Wright State held on for a thrilling 55-52 win over Green Bay in the Horizon League women’s basketball tournament championship game Tuesday afternoon at Little Caesar’s Arena.
The Raiders, who also won the regular season title, earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, their second in program history.
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Green Bay outscored Wright State 20-10 in the third quarter to trim an 11-point deficit to one.
The Phoenix went on an 11-2 run late in the third quarter and briefly took the lead on a Hailey Oskey 3-pointer.
Emily Vogelpohl scored with 27 seconds left in the quarter to put Wright State back on top.
The Raiders led by as many as nine in the fourth quarter, but Green Bay chipped away and tied the game at 49 on a Laken James basket with 1:32 to go.
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Voelpohl again had the answer for the Raiders, hitting a jumper in the lane with 1:06 left to put Wright State back on top.
The Phoenix went to Carly Mohns inside on their next possession, but her shot was stuffed by Tyler Frierson, who also came up with the ball.
Forced to foul, Green Bay sent Vogelpohl to the free-throw line, and she made a pair to put Wright State eup 53-49 with 21.8 seconds left.
The Phoenix got James wide open off a set play inbounding the ball at the other end, and she connected from beyond the arc to make it a one-point game with 18.1 seconds left.
After Michal Miller made one of two free throws for Wright State, Mohns again got open off an inbound play, but this time she missed.
Vogelpohl came out with the rebound and was fouled. She made one of two from the charity stripe, then Green Bay was unable to score.
**FIRST HALF RECAP**
Wright State started slow before surging to a double-digit lead over Green Bay in the championship game of the Horizon League women’s basketball tournament.
Symone Simmons hit a 3-pointer at 8:21 of the second quarter to put the Raiders on top 12-11.
That was part of a 15-0 run that covered nearly eight minutes and left regular season champion Wright State on top 20-11.
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The Phoenix were scoreless for nearly eight minutes until Lyndsey Robson made a 3 from the corner with 3:28 left in the first half.
Wright State remained in control, however, scoring seven of the last nine points in the half to take a 27-16 lead into the locker room at Little Caesar’s Arena.
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Wright State’s Michal Miller led all scorers with eight points in the first half while Tyler Frierson scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Raiders.
Simmons added eight boards and a pair of steals as Wright State held the Phoenix to 17.9 percent shooting (5 for 28) in the first half.
The Raiders made only 8 of 29 shots (27.6 percent) but enjoyed a 9-3 advantage from the free-throw line and dominated the glass, outrebounding Green Bay 29-16.