DAYTON, OH. (WBKO) --- WKU Hilltopper Basketball had multiple double-digit leads Tuesday night, but a late run by Wright State dealt the Hilltoppers a 76-74 road loss.
WKU (6-3) led by 10 with 14:08 to play and still by 59-55 with 8:47 remaining, but Wright State went on an 11-0 run to build a seven-point advantage and swing the momentum.
The Hilltoppers rallied and reclaimed the lead with 1:36 to go, but Wright State (7-2) took it right back and WKU missed several opportunities to win or tie in the final 90 seconds.
“When you go on the road, there’s a small margin for error,” WKU head coach Rick Stansbury said. “You’ve got to be able to realize a 10-point lead disappears in a hurry. It doesn’t take but one lapse here or there.”
WKU had the preseason Horizon League favorite down by 10 in the first half, but Wright State finished the half on a 10-2 run to cut its deficit to 36-34 at the break.
Back-to-back baskets by redshirt junior forward Carson Williams extended the Hilltoppers’ advantage back to 10 at 50-40 with 14 minutes to go, but while WKU’s offense sputtered, Wright State thrived.
“Just missing shots,” junior guard Taveion Hollingsworth said. “It really starts on defense, honestly. We weren’t really getting stops, so we couldn’t convert anything.”
The Tops trailed 73-66 with 3:39 remaining when they went on an 8-0 run to charge back into the lead. Graduate senior guard Camron Justice’s jumper made it 74-73 WKU with 1:36 left.
Wright State’s Cole Gentry scored on a running layup to the basket 20 seconds later, and WKU never scored again.
Sophomore center Charles Bassey led all scorers with 19 points in addition to nine rebounds and three blocks.
Justice finished with 17 points and six boards, and Hollingsworth added 15 points. Williams and redshirt senior guard/forward Jared Savage each tallied eight points and six rebounds.
Bill Wampler paced Wright State with 22 points, and Gentry added 17.
The Hilltoppers now finally return home to host undefeated SEC foe Arkansas (8-0) at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday at E.A. Diddle Arena. The game will air nationally on CBS Sports Network.
“I’m sure this won’t be the last time,” Justice said on the team facing adversity. “This is a sport. Adversity is what the game is really about. It’s how you bounce back from. We’ll see how we respond. All I’m saying is it’ll be a good game Saturday.”