North Florida knew the scouting report said it had to do everything possible to stop Loudon Love, but the Ospreys had no one who could match up with the 6-foot-8, 270-pound center.
Their frontcourt players were all 6-8 or shorter and weighed 223 pounds or less, and they were moved around inside like chess pieces.
Love scored 13 of his season-high 20 points in the first half and corralled nine rebounds to lead Wright State to a 89-70 victory Saturday afternoon before 3,207 fans at the Nutter Center.
“He had six offensive rebounds on top of that, and I’d still like to see him be even more aggressive, post harder. But he’s getting back to where we want him,” coach Scott Nagy said.
“What I want him to focus on his defense and rebounding. The offense will come for him.”
Love had plenty of help as the Raiders won their first game of the Cancun Challenge and improved to 3-1. After traveling to Mexico, they’ll face Penn State on Tuesday and either Bradley or SMU on Wednesday.
Bill Wampler had 17 points, including a four-point play in the first half to help the Raiders build an 11-point lead. Skyelar Potter chipped in 13, Parker Ernsthausen 12 and Mark Hughes and Cole Gentry had 10 apiece.
“He’s tough to guard down low, and it opens up maybe Bill on outside, and when Bill is playing well, they have to run him off the (3-point) line, and that opens another guy up,” Gentry said of Love. “We’ve got a lot of parts that play well together. He had 20 points, but it could be one of five guys who could potentially do that. That’s probably our biggest strength.”
“We were talking how our first six players all had double-digits today. That type of production all the way down the line makes it easier on everyone,” he said.
The Raiders went 11-of-18 on 3-pointers and out-rebounded the Ospreys (1-3), 37-25.
“Rebounding is a tough stat because nobody really knows how to equate it with winning, but I’ve been coaching a long time, and I can count on one hand the times we’ve out-rebounded a team by 10 and lost,” Nagy said. “That’s the goal. You out-rebound them by 10, you’re probably going to win.”