Wright State basketball: Raiders make changes, roll to win

FAIRBORN — If Wright State coach Scott Nagy had any doubts about whether he’d made the right move in revamping his starting lineup, he could rest easy after watching the first half against Milwaukee.

The Raiders, mired in a midseason malaise, ripped apart one of the two teams sharing first place in the Horizon League, building a 47-26 halftime lead on the way to a 93-86 victory Thursday.

“Watching the first half, it felt more like the teams we’ve coached here with their confidence level and aggressiveness,” Nagy said. “That was a good feeling for me — because I’ve been missing that.”

Nagy pulled slumping guard Amari Davis and center A.J. Braun and inserted guard Alex Huibregtse and forward Blake Sisley.

Nagy said both demoted players took the news well. And while Sisley played only five minutes, Huibregtse poured in a career-high 25 points and snagged six rebounds in 30 minutes.

The 6-foot-3 sophomore from Grafton, Wis., went 9 of 15 from the field and had a career-best five 3′s in 10 attempts.

His roommate, 6-6 junior guard Andrew Welage, also played extended minutes and scored a career-high 19 points, going 3 of 5 on 3′s.

“That’s a response right there for sure,” Nagy said of Huibregtse (pronounced HUE-brex). “To be able to have a guy who can space the floor like Alex can (helps the cause) — and teams will see his aggressiveness.”

His previous career high was 15.

“It was a little more intense in the building, but it definitely felt like I was back in my high school days,” he said.

“It was a little weird at first (to start), but once the ball was tipped and you’re out there playing, it just felt like a regular game.”

Welage scored 15 in the first half, one short of his previous career best.

“Both played great,” Nagy said. “It was nice to see Andrew play so confidently in the first half. We were even able to post him some. We stayed on the attack.”

The Raiders, who improved to 12-10 overall and 5-6 in the league, may have found a winning combination going forward. But they didn’t have an easy time subduing the Panthers (14-7, 8-3).

Having athletic players at all five positions, they like to make games as ragged as possible — and it worked.

They hounded the Raiders into a season-high 21 turnovers. And when they didn’t make a steal, they hacked.

Wright State was 25 of 34 from the foul line, while Milwaukee had 19 turnovers and went 20 of 31 from the stripe.

Trey Calvin topped 20 points for the eighth time in 10 games, finishing with 21. He was 10 of 11 on foul shots.

Brandon Noel went scoreless (0 of 3 from the field) but yanked down 11 rebounds.

The Panthers were hit with two technical fouls and two flagrant fouls, and one sequence was costly.

Down 15 with 21 seconds left in the first half, they gave the Raiders a six-point possession: two foul shots by Braun, two by Calvin and a jumper by Huibregtse with eight seconds to go as the crowd of 3,448 went berserk.

The Raiders had lost five of their first six league home games, including two last week. But they looked rejuvenated.

“Coming off two losses, it’s hard not to beat up on yourself,” Huibregtse said. “It definitely hurts a lot, and there was a ton of urgency in practice.

“But we were trying not to dwell on the past and focus on what we can do in the final half of the conference year.”


Green Bay at Wright State, 7 p.m., ESPN+, 980

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