The frustration from a rough five-game stretch disappeared in a five-minute span Thursday night for the Wright State women.
Losers of four of their last five games, the Raiders went on a 26-2 run in the first five minutes of the second half to separate from Detroit Mercy on the way to an 85-55 rout at the Nutter Center.
“This feels much better, that’s for sure,” WSU coach Katrina Merriweather said after watching her team improve to 17-8 overall and 8-5 in the Horizon League.
The game against Detroit Mercy (1-22, 1-10) came at a good time for the Raiders after a tough stretch that Merriweather attributed more to the difficult run of opponents than overly poor play by the Raiders.
“You have to be realistic about how the schedule is set up,” she said. “Last year we celebrated 13 wins in a row. If you had stuck Green Bay in the middle of there, it might have only been six in a row, or two in a row, depending on when you played them.
“You have to factor in who the four teams were that we lost to and that they happened to be almost back to back to back to back,” Merriweather added. “That has a lot to do with losing four out of five than anything else.”
The 30-point margin of victory was the team’s largest since a 99-36 victory against Cincinnati Christian on Dec. 14, and the biggest in league play since an 84-66 triumph on Jan. 29, 2016, against Oakland.
Junior guard Emily Vogelpohl led WSU with 18 points on 7- of-11 shooting, while senior guard Chelsea Welch added 17 points. Junior guard Mackenzie Taylor scored all 11 of her points in the first four minutes and 40 seconds of the second half.
“She has the ability to score like that, but was awesome about her was she had eight assists and one turnover,” Merriweather said of Taylor. “For her to be able to attack and be aggressive offensively as well as distribute the ball without turning it over, I think that made a big difference for us.”
Junior forward Symone Simmons added nine points, including a 3-pointer to start the 26-2 run, while freshman forward Kiana Adderton also had nine and senior forward Lexi Smith contributed eight.
“This was as consistent as we’ve had this many starters play,” Merriweather said. “It’s hard to beat good teams when we know we’re going to get Chelsea and we’re only going to get 15 to 18 from one other player. We’re too deep, and the competition is too stiff for that to happen.
“Everybody has to show up every game if we’re going to win as much as we’re expected to,” she added. “We definitely got that tonight.”
WSU returns to action at 4:30 p.m. Saturday against Oakland.