“It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon,” he said on his post-game radio show. “The tough part is, the result always makes you feel one way or another about yourself. Even if you played well and didn’t win, you feel crappy. And if you played poorly and won, you feel good. That’s ridiculous.
“For me, in terms of the process with this team, we took a step in the right direction.”
The Dukes (5-1), picked to finish fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association, scored the first 10 points of the second half for a 46-46 tie. And they took a 75-69 lead with 4:42 to go.
But Grant Basile made a layup, and Tim Finke knocked down a 3 to cut it to one.
Finke made a pair of free throws with 2:18 left for a 76-75 Raiders’ lead.
James Madison’s Charles Faldon, though, buried a 3 for a 78-76 edge with 1:23 to go.
Basile couldn’t connect on the front end of the 1-and-1 with 47 seconds left.
The Dukes missed two shots but retrieved the rebound each time. After a timeout with 7.9 seconds left, Alonzo Sule, a 60% free-throw shooter, was fouled with 6.1 seconds left.
He missed the 1-and-1, but in their rush to get downcourt, the Raiders committed a turnover, ending their hopes.
“It’s hard,” Nagy said. “Everyone knows it’s a game we should’ve won. We just should have. Late, we made some mistakes. Even there (at the finish), we should’ve had a layup.
“We had a couple bad fouls and put them on the free-throw line — those are the kinds of things we need to clean up. But you’ve got to get the ‘playing hard’ part first and then you can clean that stuff up. When you’re not playing hard, those things don’t even matter. But we played hard today.”
Nagy went with the same lineup for the second straight day, pairing guards Trey Calvin and Keaton Norris together. And while that duo struggled offensively — a combined 1 of 13 from the field on 0 of 8 on 3′s — the rest of the starters flourished.
Tanner Holden went 10 of 13 from the field and had 25 points. Basile had 19 on 9-of-13 shooting, and Finke chipped in 13.
A.J. Braun, a 6-foot-9 freshman from Fenwick High School, had nine points off the bench to go with eight Monday in his first action of the season.
Alex Huibregtse and Riley Voss were out for the second straight game with injuries.
Wright State vs. Murray State/Long Beach State, Noon, Flohoops.com/103.9