A Cole Darling three with 2:16 remaining gave the Wright State men's basketball team the lead for good as the Raiders rallied for a 53-51 Horizon League win over Milwaukee Saturday night at WSU's Nutter Center.
WSU tied the score three times in the first half, the final two being at 17 at the 7:13 mark and at 23 with 3:46 remaining, but never led as the Panthers took a 28-23 halftime advantage by scoring the final five points of the period.
The Raiders shot 38 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes compared to 36 percent for Milwaukee, but UWM also made nine of 11 free throws while Wright State did not go to the foul line.
Darling gave WSU its first lead of the night at 33-31 with a three at the 16:48 mark of the second half, only to see Milwaukee quickly regain the advantage and lead 49-46 on two Paris Gulley free throws with 3:04 to play.
Jerran Young, though, drew the Raiders to within one with a layup and Darling's three with 2:16 left put Wright State ahead to stay at 51-49. Kendall Griffin made it a two-possession game with two foul shots at the 1:31 mark, but James Haarsma cut the margin to two with two of his own with 1:10 remaining.
After the Raiders missed two free throws with 31 seconds left, the Panthers had one more chance, but were only able to get a desperation shot with one second on the clock that banged off the side of the rim.
Wright State shot 42 percent overall compared to 34 percent for Milwaukee and finished with a 37-28 rebounding edge. The Raiders also led in points in the paint (24-14), points off of turnovers (11-8) and bench scoring (17-4).
Reggie Arceneaux led all scorers with 15 for WSU while Darling had 14 and Miles Dixon eight off the bench.
Demetrius Harris posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee (4-12, 0-2 Horizon) while Gulley had 13 and Jordan Aaron 12.
Wright State (11-4, 2-0 Horizon) is off to its best start since the 1992-93 season and is 2-0 in league play for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The Raiders close out the four-game homestand on Wednesday, January 9, with a 7:00 contest against Cleveland State.