Wright State uses 20-0 run to stun Oakland in Horizon League quarterfinals

Wright State point guard Trey Calvin drives in the lane during Thursday's Horizon League quarterfinal vs. Oakland at the Nutter Center. Joe Craven/Wright State Athletics

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Wright State point guard Trey Calvin drives in the lane during Thursday's Horizon League quarterfinal vs. Oakland at the Nutter Center. Joe Craven/Wright State Athletics

FAIRBORN — Wright State came back from sizeable deficits to beat Oakland twice in the regularseason.

Finding themselves in the same situation Thursday, the players saw no reason to think they couldn’t do it again.

“Obviously, those things helped,” coach Scott Nagy said of his team’s history with the Grizzlies. “Our players knew that. Even in the huddle, there was no panic — and I’ve seen that. I know the difference between players who panic and those who are confident.”

The No. 4 seeded Raiders lifted themselves out of a 14-point second-half hole to win, 75-63, in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League tourney.

Tanner Holden scored a game-high 27 points, and a boisterous crowd of 2,873 helped to propel them to the semifinals Monday in Indianapolis.

The Raiders (19-13) made up an 11-point deficit with just over six minutes to go and pulled out a 78-74 road win a couple of weeks ago.

They rallied from eight points down for a 75-64 home victory Feb 5.

“The players knew we were getting good shots, and in the middle of the second half, everything just flipped. They were missing and we were making,” Nagy said.

Here are five takeaways from the Raiders’ first HL tourney win in three years:

1. Coming through in the clutch: The fifth-seeded Grizzlies (20-12) took a 46-32 lead with 14:44 left and were still in front, 48-35, with 13:20 to go.

But the Raiders went on a 20-0 run to take control and bring the crowd to its feet.

Holden and Trey Calvin (16 points) had seven each in the surge. Basile (18 points and 11 rebounds) had four, while Tim Finke (three points and six assists) had the other two.

The Raiders led, 55-48, with 7:32 to go and were never threatened again.

2. Protecting the ball: The Raiders had a season-low three turnovers. That’s it. Holden had two and Basile one.

Calvin, the junior point guard, played 39 minutes and finished with five assists and no turnovers.

“That’s hard to do against them because they’re big and they play a dang good zone,” Nagy said of the lack of miscues.

“We knew turnovers and rebounding would be important, and we won both of those.”

The two teams were tied at the half with 19 rebounds each. But as Nagy pointed out, that was somewhat of a win for his squad because defensive rebounds are easier to get, and the Raiders were missing shots at a high clip.

But they finished with a 39-33 rebounding edge, including 15 on the offensive end.

The Raiders out-rebounded Oakland 39-32 and 38-21 in the first two meetings.

3. Fun zone: Though they’ve solved zone defenses at times this season, the Raiders have been seeing zone after zone in the HL for a reason: It slows them down.

They started 7 of 27 from the field and 1 of 11 from 3 in the first 16 minutes.

They went 19 of 36 from the floor and 5 of 10 from 3 the rest of the game.

4. Foul trouble again: Jamal Cain, the league co-player of the year, had just one foul in the first half but fouled out with 5:48 left in the game. By then, the Raiders were in firm control with a 57-49 lead.

The 6-7 forward had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the first half and finished with 17 points and 15 boards.

In the first meeting between the teams at the Nutter Center, the Marquette transfer was called for two quick fouls and played just 29 total minutes, finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

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Wright State's Andrew Welage shoots a 3-pointer during Thursday's Horizon League quarterfinal vs. Oakland at the Nutter Center. Joe Craven/Wright State Athletics

Wright State's Andrew Welage shoots a 3-pointer during Thursday's Horizon League quarterfinal vs. Oakland at the Nutter Center. Joe Craven/Wright State Athletics

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Wright State's Andrew Welage shoots a 3-pointer during Thursday's Horizon League quarterfinal vs. Oakland at the Nutter Center. Joe Craven/Wright State Athletics

5. Lift from the bench: Sophomore wing Andrew Welage played 27 productive minutes, tying his career high with 11 points. He had three of the Raiders’ six 3′s.

He drew a groan from fans late in the first half after hitting a corner 3 with six seconds to go. He fouled Jalen Moore on a hurried 3 with five-tenths of a second left, and Moore made two of three foul shots for a 36-28 halftime lead.

But Nagy said: “That was my fault. I told him — only him — that we had a foul to give and to try to get it in (to disrupt them). He waited too long, but I take the blame for that.”

STAR OF THE GAME: Holden was golden. The 6-6 junior tallied 27 points and 10 rebounds, going 7 of 17 from the field and 13 of 17 from the foul line.

His knack for drawing fouls is impressive. That’s why he went into the game with a nation-leading 173 foul shots made.

STAT OF THE GAME: The Raiders pulled off a stunning turnaround from one half to the next.

They were 10 of 32 (31.3%) from the field, 4 of 15 from 3 and 4 of 8 on free throws in the first half. Holden, Calvin and Finke were a combined 5 of 19 from the field and 2 of 10 from the arc.

They went 16 of 31 (51.6%) from the floor, 2 of 6 on 3′s and 13 of 13 on foul shots after halftime.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Raiders will play top-seeded Cleveland State in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Monday (ESPNU) at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. No. 2 Purdue Fort Wayne will play No. 3 Northern Kentucky at 9:30 (ESPN2).

The Vikings (20-9) beat Robert Morris, 83-67, behind Torrey Patton’s 25 points Thursday.

MONDAY’S GAME

Wright State vs. Cleveland State, 7 p.m., Monday, ESPNU, 980

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