Wright State women’s basketball: Raiders claim No. 4 seed, open tourney at home

The Wright State women’s basketball team went into the final two games of the regular-season in prime position to claim one of the top four seeds in the Horizon League tournament and get a quarterfinal home game.

The Raiders didn’t make it easy on themselves, though.

They felt as if they gave one away in the first game at Oakland, having led by 10 early in the fourth quarter before falling, 84-82, in double overtime Thursday.

Coach Kari Hoffman said she had a couple of sleepless nights after that.

“That’s the type of game that eats at a coach bad,” she said. “It’s one where we had it. We were in control. And we handed that game to them.

“Credit them for making the plays to win it. But it just felt like we were trying not to lose. We weren’t going to take advantage of what we’d done for the whole majority of the game. We were playing great.”

The Raiders didn’t mess around at Detroit Mercy. They built a 10-point edge in the first quarter and never gave up the lead, stretching it to 14 before settling for a 66-56 victory Saturday afternoon.

They’re 17-14 overall and 11-9 in the league, and they earned the No. 4 seed and their first bye into the quarterfinals in Hoffman’s three years.

They’ll play Thursday at the Nutter Center against fifth-seeded Milwaukee (16-15, 10-10) at 5:30 p.m.

“I don’t know if that (loss) was a motivating factor. It was more of, ‘We’ve got to grit this one out. We’re exhausted,’” Hoffman said.

“I had a couple of players play 48 or 49 minutes Thursday, and to finish this one out on the road in a tough place to play, we were just focused. They were determined to get it done. They played with a lot of passion.”

Alexis Hutchison had 22 points and Kacee Baumhower 16, while Layne Ferrell had nine points and nine rebounds.

Cleveland State (27-4, 18-2) earned the top seed, while Green Bay (24-6, 17-3) is second and Purdue Fort Wayne (20-11, 13-7) is third.

The Raiders, picked seventh in the HL preseason poll, were a 9 seed a year ago and a 10 seed in 2021-22.

“It feels great. We’ve worked really hard to be in the top half of the league. I wish we could have a couple games back, but our league is really competitive, and you’ve got to show up every night,” Hoffman said.

“We’ve learned some lessons along the way. We took care of what we needed to, and now it’s a new season.”


Horizon League quarterfinals

Milwaukee at Wright State, 5:30 p.m., ESPN+

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