Wright State’s Mark Hughes goes up for a bucket against Northern Kentucky on Friday night at the Nutter Center. KEITH COLE/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Wright State back in 1st place in Horizon after 69-67 win over NKU

Wright State beat Northern Kentucky 69-67 on Friday night at the Nutter Center to move back into a first-place tie atop the Horizon League.

Loudon Love scored 15 points to lead the Raiders (20-8, 12-3) while Tyler Sharpe had 16 for the Norse (19-8, 12-3).

»PHOTOS: Wright State vs. Northern Kentucky

The Raiders led by as many as 11 in the second half, but the Norse got within a point on Jordan Garnett’s 3-pointer with 1:19 left.

Jaylon Hall pulled up just short of a defender to avoid an offensive foul and bank home a shot to give Wright State a 68-65 lead with 12.9 seconds to go.

After a timeout, the Raiders opted to intentionally foul with time running down to prevent a game-tying 3-point attempt.

Cole Gentry took the foul with 2.8 seconds left to send Lavone Holland II to the line for a 1-and-1. He made both and Garnett was called for a foul as Wright State threw the ball inbounds.

Hall missed the second of a one-and-one, but NKU had no choice but to try a full-court heave that wasn’t close.

“It was great to have a crowd like this and have our kids play so well and play so hard,” Wright State coach Scott Nagy said after his team won in front of 7,205 fans. “I’m so pleased with them and so thrilled that the people showed up.”

After a slow start offensively for both teams, Wright State used a 10-3 run to take a 15-8 lead just past the midpoint of the first half.

Mark Hughes started it with an old-fashioned three-point play that made it 8-5.

After a Parker Ernsthausen free throw, Mark Hughes dunked and Gentry made a finger roll to cap the spurt.

The Norse came right back with a barrage of 3-pointers and took their first lead when Sharpe made three free throws to give the visitors a 22-21 lead with 4:29 left in the first half.

They would lead by as many as five, but the Raiders closed the half on a 7-0 run to take a 32-30 lead into the locker room.

Hughes started the run with a layup, and Everett Winchester finished it by making 2 of 4 free throws in the last 36.8 seconds.

The Raiders return to the court Monday when Cleveland State visits the Nutter Center.

That will be their last home game before they end the regular season with games at IUPUI and UIC next week.

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