finish strong at the hoop.
They had an 11-point lead at the midpoint of the first half as Wright State struggled to get anything going offensively.
The teams went to the under-8 media timeout with the Raiders having failed to score in the previous six minutes.
They trailed 21-8 while shooting 3-for-17 from the field.
Tennessee made 10 of its first 20 shots, though the 3-pointers weren’t going down for the Vols, who missed five of their first six from long range.
After getting two early fouls, Wright State star Loudon Love returned to the court but struggled to find room to operate.
Everett Winchester finally broke a scoreless streak of more than six minutes for Wright State with a driving layup at the 7:08 mark.
That pulled the Raiders within 21-10.
Unfortunately for WSU, Winchester picked up his second foul on the next Tennessee possession and went to the bench with eight of Wright Stat’s 10 points.
Loudon Love finally got his first bucket of the game on the next possession to get Wright State back within nine, but he picked up his third foul shortly thereafter and had to go to the bench, too.
Heading to the last media timeout of the first half, Tennessee led 25-17 following a driving layup by Grant Benzinger.
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