Wright State’s Mackenzie Taylor puts up a shot against Oakland on Tuesday night at the Nutter Center. Joseph Craven/CONTRIBUTED

Wright State women pull away from Oakland in tournament opener

The top-seeded Raiders (25-6) advance to the semifinals at 1 p.m. Monday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit against fourth-seeded IUPUI. The Jaguars beat No. 5 Northern Kentucky 60-44 on Tuesday.

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Oakland finished 6-24.

Despite the lopsided final score, it wasn’t easy for the Raiders, who struggled offensively early on and only led 49-43 with 3:02 left in the third quarter. But WSU found its footing, outscoring Oakland 15-1 the rest of the stanza to take control of the game. Mackenzie Taylor scored seven of the 15 in the spurt.

Michael Miller scored 22 points to lead WSU. Taylor added 16 points.

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“I know that my team relies on me for many different things, and our numbers get called at different points in the game. I just had a couple of lanes open and took advantage of it,” Taylor said. “It takes all of us and we had many contributions.”

Emily Vogelpohl added 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Symone Simmons scored nine points and had eight rebounds.

Miller was asked if she was out to make a statement after missing out on all-league honors that were announced Tuesday.

“If I was being honest I would say yes,” she said. “I really just wanted to help my team get a win tonight in our last game on this floor and couldn’t have done it any other way.”

WSU coach Katrina Merriweather credited much of the bounce back the Raiders made in the game to their depth, as 11 different players scored.

“We were a little stagnate offensively, but what I love about this team is that they keep finding different ways to win. We had some great contributions offensively from Michal, Mack and Emily,” said Merriweather, who was named as the league’s coach of the year. “We always use all 11 of our kids because we need them all at different points of the game. I’m really proud they figured out a way to get out of the drought we had.”

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