Wright State notches first win of season against Louisiana

Wright State coach Scott Nagy was pretty sure offense wouldn’t be an issue at the Gulf Coast Showcase this week — with or without Trey Calvin.

“We can score. We KNOW we can score,” Nagy said before the first game Monday against Louisiana. “The question is, Can we get people stopped?”

The Raiders didn’t exactly play lock-down defense, at least not in the second half, but they managed to pull out a 91-85 victory to advance to the semifinals against Hofstra on Tuesday night.

Calvin, back from a one-game absence because of a shoulder injury, put up just two points in the first half but finished with 24.

A.J. Braun racked up 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.

Andrew Welage, who had played only a combined nine minutes the first two games and hadn’t attempted a shot, followed a 25-point game against Indiana with 12 points off the bench.

The Raiders shot 55.6% from the field and reached a season-high in points while improving to 1-3, avoiding their first 0-4 start in 15 years.

They had a resounding 41-24 edge on the boards against the Ragin’ Cajuns (2-2), who made just 12 of 29 shots in the first half but hit 14 of their first 19 in the second half and shot 52% overall.

“We rebounded the ball tremendously and beat them up inside,” coach Scott Nagy said on his post-game radio show.

“I told the guys at halftime, ‘Our two leading scorers, Tanner (Holden) and Trey, had a combined two points, and we’re up 11 because we’re guarding and we’re rebounding the heck out of the ball — two things I think are important.’

“But they shot 61% in the second half. All they did was put their head down and drive, and we just did not do a good job. "

The Raiders’ first three opponents shot a combined 57.7% and averaged 90.7 points.

“I’m proud our kids didn’t fold. Things haven’t been going well for us. And it helps to have the best guard on the floor in Trey,” said Nagy, who notched his 150th win at Wright State in seven-plus seasons.

Braun had 14 points in the first half and Brandon Noel had 10 of his 16 to help the Raiders build a 43-34 lead at the break.

The dominance didn’t last, but they had answers.

The game was tied, 71-71, with 7:57 left.

But Holden (six points) hit two free throws, and Calvin made back-to-back jumpers and assisted Noel on another bucket for a 79-71 lead with 4:21 to go.

In other quarterfinal games, High Point beat Iona, 82-68, and Illinois State knocked off Long Beach State.

High Point (2-2) and Illinois State (3-1) meet in the other semifinal at 5 p.m. Tuesday.


Wright State vs. Hofstra, 7:30 p.m., 101.5, 1410

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