Wright State offense on fire again in win over NKU

Credit: Joseph R. Craven

Credit: Joseph R. Craven

FAIRBORN — Wright State coach Scott Nagy has often said zone defenses tend to shut down Trey Calvin but open up pathways for others.

But in the regular-season finale against Northern Kentucky, which Nagy believes has a zone that ranks with the best he’s ever seen, Calvin was his usual productive self, and everyone else had their share of fun, too.

Leading the nation in field-goal shooting, the Raiders hit about their norm at 54.2% percent and put all five starters in double figures in rolling to a 94-88 win before 5,232 Senior Night fans Saturday.

They were sixth in the nation with an average of 85.9 points and have scored at least 90 points 13 times this season.

The last team at Wright State with more games scoring 90 or more was the 1992-93 squad, which did it 15 times.

“I think it was a little bit different,” Nagy said of NKU’s zone. “When we first faced them (an 85-78 Raider road win), it was heavy pressure. They really packed it in. They weren’t pressuring the ball. The first time, we threw it in a lot. It was a lot more difficult to throw it into the post.”

It hardly mattered. Calvin, who had a team-high 23 points, believes the Raiders have cracked the code.

“I think we just figured the zone out by moving around a lot. We worked on it a lot in practice,” he said.

“They actually switched up the defense because last time they had a hard time guarding us, so they went to a man-to-man switch. But as long as we’re moving the ball and moving OFF the ball, we’re hard to guard.”

So is NKU’s Marques Warrick. The All-Horizon League standout poured in 39 points, going 15 of 23 from the field, 5 of 10 on 3′s and 4 of 5 on foul shots.

The 39 points tied Green Bay’s Noah Reynolds for the most against the Raiders this year.

Youngstown State’s Dwayne Cohill had 43 last season.

Warrick made five 3′s and a layup in the final 5:31 when the game was (mostly) out of reach.

“There’s only so much we can do on Warrick. He just made shots. He’s a heckuva good player, and he got it going tonight,” Nagy said.

The Raiders finished the regular season 18-13 overall and in a tie with Green Bay for third in the league at 13-7.

They’re a No. 4 seed and will play at home in the quarterfinals of the HL tourney against fifth-seeded NKU (17-14, 12-8) at 8 p.m. Thursday.

The Wright State women play in the quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Nutter Center against Milwaukee.

Oakland (20-11, 15-5) won the outright title and earned the No. 1 seed. Youngstown State (22-9, 14-6) is seeded second and Green Bay (18-13, 13-7) third.

“I think we knew what was at stake — not just Senior Night, but the conference tournament. We had to win this game,” senior Tanner Holden said.

“I thought that was the biggest thing, coming out with the right mindset and not waiting around. I appreciate everyone making Senior Night special, but we still have one more at home.”

Calvin moved into eighth on the Horizon League’s all-time scoring list with 2,119 points, passing UIC’s Cedrick Banks and Green Bay’s Keifer Sykes.

The win also was the 100th for Wright State during Calvin’s five years.

Holden had 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He’s 21 points away from reaching 2,000 as a Raider.

The other starters enjoyed a festive night, too. Brandon Noel had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Alex Huibregtse had 19 points and went 5 of 8 on 3′s, helping the Raiders to an 11-of-25 showing.

A.J. Braun had 12 points and eight boards.

“Our starting five keeps humming along. We were pretty good offensively. And for the most part, I thought we were good defensively, too,” Nagy said.


Horizon League quarterfinals

Northern Kentucky at Wright State, 8 p.m., ESPN+, 101.5, 1410

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