By Zachary Gregory
March 11, 2014
FAIRBORN — In a game that saw 10 lead changes, four ties and neither team having more than a seven-point advantage, the Wright State men’s basketball team took the lead at the 7:44 mark of the second half and went on to a 68-63 win over Cleveland State in the Horizon League Semifinals, Saturday night in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The Raiders raced out to a 7-0 lead thanks in part to a three and fast-break layup from Miles Dixon, but the Vikings answered with 12 straight points and maintained a five-point edge until back-to-back triples from Jerran Young put WSU back in front 15-14 with nine minutes to play in the first half.
WSU closed the half with a 9-2 run, four of those coming from Cole Darling, to take a 37-31 halftime lead.
Wright State hit 13 of 21 shots in the opening 20 minutes for 62 percent, including five of eight three-pointers, while the Vikings shot 47 percent and were 11 of 12 at the foul line.
A Darling three put the Raiders up six, but CSU tallied seven consecutive points to take what turned out to be its final lead of the night at 50-49 with eight minutes remaining.
Darling gave WSU the lead for good with two foul shots at the 7:44 mark and a three-point play from Dixon extended the margin to four. A Matt Vest three with 1:58 left made it 63-57 and the Raiders were able to hold on from there by making five of six foul shots over the final 34 seconds.
Wright State shot 47 percent in the second half to end up at 55 percent overall, including seven of 14 from three, while Cleveland State shot 40 percent for the game.
Darling led the Raiders with 21 points, including a perfect 10 for 10 at the line, while Dixon had 17 and AJ Pacher 11.
Charlie Lee paced Cleveland State (21-11) with 16 points while Trey Lewis had 14 and Grady a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Wright State (20-13) will face no. 5 seed Milwaukee, a 73-66 overtime winner over no. 1 seed Green Bay in the other semifinal, in the Horizon League championship game at 7 p.m. today at WSU’s Nutter Center. The game will be televised live on ESPN with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Demmings named Player of the Year
FAIRBORN — Kim Demmings was named as the Horizon League Player of the Year and two other Raiders were recognized as the league announced its women’s basketball postseason awards on Monday.
Along with Demmings being the Player of the Year, senior guard Ivory James joins Demmings on the First Team while junior guard Tay’ler Mingo was selected to the All-Defensive Team.
Demmings led the league in scoring at 22.4 points per game and was third in three-pointers made per game (2.5) and steals per game (2.1).
Demmings scored in double figures in 29 of 31 games this season, including a season-high 36 points at Oakland on Feb. 18, which tied for the second-highest point total by any Horizon League player this season. She tallied 30 or more points in a game seven times in 2013-14, the most in the league, with four of those coming in league play, and scored 20 more points 21 times, again leading the league.
The league’s Newcomer of the Year in 2011-12, Demmings is the first Raider ever to be named as the league’s Player of the Year. She was a First Team All-Horizon League honoree as a freshman and was selected to the Second Team as a sophomore. Demmings currently ranks second on the Raider all-time scoring list with 1888 points and is sixth with 360 assists.
James had a season-high 35 points at Murray State on Nov. 21 as she scored in double figures in all but two games. She scored 32 at Cleveland State on Feb. 8 and had 20 or more points in a game 11 times.
Named to the All-Newcomer Team last season, the addition of James gives WSU two First Team All-League selections for the first time ever.
Mingo put together a solid first season for the Raiders after transferring from Florida State. She ranked second in steals per game at 2.4 and was 14th with a 14.0 scoring average. Mingo also ranked third in free throw percentage (.817) and fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.7) as she played a key role in Wright State being ranked first in Division I in turnover margin (9.63) and 11th in fewest turnovers per game at 12.3.
Mingo had a season-high seven steals Saturday against Valparaiso and had five in games against Marian, Valparaiso, UIC and Milwaukee. She dished out 10 assists against Oakland on Jan. 8, had nine against UIC and seven on five other occasions.
Mingo is the first Raider named to the All-Defensive team since Kanisha Ward during the 2009-10 campaign.
Wright State (23-8, 12-4 Horizon) opens Horizon League Tournament play starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12, as the no. 2 seed Raiders host no. 7 seed Milwaukee in quarterfinal action. The semifinals will be on Friday, March 14, at the site of the highest remaining seed, with the final set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 16, at the semifinal site. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Elkins Named Horizon League Player of the Week
FAIRBORN — Wright State senior guard KC Elkins has been named as the Horizon League Player of the Week for the week ending March 9.
Elkins had a Senior Day to remember Saturday against Valparaiso as she set a school record and tied a Horizon League mark for three-pointers in a game with 10. She was 10 of 14 from behind the arc, scoring a career-high 37 points, which is the most by any league player in a game this season. Elkins also added four assists and four steals.
Elkins is second on the Raider all-time list in games played with 121, just one behind Molly Fox (2008-12). She is also sixth in threes made (128) and ninth in threes attempted (396).
Raiders roll over Dayton
FAIRBORN — Keyed by a nine-run fifth, the Wright State baseball team scored the final 13 runs of the game in rolling to a 13-1 decision over Dayton Sunday afternoon at Nischwitz Stadium.
The Flyers picked up a run on a balk in the second, only to see the Raiders answer with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. With two outs and no one on base, Sean Murphy singled through the left side and scored as Michael Timm doubled to left center.
Jason DeFevers made it 2-1 an inning later with his first collegiate home run, a solo blast to left center, and the lead grew to 4-1 in the fourth on a two-run double off the bat of Kieston Greene.
WSU then exploded for nine runs in the fifth, the big blow being a three-run home run by Timm, his first of the season.
Senior righthander Taylor Braun (1-1) picked up the win, striking out seven in six innings of work. Darion Nunn, Jack Van Horn and Andrew Elliott wrapped it up as each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
Timm had two hits and four RBI for the Raiders while Greene had three hits and two RBI. Brad Macciocchi, Andrew McCafferty and Murphy each drove in two.
Wright State (6-9) opens Horizon League play next weekend with a three-game home series against UIC, starting with a single game at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 14.