Wright State falls in Florida for third straight loss

Tanner Holden, pictured here in the season opener vs. Lake Erie College, scored 24 points Monday to lead Wright State in a 74-63 loss to George Washington in the Naples Invitational. Joseph Craven/Wright State Athletics photo
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Tanner Holden, pictured here in the season opener vs. Lake Erie College, scored 24 points Monday to lead Wright State in a 74-63 loss to George Washington in the Naples Invitational. Joseph Craven/Wright State Athletics photo

Raiders drop 74-63 decision to George Washington in Naples Invitational

Wright State coach Scott Nagy tried to get a spark from his bench by shuffling some players around.

The production from the subs, though, never materialized, and even some starters turned in subpar games.

The Raiders lost for the third straight time, dropping a 74-63 decision to George Washington in the first round of the Naples Invitational on Monday.

Tanner Holden scored 24 points on 10-of-21 shooting, about three above his average, and chipped in eight rebounds. And fellow wing Tim Finke broke out of his slump (2 of 17 from the field the last two games) with 12 points.

But though center Grant Basile had 11 points and 13 rebounds, he finished just 1 of 8 from the field. And guard Trey Calvin scored five points on 2-of-12 shooting.

“Like I told the guys at halftime: In my opinion, we’ve got better players, but they ACT like they’re better. They just think they are,” Nagy said on his postgame radio show.

“Their players completed disrespected our two guards and didn’t guard either one of them, and we couldn’t throw it in the ocean.”

The Raiders, who fell to 1-3, went with their fourth different starting lineup in four games — and sixth in six games counting preseason scrimmages against Eastern Kentucky and Ball State — giving Keaton Norris the nod.

The freshman point guard scored just one point, going 0 of 5 from the field.

A.J. Braun, a 6-foot-9 freshman from Fenwick, saw his first action of the year and scored six points in the first half and eight overall. But the back-ups combined for just two more points.

“Our offense is so bad right now, it’s putting pressure on our defense,” Nagy said. “Our kids are playing hard but with no confidence. I wish they were, but they aren’t.”

The Raiders went 23 of 65 from the field (35.4%). Shooting 27.8% on 3′s, they went 3 of 23.

Basile, the team’s top shooter from the arc last season, went 0 of 4 and is 2 of 17 this year.

Alex Huibregtse and Riley Voss missed the game with injuries.

The Raiders will play at noon Tuesday against James Madison, which lost its opener to Kent State, 74-69. The best WSU can finish in the eight-team event is fifth.

George Washington, picked 13th in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll, ended a four-game losing streak and improved to 2-4.

“(Offense) hasn’t been a problem for us in a long time,” Nagy said. “Even in the Marshall game (a 96-88 loss), we scored, but we couldn’t stop anybody.

“We’re just tiptoeing around offensively. We have a couple guys who are aggressive, but the rest of them seem nervous to me. You can’t play basketball like that.”

Trailing by 14 with 8:53 to go, the Raiders staged a furious rally.

A Finke 3 got it under 10. And Holden scored four straight points to cut it to 63-58 with 5:15 left.

The Raiders had two more possessions to get closer but couldn’t convert.

After a Holden foul, James Bishop made a pair of free throws at 3:35 for a seven-point edge.

Following two more empty Wright State possessions, Brendon Adams and Bishop made layups for a 69-58 lead with 1:59 to go.

The Raiders’ three-game losing streak is the longest in four years and ties the longest skid in Nagy’s six seasons.

Their last four-game losing streak came in 2015-16 in coach Billy Donlon’s last season.

TUESDAY’S GAME

Wright State vs. James Madison, Noon, Flohoops.com, 103.9

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