Kim Demmings became the 19th Raider to reach 1000 points and hit the game-winning layup with 6.3 seconds left to give the Wright State women's basketball team a dramatic 67-66 Horizon League win over Valparaiso Thursday night at WSU's Nutter Center.
WSU led the entire first half, going up as much as 26-13 on an Ivory James jumper with 5:53 remaining before taking a 31-23 halftime advantage on a Demmings three in the final seconds.
The margin was 50-39 on two KC Elkins free throws with 9:57 left, but the Crusaders stormed back with 11 unanswered points, six of those coming from Charae Richardson, to tie it at the 7:45 mark. The Raiders later went back up five at 62-57 on an Elkins three, only to see Valparaiso again tie it at 62 at the 1:57 mark on a Jessi Wiedemann three.
Valpo tallied four straight points, the final two being a Shaquira Scott jumper with 21.2 seconds remaining, to go up 66-65, but that set the stage for Demmings, who spun away from her defender and converted a layup from the left side of the basket at the 6.3-second mark.
The Crusaders had one final chance, but Scott could not connect on a jumper as time expired.
Wright State shot just 31 percent for the game, including 10 of 37 from three-point range, while Valparaiso shot 54 percent in the second half to end up at 44 percent. The Crusaders hit 13 of 17 foul shots compared to seven of 10 for the Raiders, but WSU forced Valpo into 16 turnovers while committing only seven, resulting in a 15-5 differential in points off of turnovers.
Demmings hit a jumper at the 5:55 mark to reach the 1000-point plateau, becoming the 19th Raider to do so, and now has 1006 points in 54 career games. She joins Tiffany Webb as the only two WSU players to reach the milestone as sophomores, Webb needing 52 games to accomplish the feat.
Demmings finished with 23 points to lead all scorers while Elkins had 17, James 13 off the bench and Breanna Stucke 11 for Wright State. Stucke and Tayler Stanton each had nine rebounds.
Tabitha Gerardot paced Valparaiso (7-12, 2-4 Horizon) with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds whie Richardson had 17. Gina Lange chipped in 11 boards.
Wright State (10-10, 4-3 Horizon) concludes the four-game homestand on Sunday, February 3, as the Raiders host Youngstown State at 3:00.