Short-handed Wright State pulls out win at Robert Morris

Wright State's Grant Basile puts up a shot against Tennessee Tech's Amadou Sylla earlier this season at the Nutter Center. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

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Wright State's Grant Basile puts up a shot against Tennessee Tech's Amadou Sylla earlier this season at the Nutter Center. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

Wright State grabbed a much-needed road victory and extended its winning streak to seven games by beating Robert Morris, 75-73, on Thursday — not a bad night’s work considering they were limited to five scholarship players.

The school announced 20 minutes before the game that four players were placed in COVID-19 protocols, including starters Trey Calvin and A.J. Braun.

Also missing either because of the virus or injuries were subs Riley Voss, Andrew Welage, James Manns and Alex Huibregtse.

Taking the floor for the opening tap at the UPMC Events Center were stalwarts Tanner Holden, Grant Basile and Tim Finke, freshman point guard Keaton Norris and junior post C.J. Wilbourn.

The only subs to play were walk-ons Andy Neff and T.J. Nagy, the coach’s son.

But despite having a depleted roster, the Raiders overcame a four-point deficit with just under three minutes left to register one of their most satisfying wins of the season.

“I’m so proud of the guys,” coach Scott Nagy said on his post-game radio show. “We played some zone — we never do that. We had to do some different things.”

Basile (23 points, eight rebounds, three blocks), Finke (19 points) and Norris (nine points, four assists) played all 40 minutes.

Holden picked up three fouls in the first half but played 37 minutes and had another solid outing with 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

“For Grant to play 40 minutes is tremendous. That’s hard for him to do. We played at a pretty good pace. And I’m really proud of Keaton. He was tremendous,” Nagy said.

The Raiders (9-7, 6-1) built a 65-58 lead with 8:08 to go, but the Colonials (2-14, 0-7) went on a 13-2 rampage over the next four minutes for 71-67 edge with 4:01 left.

Basile, though, hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one at 2:28. And Holden hit two free throws with 51 seconds left to put the Raiders in front, 72-71 — their first lead in more than five minutes.

After a Robert Morris miss, Norris hit one of two foul shots for a 73-71 edge with 24 seconds to go.

The Colonials then committed a turnover. And Basile hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to seal the win.

The Raiders went 27 of 53 from the field (50.9%) and made 15 of 17 free throws.

The Colonials made 30 of 59 shots (50.8%) and were 7 of 10 on free throws.

“Playing with seven guys is not easy to do — and it’s going to be an even tougher task Saturday night (at Youngstown State),” Nagy said. “We’ll get on the road again, not do much tomorrow and get ready for Saturday. But that was a big win tonight.”

SATURDAY’S GAME

Wright State at Youngstown State, 7 p.m., ESPN+, 980

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