Men’s basketball team rolls to 73-59 win at East Carolina in CIT first round

Senior forward A.J. Pacher, seen here in the Horizon League final against Milwaukee, led the Raiders in scoring in the first round of the CIT with 20 points.

The Wright State men’s basketball team scorched the nets for 61 percent, 67 percent in the second half, in rolling to a 73-59 win at East Carolina in the first round of the Tournament (CIT) Tuesday night.

The Raiders never trailed in the contest as they scored the first seven points, including a Matt Vest three, over a four-minute span. ECU came as close as 18-17 on a three-point play by Michael Zangari with 8:07 remaining in the first half, only to see Wright State answer with a 13-2 run en route to a 31-24 halftime advantage.

Wright State made 11 of 20 shots in the opening 20 minutes, including five of 10 from three-point range, while the Pirates shot 33 percent overall and were just three of 12 from behind the arc.

East Carolina drew to within three early in the second half before the Raiders pushed the lead into double figures with a 13-0 run, a run capped off by back-to-back triples from Reggie Arceneaux.

The Pirates made one last push, cutting the margin to four with 4:55 to play, but another big Wright State run, this time 9-0, made it 70-57 in the final minute. A.J. Pacher accounted for seven of those nine points, including a three to start it.

Wright State made 16 of 24 shots in the second half, including four of five three-pointers, to finish at 61 percent overall and nine of 15 from behind the arc for 60 percent. East Carolina, meanwhile, shot 40 percent for the game but hit just four of 23 three-point attempts.

Wright State led 34-26 in points in the paint and also had the advantage in points off of turnovers (15-11), second-chance points (7-4) and fast-break points (13-1).

Pacher scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the second half while Vest had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Raiders. Arceneaux added 11 off the bench and Cole Darling chipped in 10.

Prince Williams paced East Carolina (17-17) with 20 points off the bench.

Wright State (21-14) advances to the second round of the CIT, which will be held this weekend. The Raiders’ destination and opponent will be determined after the conclusion of the first round on Wednesday.

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