Raiders rattle Abshaw, rip CSU 83-61 to advance


Wright State’s Mackenzie Taylor never let Cleveland State leading scorer Ashanti Abshaw get going, while Chelsea Welch was responsible for inciting Cleveland State’s leading scorer to go too far.

Abshaw drew a technical foul for charging at Welch after a collision, and Wright State converted the call into two free throws and a 3-pointer as part of a 10-0 run that put the Raiders comfortably ahead.

And that’s where third-seeded WSU stayed as it rode Welch’s game-high 24 points and Taylor’s career-high 22 to eliminate No. 6 CSU with an 83-61 victory Sunday afternoon in the Horizon League tournament quarterfinals at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit.

“It’s a physical game and things happen,” Welch said of the incident that triggered the Abshaw technical foul midway through the second quarter.

Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

WSU (22-9) had just taken a 10-point lead when Welch poked the ball free from CSU’s Khayla Livingston and raced down the court to try to retrieve a long pass from teammate Emily Vogelpohl.

Abshaw sprinted for the ball, too, and the two first team all-league players collided near the baseline, with the impact sending Abshaw leaping over the CSU cheerleaders and into the second row of seats.

“(Vogelpohl) threw the ball up, and I tried to run it down,” Welch said. “Abshaw took an angle to try to cut me off, and when I tried to spin for the ball, she just kept running and it was kind of a collision. But she was going so fast I guess she tried to hop over chairs and there were a few rows of chairs.”

›› RELATED: Wright State men reach semis with win against Green Bay

Abshaw felt it was a shove from Welch that sent her flying, but the officials reviewed the play, and Abshaw’s reaction to it, and the only call they made was the technical.

“It looked to me like two kids were running really hard for the ball,” CSU coach Kate Peterson Abiad said. “And when Ashanti’s going full speed, I don’t know how you stop. She’s got sprinters speed.

“Whether there was a push or not, the officials review it and said there wasn’t,” she added. “Ashanti was pretty fired up after the play. She needs to be able to control her temper and come out of that and be in a better place.”

Welch hit the two free throws awarded on the technical, then Breaunna Lloyd took the ensuing inbounds pass and nailed a corner 3-pointer before Vogelpohl, who started the 10-0 run with a 3-pointer just before the technical, got a steal and coast-to-coast layup to give WSU a 17-point lead.

›› MORE: Defensive-minded Raiders two wins from NCAA tournament

Lloyd’s 3-pointer was part of a torrid first half in which the Raiders hit 7 of 12 shots from beyond the arc. Taylor made three of the 3-pointers on the way to tying her career high with six.

Lexi Smith added 12 points for Wright State, while Welch, the HL Player of the Year, tied her career high with 11 rebounds to notch her second double-double of the season. Vogelpohl also snared 11 rebounds to go along with seven points and a game-high four assists as the Raiders avenged a pair of regular-season losses to the Vikings.

Like Jay Morrison on Facebook

“Obviously I’m very proud of the amount of effort,” WSU coach Katrina Merriweather said. “We talk about showing up a lot. I think that’s one thing we did from the beginning. We knew how big of a game this was and how good of a team Cleveland State is.

“The gameplan was to try to limit Abshaw and Livingston’s good looks,” she added. “So I was really proud of us defensively.”

Sparked by Taylor’s defense on Abshaw, WSU held the pair of first team All-HL players to a combined 20 points on 7 of 31 shooting.

The win sends WSU into Monday’s semifinals, where the Raiders will face No. 2 IUPUI at 3:30 p.m. The two teams split their regular season meetings, with each one winning by three on the other team’s home floor.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

High School Football: Week 5 boxscores, scores
High School Football: Week 5 boxscores, scores

Allen East 50, Delphos Jefferson 6 Alter 45, Fenwick 20 Anderson 47, Withrow 12 Badin 42, Roger Bacon 35, OT Bellbrook 21, Franklin 17 Bellefontaine 14, Ben Logan 6 Brookville 42, Carlisle 2 Butler 13, Xenia 7, OT Celina 42, Ottawa-Glandorf 24 Chaminade Julienne 61, Carroll 30 Cin. Country Day 28, New Miami 20 Clinton-Massie 34, Bishop Hartley 31 Col...
Glass makes most of second chance to lift Shawnee past Northwestern
Glass makes most of second chance to lift Shawnee past Northwestern

An athlete rarely gets a second chance to be a hero, especially on the football field. But that’s exactly where Shawnee High School junior Robie Glass found himself on Friday night against Northwestern. With Shawnee trailing 35-34 with 39 seconds remaining, Braves sophomore Drew Mitch — playing quarterback for the first time the entire...
Springfield beats Lebanon to stay undefeated
Springfield beats Lebanon to stay undefeated

The Springfield Wildcats reached the midway point of the regular season with a second straight dominant performance, blanking Lebanon 28-0 on Friday at Evans Stadium. How does it feel to be 5-0, a feat unparalleled in the 11-year history of the new high school? That was the question quarterback Raheim Moss faced after the game. "It's a blessing...
Top-ranked Northmont has no answer for Wayne QB McKee
Top-ranked Northmont has no answer for Wayne QB McKee

Wayne quarterback Rashad McKee riddled Northmont’s vaunted defense, throwing five touchdown passes and running for two more in a 49-20 Warriors defeat of the visiting Thunderbolts on Friday night. The midseason Week 5 win snapped Wayne’s (3-2) two-game losing streak and jump-started the Warriors’ season and Division I, Region 3 playoff...
Wright State Raiders: Five questions facing team entering new season
Wright State Raiders: Five questions facing team entering new season

A constant issue for Wright State basketball coach Scott Nagy early last season was getting his players to believe they were as good as he thought they could be. They may have professed confidence, but the results conveyed something else. Nagy’s persistence finally paid off in a mid-December win at Toledo , which was...
More Stories