Wright State falls 83-76 at Northern Kentucky
The Wright State men's basketball team led by seven at the half and still led by that margin with 13:22 to play, only to see Northern Kentucky outscore the Raiders 37-23 the rest of the way, including the final seven points of the contest, to pull out an 83-76 Horizon League win Tuesday night at the BB&T Arena.
The two teams were tied three times over the opening 10 minutes before two Mark Alstork free throws and a Parker Ernsthausen jumper put WSU in front 21-18.
Back-to-back threes by NKU's Cole Murray tied the score at 26, but Wright State answered with five straight points, including three foul shots by Grant Benzinger, and the Raiders extended the margin to as much as nine before going into the break ahead 40-33.
WSU shot just 39 percent in the first half compared to 48 percent for the Norse, but Wright State connected on all 11 of its free throw attempts while Northern Kentucky was five of seven.
A Steven Davis dunk pushed the margin into double figures at 47-37 early in the second half and the differential was still seven at 53-46 following a Mike La Tulip three with 13:22 to play.
NKU went on a 9-2 run to tie the game, but the Raiders still had a 67-63 advantage after an Alstork jumper with 6:19 left.
The Norse went on a 9-0 run to go up five, only to see WSU rally to tie the game twice, the final time being at 76 on two Alstork foul shots with 45 seconds remaining.
Drew McDonald, though, put Northern Kentucky up for good with a three-point play and the Norse capped the closing 7-0 run with four foul shots down the stretch.
Wright State shot 41 percent for the game and made 17 of 18 foul shots, but NKU shot 54 percent overall, 58 percent in the second half, and was 15 of 18 at the line.
Alstork led the Raiders with 24 points and added eight rebounds and five assists while Benzinger had 20 points and Davis 13. Mitchell chipped in six rebounds and six assists.
Wright State (19-10, 10-6 Horizon) hosts league-leader Valparaiso (23-6, 13-3 Horizon) on Friday, February 24, at 7:30.