Wright State basketball: Breakdowns cost Raiders in defeat to Mastodons

FAIRBORN — Wright State had another case of ball-security issues — better known as turnovers — but it may have been doomed no matter what it did on offense considering Purdue Fort Wayne’s 3-point barrage.

The preseason Horizon League co-favorites made 11 of their first 23 in building a 19-point lead with eight minutes to go and cruised to an 88-80 victory Thursday.

The Raiders, who fell to 11-9 overall and 4-5 in the league, committed 11 turnovers in the first half while falling behind, 51-35, giving up their most points in an opening half since Purdue also scored 51 early last season.

They coughed it up 17 times, giving them 53 in their last three games. The normally reliable Trey Calvin, who tallied a game-high 26 points, committed nine of them.

“Seventeen turnovers — that’s a bad deal,” coach Scott Nagy said. “The ones in the first half really hurt us.”

The Mastodons (13-7, 5-4) planned to hoist plenty of 3′s — even though they’re not particularly good at it. They went into the game ninth nationally in attempts at 28.4 per game and a mere 131st in percentage at 34.8.

They missed their last five to finish 11 of 28, but the damage was done.

“We’re not even close to being good enough defensively to make a run at this (league title), and that’s the thing that has to change for us,” Nagy said. “Obviously, that falls on me, but we really need our guys to embrace that to get out of this funk.”

The Raiders lost their seasonopener, then won their next three games. But they haven’t won more than two straight since then.

Nagy thinks his players too often are losing the battle of wills.

“Teams are a little tired of us, and they’re after us. And we’re not quite prepared for it,” he said, meaning their recent success.

First-year PFW coach Jon Coffman “had his kids ready to play tonight, and they were hungry, and we weren’t. And that falls on me.”

Brandon Noel had his fifth double-double in the last six games with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Alex Huibregtse and Andrew Welage had 10 points each off the bench.

The Raiders chipped away at the beefy deficit and cut it to four with 51.8 seconds left. But Jarred Godfrey an all-league guard, hit a fadeaway jumper with 23.7 seconds left to seal it.

“Our defense, we really struggled all night, honestly, from the tip,” Welage said. “They got whatever they wanted whenever they wanted it. We’ve got to be better at that end.”

Asked what the message was at halftime, Welage said: “Take care of the ball. It was loose plays, and our transition defense was awful. We had too many nonchalant-type plays.”

The Mastodons had a 23-8 edge in points off turnovers in sending the Raiders to their fourth home league loss this season — their most since 2014-15.

They’ll play three more in an eight-day span at the Nutter Center before hitting the road again.

“That may not be good for us,” Nagy said of the homestand. “We’ve been better on the road.

“Since I’ve been here, we’ve been good at this place. This year, we haven’t been. I don’t have the answer, but we’re getting ready to play a team (Cleveland State) that whipped these guys the other night. It’ll be interesting to see how we respond.”


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

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