Wright State has had a different leading scorer in five of its last six games, a trend that has lasted all season long. It was Kendall Griffin’s turn on Wednesday in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.
The sophomore guard from Avon, Ind., scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, helping lead the Raiders to a 72-52 victory over Tulsa at the Nutter Center. He hit 3-of-4 3-pointers in the first half.
“I got open a couple times early behind the line and made a couple shots,” Griffin said. “That gave me confidence. I kept shooting. I made some more. Second half, I just let the game come to me, and I ended up getting a couple of sloppy buckets down low. I’ll take them.”
Manning on the Raiders: First-year Tulsa coach Danny Manning, who led Kansas to the national championship 25 years ago, lost his first postseason game as head coach. Tulsa won the first CBI in 2008.
Tulsa shot 35 percent and had its worst scoring night since Jan. 16.
“That has a lot to do with Wright State because they played a great game,” Manning said. “They dictate the tempo and flow of the game. When you’re playing on the road you have try to take the team that you’re playing out of their comfort zone, and we never could do that.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well, but you’ve got to give Wright State a lot of credit. We know they’re a stingy defensive team. Their guards beat our guards for layups, and that’s what really hurt us. We didn’t do a good job staying in front of them.”
Looking ahead: Wright State will host Richmond in the second round at 7 p.m. Monday. Tickets cost $13 or $10 for season-ticket holders.
Richmond beat Bryant 76-71 on Wednesday in Smithfield, R.I., behind a career-high 25 points by junior guard Cedrick Lindsay.
The Spiders (19-14) reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament three years ago. This is their third appearance in the CBI. They lost in the semifinals last season.
This will be Richmond’s second trip to Ohio this month. It lost 78-74 at Dayton on March 2.
The Spiders made national news in the Atlantic 10 tournament March 14 when they lost 68-63 to Charlotte. Richmond led 63-60 with 4.7 seconds left, but committed three technical fouls in the final seconds.
Wright State played Richmond two seasons ago in the Chicago Invitational Challenge, losing 71-61. It’s the only meeting between the two schools.
Other CBI games: Four of the CBI’s first-round games have been decided by one point.
On Wednesday, Purdue beat Western Illinois 81-67, Western Michigan beat North Dakota State 72-71 and Houston beat Texas 73-72.
In Tuesday’s games, George Mason beat Charleston 78-77, Wyoming beat Lehigh 67-66 on a last-second 3-pointer and Santa Clara beat Vermont 77-67.
The other quarterfinal games on Tuesday include: Santa Clara at Purdue, Houston at George Mason and Wyoming and Western Michigan at Wyoming.
The bracket is reseeded after the quarterfinals, so if Wright State wins Monday, it will play an opponent to be determined in the semifinals Wednesday. The best-of-three championship series is April 1-3.
Around the league: Illinois-Chicago advanced to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament with an 80-69 victory over Chicago State on Wednesday. Green Bay lost 75-69 at Bradley in the first round of the CIT.
On Tuesday, Youngstown State beat Oakland 99-87 in the CIT.
Detroit played at Arizona State in a late game Wednesday in the first round of the NIT.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.