Wright State (6-3) took the lead for good with a 15-0 first half run, but used hot shooting from the field in the second half to break open a 10-point halftime lead, as the Raiders outscored the Keydets 54-31 over the final 20 minutes. 28 of those 54 points came in the paint as the home team exploded to secure the victory in the first meeting between the programs.
The other story of the game was defense, as WSU’s defense held VMI (4-6) to its lowest point total of the season and lowest since Feb. 27, 2012 against Radford, while also breaking Keydet star Stan Okoye’s double figure scoring streak at nine games. Okoye was limited to just seven points while posting eight turnovers, just the second time in his stellar four-year VMI career that he had more turnovers than points. Meanwhile, the Keydet defense forced just one steal despite seeing 13 WSU turnovers. The single theft was the lowest total in seven-plus seasons under head coach Duggar Baucom.
Wright State was led in scoring by Reggie Arceneaux, who had 22 points and seven assists, while Tim Marshall led VMI with a career-high equaling 11 points on 3 of 6 shooting.
The Keydets jumped on the Raiders early, sprinting out to a lead as big as 10 points, 16-6, in the opening minutes. That lead was at eight, 23-15, after an Okoye basket with 9:05 left in the first half. VMI, however, would score just five points the rest of the period, and WSU used a quick 15-0 run to leap out to a 30-23 lead at the 5:52 mark. The Keydets scored the next five points, pulling within two at 30-28 after a Gavin Stephenson lay-in. The Raiders, however, tallied the final eight points of the half to close the period on a 23-5 run, and lead 38-28 at the break.
During what proved to be the game-deciding spurt, the Keydets shot just 2 for 10 from the floor and were also 1 of 4 at the foul line, while WSU made six straight field goals at one point to take the lead for good. The first half saw the Keydets hit 10 of 29 from the floor (34.5%) and also saw their bench accumulate 13 of the team’s 28 points.
VMI was able to stay close in the opening moments of the second half, pulling to within six and then, after four points by WSU, getting back within seven. The Raiders, however, launched a 15-3 run with a three-point play by Arceneaux at the 16:51 mark, and that run would end with the same scoring, another Arceneaux three-point play that put the home team up, 57-38, with 13 minutes to go.
WSU was able to stretch the margin from there, as the Keydets got no closer than 17 the rest of the way. The home team went up by 35 twice in the closing moments, with a late VMI basket accounting for the final margin of 92-59.
In the setback, the Keydets were held to 17 of 48 from the floor (35.4%), while WSU hit 33 of 63 (52.4%). The Keydets were 19 of 34 at the charity stripe (55.9%), while the Raiders countered by going a stellar 19 of 22 (86.4%). Wright State hit seven three-pointers in 21 tries (33.3%) to VMI’s 6 of 19 (31.6%).
Other notables included Rodney Glasgow’s eight assists, one shy of a season high, and D.J. Covington’s two blocks which gave him 99 career rejections, leaving him one shy of becoming the fifth Keydet ever to block 100 shots in a career. Miles Dixon (15 points) and Matt Vest (11 points) were also in double figures for Wright State.
VMI basketball will return to action Dec. 22, taking on the George Washington Colonials in Washington, D.C. Game time is set for 3 p.m.