DAYTON – The Wright State men’s basketball team saw Grant Basile and Tanner Holden combine for 56 points on Thursday night as the Raiders downed visiting Youngstown State 84-71 in the penultimate game of the Horizon League regular season inside the Nutter Center.
The Raiders close out the regular season Saturday with a 7 p.m. tipoff on Senior Night against Robert Morris as teams jockey for postseason seeding heading into the Horizon League tournament.
Wright State (17-13, 14-7 Horizon) hit seven of its first eight shots to begin the night with an early 15-6 advantage ahead of a back-and-forth first half. The Raiders took a 44-33 lead into the break as Basile scored six of Wright State’s final eight points in the opening 20 minutes. Youngstown State (18-12, 12-8 Horizon) began the second half on a quick 5-0 run before the Raiders answered by scoring 10 of 11 points over the next two and a half minutes to firmly grab control at 54-39.
Youngstown State cut the margin to single digits at 77-68 with 5:14 remaining, but the Raiders responded again, this time by way of a thunderous Basile put back dunk with 4:09 to play and by turning up the defense and holding the Penguins to a 1-of-6 shooting mark and a pair of turnovers over the final five minutes of action.
Basile evenly spread his scoring out throughout the night, tallying 15 first half points before 14 in the second half on the way to his 13th 20-plus point performance this season. He connected on 12-of-16 shots from the floor and added four points from the free throw stripe along with five rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.
Holden tallied the night’s lone double-double, his third of the year, with his 27-point, 10 rebound effort. He came on strong in the second half, finishing with 17 of his 27 in the final 20 minutes on an 11-of-19 shooting line with a 5-of-9 mark at the line. Holden’s 27 points gave him 20-plus points for a Horizon League leading 18th time. Holden added four steals, three assists and a block in his 37 minutes of action.
Trey Calvin passed out a game-high six assists – the sixth time this season he’s dished out five or more helpers – while chipping in eight points. Freshmen AJ Braun and Keaton Norris each added six first half points, while CJ Wilbourn had four points off the bench.
Wright State won the rebound battle, 35-32, narrowly winning the battle on both the offensive (10-9) and defensive (25-23) glass. The Raiders passed out 20 assists on 34 made baskets while forcing Youngstown State into 15 turnovers and converting those into 16 points. The Raiders shot 54 percent (34-of-63) from the floor with four made three-pointers (4-of-18) while holding Youngstown State to 44 percent (25-of-57) overall, but just 38 percent in the first half. The visitors connected on 33 percent of their three-point attempts (7-of-21), while the Penguins were 14-of-21 (67 percent) from the free throw stripe. Wright State was 12-of-19 (63 percent) from the line.
Wright State looks to close the regular season with a final win on Saturday night, welcoming Robert Morris to the Nutter Center. The Raiders went on the road for a shorthanded victory over RMU back in mid-January. Prior to tipoff, Wright State will celebrate the careers of three seniors – James Manns, TJ Nagy and Riley Voss.
COURTESY WSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS