Miles Dixon's short jumper from the right baseline at the buzzer gave the Wright State men's basketball team a spot in Tuesday's Horizon League championship game as the Raiders defeated Detroit 56-54 in the semifinals Saturday night in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Six straight points, capped off by a Dixon foul shot at the 9:58 mark of the first half, gave WSU what turned out to be the biggest lead of the game by either team at 18-13. The two squads were tied seven times altogether in the period, including at 29 heading into the halftime break as Kendall Griffin hit a three with less than a minute remaining.
Wright State hit 11 of 19 shots for 58 percent in the opening 20 minutes, including four of five from three-point range, while the Titans shot 42 percent overall and were two of five from behind the arc.
The game was tied six more times in the second half before Reggie Arceneaux converted a three-point play with 2:05 left to make it 54-51. Jason Calliste, though, tied it for Detroit with a three at the 1:10 mark and it stayed that way as both teams came away empty on their next possession.
Matt Vest gathered in a defensive rebound with 14.8 seconds left, setting the stage for Dixon's game-winner as the junior guard received the ball at the right wing, drove towards the basket, backed a step and connected on a jumper just as the horn sounded.
Wright State shot 52 percent for the game, was five of nine from three and seven of 11 at the foul line compared to 42 percent shooting for the Titans, who were 13 of 18 at the stripe.
Dixon led the Raiders with 14 points off the bench on six of eight shooting as the Raider reserves outscored the Detroit bench 29-1. Jerran Young added 12 points while Griffin and JT Yohio had eight and Vest and Arceneaux seven.
Calliste paced Detroit (20-12) with 17 points while Evan Bruinsma had 15.
The other semifinal ended on a buzzer-beater as well as a fall-away three by Ryan Broekhoff from the right wing gave #1 seed Valparaiso a 70-69 win over #4 seed Green Bay.
Wright State (21-11) and Valparaiso (25-7) will meet in the championship game on Tuesday, March 12, at 9:00 at Valpo's Athletics-Recreation Center, with the winner received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The game can be seen live on ESPN.
A limited amount of tickets for the championship game are available for Raider fans. Ticket prices are $15 and $10 for students. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Andrew Durbin 775-4938 or Micki Ford at 775-4934 and a ticket sales representative will contact you.