FAIRBORN — The Wright State women’s basketball team has made a habit of testing the strength of coach Mike Bradbury’s heart.
Heading into their showdown with Detroit, which was fresh off a win at Green Bay, the Raiders had won eight games decided by four points or fewer.
“We let them get close enough to scare me,” Bradbury said after the Raiders improved to 17-9 overall and tied Detroit for second in the Horizon League at 10-4 with a 91-82 win. “We get a decisive lead and think we can cruise in. But they took a punch and were able to sustain it.”
The Raiders, who led by as many as 14 in the second half, watched the Titans (14-12, 10-4) trim the deficit to 76-74 with 3:07 left before Molly Fox and Kim Demmings closed the door.
“We hit little bad spurts,” Demmings said after finishing with 34 points. “As a team, we clean it up. We hold ourselves accountable and do what we need to do to fix things.”
After the Raiders opened a 50-36 lead with 16:56 left in the game on a jumper by Fox, Detroit started making some mini-runs. But Demmings was there to put a halt to each one. The Titans closed to 58-54, but Demmings drained a 3-pointer and followed with a slicing one-hander in the lane to push the lead back to 63-54. And it was Demmings who ran off six of Wright State’s eight points in a game-clinching run that pushed the lead from 76-74 to 84-74 with two minutes left.
“When you beat a team like Detroit, you have to have your two best be superior,” Bradbury said. “And, Kim and Molly were superior tonight.”
Fox, who had 10 points in the Raiders’ loss at Detroit on Jan. 21, had 19 at the break and finished with 31. Shaunda Sandifer added 10 for the Raiders.
“This was a huge win for us,” Fox said. “We want to play for us, whether it is Kim hitting a shot or Shaunda getting a key rebound. ... This is just a great group of girls to be surrounded by.”