Wright State women’s basketball: Raiders dominate fourth quarter, beat PFW

Credit: Joseph R. Craven

Credit: Joseph R. Craven

FAIRBORN — The Horizon League regular-season title may be out of reach — Green Bay and Cleveland State have turned that into a two-horse race — but the Wright State women’s basketball team keeps climbing the standings anyway and changing preseason perceptions.

The Raiders went on a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter — five of them by point guard Alexis Hutchison — and rolled to a 70-66 win over Purdue Fort Wayne before 1,273 fans Saturday.

Hutchison, a Centerville product who transferred from Division II Malone, scored a team-high 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting. She leads the league in scoring at 19.2 per game.

“Watching her at the end of games making plays, it never gets old,” third-year coach Kari Hoffman said.

Picked seventh in the HL preseason poll, the Raiders improved to 15-11 overall and moved into a third-place tie with PFW at 9-6.

They won a total of 12 games the previous two seasons.

“We’re beyond and past thinking about last year,” Hoffman said. “We have new goals now. They’re right in front of us. Everything we want to achieve, we can.”

Hutchison was succinct when asked what those goals are: “Get to the league tournament and win it.”

The Raiders probably will have to be a little sharper than they were against PFW (15-8) to pull that off.

They had 12 turnovers in the first half, but managed to cut that to just five after halftime.

“It was just the toughness factor,” Hoffman said. “We really challenged them to run to the leather (basketball), and they did that.”

The Raiders had a 10-point first-quarter lead and lost it.

They had a five-point third-quarter lead and lost that, too.

But after moving ahead in the fourth period, they didn’t let up.

Hutchison had a steal and breakaway layup to make it 57-54 with 8:50 to go.

Rachel Loobie scored, Hutchison struck again with a 3, and then Layne Ferrell hit a 3 for a 65-56 lead with 3:10 left.

The Mastodons made a late push, but the Raiders never blinked.

Loobie, who transferred from Central Michigan two years ago, had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Kacee Baumhower had 13 points and Ferrell 11.

“She had an exceptional game — and we need her to do that,” Hoffman said of the 6-1 Loobie. “Our interior defensive was great.”

The 5-7 Hutchison, who had a decorated career at Malone, expected success this season in her new locale.

“When I came here, I just knew we had a lot of transfers coming in, and I was excited because I knew it’d be a good season,” she said.

It is.

Next game

Youngstown State at Wright State

7 p.m. Wednesday

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