Raiders run out of gas in road defeat to Penguins

Wright State's Grant Basile, shown during a loss last week at Purdue, scored 19 points in Tuesday's loss to James Madison in the Naples Invitational. Joe Craven/Wright State Athletics

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Wright State's Grant Basile, shown during a loss last week at Purdue, scored 19 points in Tuesday's loss to James Madison in the Naples Invitational. Joe Craven/Wright State Athletics

Wright State coach Scott Nagy didn’t want anyone using his team’s depleted roster as an alibi, but he and his exhausted players will be glad to have some reinforcements next week.

Though winning one of two road games in a three-day span with so few players was an impressive feat, fatigue and defensive lapses were costly in a 90-87 loss at Youngstown State on Saturday.

Missing starters Trey Calvin and A.J. Braun and left with only walk-ons for subs (mostly because of Covid-19 issues in the program), the Raiders wobbled down the stretch and had their seven-game winning streak snapped.

They built an eight-point lead after a Tim Finke 3 with 5:50 to go, but the Penguins scored 21 points in the final 5:22 on their way to 50 in the second half.

“Our kids played their butts off — what am I going to say? But there will be NO excuses,” Nagy said on his post-game radio show. “We’ll be very disappointed we didn’t win this game. It’s a game we flat-out should have won.

“We had enough offense. But our defense isn’t good enough right now to win a championship. It just isn’t.”

Grant Basile had 27 points — his most since scoring 37 on Nov. 12 against Marshall — and 11 rebounds, while Tanner Holden finished with 26 points and 10 boards and Finke 18 and eight. All three played 40 minutes.

Wright State, which is 9-8 overall, fell to third place in the Horizon League at 6-2.

Oakland is in first at 7-0 after road wins at Cleveland State on Thursday and Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday. CSU is second at 7-1.

The Raiders, who snagged 19 offensive rebounds and went 9 of 22 on 3′s, had their chances even after giving up their late lead.

Basile drove to a layup and was fouled, completing a three-point play to tie the game at 84-all with 53 seconds left.

YSU’s Dwayne Cohill, a former Dayton Flyer, made two foul shots, but C.J. Wilbourn tied it up again with an inside bucket with 33 seconds to go.

Daniel Ogoro then hit a corner 3 with five seconds left for an 89-86 lead.

The Penguins fouled with 2.1 seconds to go to prevent an attempt at a tying 3. Keaton Norris made the first free throw and tried to bounce the second off the rim for a potential offensive rebound, but he missed everything to give the ball to YSU.

After a long inbound pass, Ogoro was fouled and made one of two free throws.

The Penguins, who are 10-8 overall and 4-4 in the league after ending their three-game losing streak, shot 48% from the field and were led by Cohill’s 25 points.

“The kids are heartbroken in (the locker room). It’s unfortunate. But if our defense doesn’t get any better, we’re going to feel this way a lot,” Nagy said.

“Our guys need to get that through their heads and make it their No. 1 priority. Again, we’re not throwing around any excuses. I’m not interested in that.”

THURSDAY’S GAME

Wright State at IUPUI, 7 p.m., ESPN+, TBD

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