Wright State’s Symone Simmons reaches for a rebound among four Detroit Mercy players Sunday at the Nutter Center. Simmons, a senior guard, became the Raiders career leader in rebounds. Joseph Craven/CONTRIBUTED

Simmons moves to top of WSU career rebounding list in win over Detroit

The occasion?

Wright State senior guard Symone Simmons moved to the top of the career rebounding list with 898. Simmons passed the mark of 897 by Lori Collins, set from 1991-95.

“It makes the statement that guards can rebound too,” Simmons said. “I’m small, but I can rebound with them. It’s an accomplishment.”

Rebounding comes as much from instinct and heart as anywhere else, WSU coach Katrina Merriweather said.

“She’s got some athleticism,” she said. “She can jump quick, and has long arms, but a lot of 5-foot-8 players are built like that.

“It is 100-percent heart. She can get the long ones, the tough ones, she’s very instinctive and pays attention to where the ball hits the rim and then has the strength to come down with them against bigger players.”

The new record was just part of a big day for Simmons as the Raiders rolled Detroit 78-59 to take over first place by themselves in the Horizon League at 8-1 while moving to 16-5 overall.

The senior from Columbus finished with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds to help the Raiders keep the Titans from ever getting within striking distance after a second quarter run.

Wright State is alone at the top of the standings after IUPUI knocked off Green Bay 67-63 Saturday.

“It’s a good feeling, but we are taking things one game at a time,” Merriweather said. “We know that no one is going to do us any favors.

“I’m proud of what they have accomplished through the first round. It’s nice and great, but what we are fighting for is seeding.”

The fight with Detroit didn’t last long.

Wright State held Detroit to 30 percent shooting in the first quarter as the Raiders jumped to a quick 8-2 lead and held a 21-14 advantage behind the inside and outside play of Simmons.

Mackenzie Taylor drained a three early in the second quarter, pushing the lead to 34-14 as Wright State held Detroit without a field goal for over seven minutes.

The Titans were able to claw back to 34-24, but a stickback by Michal Miller ended the run as the Raiders took a 40-27 lead at the break.

Wright State started out slow from the floor in the second half, hitting just two of its first nine shots before a three by Taylor jump-started the offense and pushed the lead to 47-38 after Detroit had hit over 60 percent of their early attempts to trim the deficit to 44-38.

Taylor led the Raiders with 16 points while Emily Vogelpohl added 12 and Miller 10 as 10 different Raiders scored.

“I play 11 people so we are always experimenting with what group works best together,” Merriweather said. “I want to grow our bench, not just for what I hope is a long season, but for the future.”

Wright State returns to action Thursday when it hosts UIC (3-17, 1-8) at 7 p.m. at the Nutter Center.

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