Second-half rally propels Wright State to victory over Detroit Mercy

Credit: David A. Moodie

Credit: David A. Moodie

FAIRBORN — Wright State coach Scott Nagy could feel the game slipping away. He knew his players’ confidence hasn’t exactly been soaring lately, and they looked ready to drift meekly toward another defeat.

“We were on the verge of caving, which we’ve done in the past,” he said. “We had a timeout and calmly talked about it. And they responded.”

Trailing Detroit Mercy by 15 with 9:42 to go after a drive by star Antoine Davis, the Raiders went on a rampage, scoring 34 points the rest of the way for a 90-85 victory Friday.

Nagy joked about the onslaught: “I was the offensive coach tonight. (Assistant) Clint Sargent was the defensive coach.”

Turning serious, he said: “If there’s a turning point to our season, hopefully this was it.”

Trey Calvin scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half, and redshirt freshman Brandon Noel had his fourth double-double with 18 points and a whopping 17 rebounds.

The Raiders improved to 9-7 overall and 2-3 in the league, picking up a game on first-place Northern Kentucky, which fell to 4-1 after a 64-63 home loss to Oakland.

Though they may not have needed the help, the game turned on a technical at an inopportune time on Detroit Mercy coach Mike Davis.

He objected too strenuously on a foul called against Arashma Parks as Noel was going up for a shot with 5:41 to go.

Though it was hard to see contact in real time, Noel said: “He got me on the arm, but I was going to go down to the other end if (the ref) didn’t call it.

“You’ve just got to kind of roll with it. But they gave me the call, and I was happy about that. It was a big swing in momentum.”

Calvin made two foul shots on the tech, and Noel made both of his free throws for a four-point swing, cutting the deficit to 73-71.

Calvin then tallied two straight buckets to take the lead, bringing the crowd of 4,488 on Military Appreciation Night to their feet.

The Titans had one more surge, taking a one-point lead on a four-point play by Davis, who was fouled while making a 3 with 3:46 to go. He finished with 27 points on 9-of-25 shooting for his NCAA-record 127th straight double-figure game.

But the Raiders scored on almost every trip down the floor after that.

The Titans were the team that caved.

“We were just bringing energy,” Calvin said. “I felt in the first half, we had no energy as a team — myself mostly. I had to bring more energy in the second half, and I did that.”

He was just 2 of 6 from the field in the first half but finished 9 of 20. He also was 9 of 10 on free throws while posting his fourth straight game with at least 20 points.

He found a spark after huddling with assistant Travis Trice before the second-half tipoff.

“He was just telling me what the defense was giving me, what spots to attack,” Calvin said. “He was telling me to be more aggressive. I feel like I was too passive in the first half.”

He showed up in time to save the Raiders from what would have been their third Horizon League home defeat in three tries.

“We’ve got a saying, ‘Brotherhood over basketball.’ We were just trying to stay together as a team throughout the game and keep fighting back,” he said.


Oakland at Wright State, 1 p.m., ESPN+, 980

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