DAYTON - Another day another defensive gem for the Wright State Raiders as they held Loyola to 29.4 percent shooting for the game and 15.4 percent in the second half to get a home court win 68-47.
The final score was not a true indication of how tight the game was until the end.
It took a Wright State defensive lock-down that held Loyola scoreless from the 9:46 mark until there was 2:02 left in the game to put the Ramblers away for good. In the same time-frame the Raiders were not exactly shooting lights out but they did manage to score 14 points thanks to their foul shooting that accounted for nine of those points.
Loyola's Walt Gibler finally got some points on the board to end the scoring draught when he made two free throws after getting fouled by Will Graham. Two more free throws by Loyola's Courtney Stanley and the Ramblers were done scoring for the game. They made just four field goals in the second half.
"Their defense is very good, we had to have better ball movement and defend better against the three," said Loyola coach Jim Whitesell. "We have to rebound better too. We played well for spurts, we just didn't have enough good minutes to beat Wright State."
Wright State (11-8, 5-3 HL) held a 41-30 lead at the half. The Ramblers came out and went on a 10-3 run in the first five minutes to cut the lead to 44-40 on a layup by J. R. Blount, another by Gibler and a 3-pointer by Justin Cerasoli. After that Loyola (11-9, 3-5 HL) scored just seven more points in the game.
For Wright State in the second half Cory Cooperwood came alive to score 10 points after not scoring in the first half.
In the first half Cerasoli hit a 3-pointer 52 seconds into the game to give Loyola their biggest lead of the game at 3-0.
The score went back and forth until with 11:26 left in the first half Loyola had a 17-15 lead, then 43 seconds later when Wright State's Todd Brown hit a 3-pointer to give the Raiders the lead that would hold the rest of the game.
The game plan the Raiders used worked well. Wright State's coach Brad Brownell wanted his team to concentrate on rebounding and defending Loyola's guards and it worked pretty well with the Raiders holding a 38-30 rebounding edge and keeping Loyola's guards from scoring in double figures.
He said, "We did what we were trying to do. Their guards are so good, you are trying to keep them from penetrating. Then you want to keep them off the glass. Offensively we tried to be aggressive and try to have a little better flow."
-Wright State has won 11 of the last 13 games losing only to ranked programs, Wake Forest and Butler, both on the road.
-When Loyola scores at least 70 points good things happen. Last year the Ramblers were 7-0 hitting the 70 mark. Dating back to the 2005-06 season they are 17-2 when scoring 70 and this year they are 5-1.
-Wright State leads the all-time series 16-14.
-Loyola's next game is on Saturday at Detroit at 1:05 p.m. and it is televised on Fox Sports Detroit.
-Wright State's next game is Saturday against UIC at home at 7 p.m.