Motivated Wright State stops Detroit Mercy, freshman star

Wright State coach Scott Nagy and his players didn’t exactly appreciate what Detroit Mercy and Antoine Davis did the last time the teams met.

It wasn’t so much that he torched them for 48 points. The nation’s second-leading scorer is going to have games like that. But what galled the Raiders was how the son of coach Mike Davis was still playing at the end of a 79-58 blowout win.

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Nagy was clearly peeved on his post-game radio show, saying his team needed to use that for fuel in the rematch.

“Our kids better remember it, and we’d better make it right,” he said.

They did remember it.

And they did make it right.

Loudon Love had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Mark Hughes scored 12 on four 3-pointers to lead Wright State to an 83-60 Horizon League win before 5,045 fans at the Nutter Center on Saturday.

The Raiders (15-11, 9-4) held Davis, who was averaging 27.1, to a season-low 17 points on 7-of-18 shooting.

Asked after the game about the first meeting, Nagy chose his words carefully.

“People see that. They see it. It was pretty evident they left him out there trying to get 50. And whether he gets it or not, who cares? For us, with a lead like that, I’d be more concerned about people getting injured in garbage time.

“We took our medicine last time. Our kids were ready. Our guys played hard.”

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Hughes, the primary defender on the freshman star, admitted he had an issue with the quest for 50.

“I felt like they left him in just so he could score points,” he said. “We understood, being a coach’s son, you get all the shots, and every play is called for you.

“He’s a really talented player, don’t get me wrong. But I think we did feel (disrespected), especially me, up in Detroit. We weren’t going for that in this game.”

With 14:43 to go and the Raiders holding a 52-37 lead, Mike Davis was tagged with two technicals and ejected while jawing with officials after his son took a hard foul from Love on a drive and ended up sprawled out on the court.

He also barked at Love before leaving.

The Titans (9-16, 6-7) exited the arena after the game quickly and weren’t available for interviews.

“When someone is that talented and can score around the (3-point) arc, when he comes into the paint, I’m going to try to wall up the best I can,” Love said. “I tried to turn a little bit and not hit him, but he landed pretty hard.

“I kind of got upset and offended when the dude came out and was telling me I was trying to stomp on his kid, which was not the case at all. It was a little outrageous. But when you can stop their best player from getting a free layup, that’s what you’ve got to do.”

Bench help: Freshmen subs Malachi Smith and Skyelar Potter had 14 each for the Raiders, who have won six of their last seven games. It was Smith's second straight double-figure game after notching only two in the first 24 outings.

Big effort: Senior center Parker Ernsthausen chipped in nine points — his most since scoring 11 at Mississippi State on Dec. 22 — with a career-high six assists and five rebounds.

Moving up: Cole Gentry went 2 of 2 on foul shots and improved to 72 of 76 this season for 94.7 percent. The school record is 94.9.

Classroom stalwarts: Wright State held a halftime ceremony to honor dozens of athletes who achieved at least a 3.0 GPA for the first semester. Eight basketball players were recognized: Love, Ernsthausen, Hughes, Gentry, Alan Vest, Bill Wampler, Adam Giles and Andrew Neff.

Coming up: Wright State hosts first-place Northern Kentucky (20-6, 10-3) at 9 p.m. Friday on ESPNU.


Northern Kentucky at Wright State, 9 p.m., ESPNU, 106.5-FM

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