Calvin comes through in the clutch for Raiders despite illness

Wright State’s Trey Calvin works around Bryant’s Charles Pride Wednesday, March 16, 2022 during the First Four tournament at UD Arena. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Wright State’s Trey Calvin works around Bryant’s Charles Pride Wednesday, March 16, 2022 during the First Four tournament at UD Arena. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Trey Calvin had no problem carving up Bryant’s defense with cross-over dribbles and pull-up jumpers.

The hard part for the Wright State point guard came before and after the game.

The 6-foot junior had a stomach virus that made him so nauseous that he was vomiting throughout the night. He even needed an IV when the game was over, missing out on some of the locker room jubilation after the Raiders’ 93-82 NCAA tournament win Wednesday.

ExplorePHOTOS: Wright State tops Bryant for first NCAA tourney win

But when asked if he considered not suiting up, he arched his eyebrows and said incredulously: “My first March Madness game? I worked my whole life for this.”

Calvin made the most of his maiden trip to the tourney, scoring 21 points with five rebounds, four assists, two steals and just one turnover in 33 minutes.

Tanner Holden went on a rampage, scoring 37 points on just 15 field-goal attempts. But he couldn’t have done it alone, and the Raiders showed how potent they are when even just two of their starters are in peak form.

They tallied their second-most points this season and have been punishing teams at the foul line, going 26 of 32 against Bryant. Calvin was 5 of 6 and is shooting a team-best 85.9%.

“As a point guard, you’ve got to stay aggressive, and that was my mindset the whole game. When the shot clock went down, I just wanted to make plays for my teammates and myself,” he said.

Bryant’s physical inside play — on a night when most of the contact didn’t draw a whistle — seemed to fluster star post Grant Basile.

But while Calvin has a slight build, he never allowed defenders to get close enough to muscle him.

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Wright State's Trey Calvin looks for an opening around Bryant's Charles Pride during the First Four game Wednesday, March 16, 2022. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Wright State's Trey Calvin looks for an opening around Bryant's Charles Pride during the First Four game Wednesday, March 16, 2022. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

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Wright State's Trey Calvin looks for an opening around Bryant's Charles Pride during the First Four game Wednesday, March 16, 2022. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

“Just looking at Trey’s stats — 21 points,” coach Scott Nagy marveled. “Trey has been sick all day. After the game, he was in there throwing up. When he got up this morning, he was the same way. He just was low energy.

“But he played tremendous. He played unbelievable defense on (Charles) Pride, who was getting 18 a game. He got eight. … Trey is our guy. I’m proud of him.”

So are his teammates.

“He’s definitely an all-league player. He wasn’t on any all-league teams, but he should have been,” Holden said.

“He does all the little things we need. Coach asks a lot of him offensively and defensively, and he does a great job of doing those things.”

The Raiders wouldn’t have been in the NCAA tourney without Calvin’s heroics.

They were down one to Northern Kentucky in the Horizon League finals before his 15-foot jumper with 10 seconds left gave them the lead for good.

His tie-breaking 3 with 20 seconds to go sent them to a 72-69 regular-season home win over Green Bay.

And he had a steal and assist in the final seconds at Oakland that sealed a 78-74 victory.

“Trey has been fantastic. He does such a great job of creating for others,” Basile said before cracking, “He’d have even MORE assists if we could make more shots for him.”

Calvin has improved in practically every facet in his second year as a starter.

He’s averaging 14.5 points and shooting 45.1% from the field after scoring 9.7 per game on 34.9% shooting last season.

“I think mostly he’s grown as a leader and grown as a man, and that’s helped him become a better player,” Nagy said.

“When I recruited him, I knew he was tremendously talented. He struggled in terms of what he wanted for himself the first two years. But offensively, he’s been so efficient this year. And he’s obviously at a different level right now.”

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