Wright State routed at home by Robert Morris in league opener

FAIRBORN — Scott Nagy felt something was amiss in practice this week, but he couldn’t have anticipated what happened in his team’s Horizon League opener Thursday night.

The Raiders were coming off a fairly impressive showing in Las Vegas, winning two of three games against foes that combined for 66 wins last season.

And though Nagy would never say it, their opponent usually resides among the league’s bottom-dwellers, finishing 12th and 10th in its two seasons so far.

But in a result that probably will look like a misprint to their league rivals, the Raiders were blown out at home by Robert Morris, 80-59 — their first loss in seven meetings with the Colonials.

The visitors shot 52.5% from the floor, went 9 of 17 on 3′s and had a 33-23 rebounding edge as the defending league champs look flatter than a newly paved road.

“Andy just did a lot better job getting his kids ready,” Nagy said of opposing coach Andrew Toole. “They were hungry, and we weren’t. It was one hungry team, and one team full of fat cats.

“It was really clear. I’ve not watched one of my teams very often in my career just … I guess I don’t know what the word is — just being outhustled and outplayed.”

It was the worst home loss in Nagy’s seven seasons, topping the 20-point thrashing by Akron last season and a 19-point setback to Murray State in 2017-18.

“We haven’t practiced well this week,” said Nagy, whose team was coming off an eight-day layoff. “All those things are my job — to get the guys to realize what we’re looking at and trying to explain to them how people in the league view us and just how big a game it is. Robert Morris treated it that way, and we didn’t.

“We’re not good enough to just Cadillac it and whip teams. We’ve got to be ready to go, and we weren’t, and that’s my fault.”

Tim Finke had a break-out game, scoring 18 points and going 4 of 5 on 3′s. But the usual stalwarts looked lethargic.

Trey Calvin was 4 of 16 from the field and 0 of 6 on 3′s for 10 points, more than nine below his average. The league assist leader at 6.3 per game finished with just two.

Amari Davis had six points, about eight off his average.

“I think it started with practice, honestly,” Raider sophomore Keaton Norris said. “I think after Thanksgiving break, we didn’t have good practices. And you just can’t have that leading up to big games like these, and it showed up tonight.”

The Raiders (5-3, 0-1) jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but Kahliel Spear, a preseason second-team all-league pick, scored 27 points (on 12-of-15 shooting), including a corner 3 at the first-half buzzer for an eight-point bulge.

The Colonials (3-5, 1-0) raced ahead by 15 with 14 minutes left and by 19 with 11 minutes to go, leaving 3,255 fans sitting on their hands.

The Raiders tried a three-quarters press to speed the game up, but Robert Morris knifed through that, too.

“We just didn’t have any energy, and I do think it’s from practice as well,” Finke said. “For whatever reason, that’s how energy works. You’ve got to build it up. You can’t all of a sudden just show up and have it after a couple bad days. We’ve just got to be better.”

Third in the nation in field-goal shooting at 53.9%, the Raiders went 22 of 53 from the field for 43.3%.

But a sputtering offense wasn’t their problem.

“Even late in the game, they missed a couple layups, and we were just standing around watching, and they tipped the ball in,” Nagy said.

“We got bloodied tonight and embarrassed, and we’ll see how we respond. It starts with me and my staff.”

SUNDAY’S GAME

Youngstown State at Wright State, 1 p.m., ESPN+, 980

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