The Wright State men's basketball team rallied from a 12-point first-half deficit to within one in the second half, only to fall short as South Alabama held on for a 74-70 decision in the final game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic Saturday in Mobile, Alabama.
Cole Darling tied the game at 16 with a tip-in at the 10:23 mark of the first half, only to see Jaguars follow with a 14-4 run over the next five minutes, the first eight of those points coming from Augustine Rubit. A Miles Dixon layup made it 30-25 with three minutes to play in the period before threes from T.J. Johnson and Barrington Stevens helped extend the lead to 39-31 at the break.
South Alabama scorched the nets in the opening 20 minutes, hitting 14 of 21 shots overall, including seven of 13 from three-point range, while WSU shot 43 percent.
The Raiders gradually chipped away at the deficit and closed to within one at 55-54 as AJ Pacher completed a three-point play with 7:07 remaining. Ken Williams, however, answered with a three on the next possession and despite Wright State trimming the margin to two on four different occasions down the stretch, the Jaguars hung on the lead.
WSU shot 50 percent in the second half to end up at 46 percent overall while USA shot 38 percent to finish at 51 percent for the game. The Jaguars were also 18 of 24 at the foul line compared to 12 of 18 for the Raiders. Wright State led 38-20 in points in the paint and 17-12 in points off of turnovers.
Pacher led the Raiders with 18 points while Darling and Dixon each had 11. Kendall Griffin had eight points and seven rebounds and Reggie Arceneaux added eight points off the bench.
Rubit paced South Alabama (3-2) with a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds while Williams and Stevens each had 13.
Wright State (3-3) hosts a pair of games next week, facing Alcorn State on Wednesday, November 27, at 7:00 and Western Carolina on Saturday, November 30, at 3:00.