The Wright State men's basketball team rallied from a 10-point deficit and had possession trailing by two in the final seconds, but came up short in a 59-55 decision to Central Michigan Wednesday at the Utah Thanksgiving Tournament in Salt Lake City.
WSU jumped out to a 13-7 lead seven minutes into the contest, including three-pointers from Matt Vest, Kendall Griffin and the last pointers from Miles Dixon, only to see the Chippewas answer with eight straight points to go in front 15-13 with 9:31 remaining in the first half.
After AJ Pacher tied it with two foul shots at the 9:13 mark, neither team scored until CMU's Kyle Randall made a layup with 5:42 left. Central Michigan eventually stretched the lead to eight before a Dixon foul shot and two by JT Yoho cut the margin to 27-23 at the break.
The Chippewas shot 46 percent in the first half compared to just 25 percent for the Raiders.
Reggie Arceneaux drew Wright State to within two at 40-38 with a fast-break jumper at the 12:38 mark of the second half before CMU scored eight straight to take its biggest lead of the night at 48-38. The margin was still 10 at 57-47 before the Raiders tallied eight straight of thier own, capped off by a Yoho layup with 27 seconds left, to make it 57-55.
After a Chippewa turnover, WSU had a chance to tie or regain the lead, but the Raiders could not convert and Derrick Richardson hit two free throws with four seconds remaining to make it a two-possession contest.
Wright State shot 52 percent in the second half to end the night at 39 percent overall while Central Michigan hit for 41 percent altogether. The Chippewas led 40-29 on the boards, which led to a 15-5 advantage in second-chance points, and hit 13 of 18 foul shots while the Raiders were nine of 12.
Dixon led the Raiders with 16 off the bench while Vest had 15 and Yoho 10. Pacher gathered in nine rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.
Randall paced Central Michigan (2-1) with 13 points.
Wright State (3-1) continues tournament play on Friday night against Idaho State, with tip-off set for 9:45 Eastern time.
Post Game Quotes
Central Michigan Head Coach Keno Davis
"You know I think we were very fortunate, both teams played extremely hard especially down the stretch. [We were] fortunate to be able to come out with the victory. But we know that we are early in the season much like other teams and are only going to get better."
"We need to learn from what we did today and get ready for our game on Friday against Utah."
Wright State Head Coach Billy Donlon
I think in the first half we weren't very good. But we lost the game because of defense. If you look at the score, [offense] had nothing to do with it. We shot 52% from the floor in the second half. We made the adjustment, we didn't guard. They got back, ran us out, ran us up and down the floor. I said to our team for four days, 'Central Michigan is going to beat people because they just out-compete you'. We did not play a very good game. We were out-competed.
"When it's a two-point game and we have a layup to tie the game with six second to go, it is a very disappointing loss for us, the way we lost. You can lose games because you don't shoot well some nights but we were just out-competed. I think they missed 32 shots and got 13 rebounds. That is a third of their rebounds and that is atrocious. We handled the press fine. We just could never find a way to get stops."