DAYTON – The Wright State men’s basketball team scored 10 of the first 14 points in the second half to cut into the deficit and had a frantic comeback push in the closing minutes, but the Raiders couldn’t dig all the way back as they fell 88-80 to Purdue Fort Wayne inside the Nutter Center on Thursday night.
Wright State continues its four-game homestand on Saturday night as the Raiders host Cleveland State in a 7 p.m. tipoff at the Nutter Center. Cleveland State comes to town following a road loss at NKU Thursday.
A two possession or less game for the majority of the first half Thursday, Wright State (11-9, 4-5 Horizon) saw Purdue Fort Wayne (13-7, 5-4 Horizon) roll off a 14-point run late in the opening 20 minutes to lead 51-35 at the break before the visiting Mastodons withheld a furious Raider rally in the closing minutes to escape with the road win.
Down 19 with eight minutes to play. Wright State rallied off a 20-5 run behind 11 points from Trey Calvin and a 9-of-10 mark at the free throw line to pull to within four with 51 seconds remaining. Electing to play defense, the Raiders seemingly had Purdue Fort Wayne locked down as the shot clock ticked down, only to see Jarred Godfrey hit a touch turn around jump shot in the closing seconds of the shot clock to push the visitors back to a two-possession game with 24 seconds left. A Raider three-point try was errant the next trip down court before Godfrey hit two final free throws to seal it for the Mastodons.
A two-point game nearly 10 minutes into the opening half, Godfrey hit two free throws for Purdue Fort Wayne, who went 10-of-14 at the line in the first 20 minutes, to open up the 14-point run. The Raiders responded with their own run to begin the second half and pull within 10 at 55-45, but the visitors kept the margin at double digits throughout the next 10 minutes to set up the frantic final push by the Raiders down the stretch.
Calvin’s 26 points led all scorers as he added five assists, while Alex Huibregtse and Andrew Welage each had 10 points off the bench. Brandon Noel finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season, and Horizon League-leading fifth in League play, as he pulled down 10 of his rebounds on the defensive glass. AJ Braun tallied eight points, six of which came in the Raiders’ quick run to start the second half.
Wright State finished the night shooting 47 percent (30-64) while connecting on seven three-pointers (7-23, 30 percent). Purdue Fort Wayne ended up shooting 30-of-63 (48 percent) but had 11 three-pointers, including seven in the first half (11-28, 29 percent). The free throw line was a difference-maker, with the visitors shooting 17-of-24 (71 percent) with double-digit attempts in both halves, while the Raiders were 13-of-18 (72 percent) but saw all but two attempts come in the second 20 minutes.
Purdue Fort Wayne forced the Raiders into 17 turnovers that were converted into 23 points while the Mastodons added 13 steals in the road win. Wright State won the rebound battle, 39-36, while the Raiders also had a 12-6 edge in second chance points.
The visiting Mastodons had a balanced scoring night, with five of the eight players who scored finishing in double digits, led by Quinton Morton-Robertson’s 19 points and 17 from Godfrey.
COURTESY WRIGHT STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS