Wright State falters late in game, loses to UC Riverside

Credit: David A. Moodie

Credit: David A. Moodie

Wright State coach Scott Nagy knew his team wasn’t a finished product going into the Vegas 4 tourney — despite a win at Louisville and three straight victories. And some of those weaknesses were exposed by UC Riverside in the second game of the event.

The Highlanders went on an 11-0 run over the final three minutes to prevail, 70-65, Tuesday night to start off 2-0 in the mid-major tourney in Henderson, Nev.

They also ended the first half on an 11-0 surge, turning a 34-27 deficit into a 38-34 lead at the break.

“I thought the first half cost us,” Nagy said on his post-game radio show. “We got manhandled in the first half. The second half, we showed up and played.

“I just think the first half cost us in this game. If we’d been better, we wouldn’t have put ourselves in this position.”

Getting a rare off game from star guard Trey Calvin — and with standout wing Amari Davis failing to score in the second half — the Raiders still found the right combinations to make a late run.

Tied at 57 with five minutes to go, sophomore sub Alex Huibregtse made a 3 and then scored on a drive, putting the Raiders up 62-59 with 3:48 to go.

Tim Finke then knocked down a 3 at 2:59 for a 65-59 edge.

But a 3 by Flynn Cameron allowed UC Riverside (4-2) to cut the deficit to 65-64 with 1:39 to go.

Flynn made another 3 with 47 seconds left for a 67-65 lead.

The Raiders (4-2) were blanked on their final five possessions (four misses and a charging foul on Davis).

Flynn was fouled with 21 seconds left and converted a 1-and-1 for a 69-65 lead.

Finke then missed a 3. UC Riverside snagged the rebound. And the game was all but decided.

Calvin had just six points on 3-of-11 shooting. He was coming off a 28-point outing the night before.

The 6-foot-1 senior was averaging 24 points, and it’s his lowest output since scoring four against James Madison on Nov. 23, 2021.

After scoring 19, 17 and 19 points in his previous three games, Davis finished with nine, going 2 of 7 from the field and 5 of 7 from the foul line.

Redshirt freshman forward Brandon Noel had 14 points and 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.

Finke had 13 points, A.J. Braun 10 and Huibregtse eight.

“Sometimes our guys don’t understand — our younger guys, in particular — how other teams look at us,” Nagy said. “We’ve been very successful for a while now. And these are big games for these people when they’re playing us. We’ve got to show up.”

The Raiders are 1-1 in the event and will play Weber State, which also is 1-1, at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

“I didn’t do a very good job for the kids, I didn’t feel like tonight. I told them I’ll be better tomorrow,” Nagy said.

WEDNESDAY’S GAME

Wright State vs. Weber State, 4 p.m., 980

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