Wright State will play for the Horizon League championship Tuesday night after beat Milwaukee 59-53 Monday night in a sloppy semifinal game at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit.
The second-seeded Raiders (24-9) will face No. 8 Cleveland State, which upset No. 4 Oakland in Monday’s first semifinial.
WSU freshman Loudon Love had 18 points and 12 rebounds, while freshman Jaylon Hall added 12 points, including four free throws in the final minute.
The Raiders won the game at the other end of the court, holding the Panthers (16-17) to 31.7 percent shooting (20 of 63)
Mark Hughes spurred the defensive effort, blanking Milwaukee’s Brock Stull in the second half. Stull, who had a career-high 25 in Sunday’s quarterfinal win against UIC, had 11 points in the first half but was 1 for 4 after the break.
Jeremiah Bell, a second-team all-league pick, scored a game-high 22 points, but they came on 8 of 24 shooting.
The Raiders only shot 33.3 percent (18 of 54) and trailed by as many as six in the first half, but WSU went into halftime on a 9-2 run for a 27-25 lead and never trailed in the second half.
The 24 wins set a Division I program record for WSU.