The Wright State women's basketball team rallied from a 14-point deficit to tie the game at 50, only to see Middle Tennessee later go on a 12-0 run to pull away for a 69-62 decision in the Gulf Coast Showcase semifinals Saturday in Estero, Florida.
The Blue Raiders scored the first five points of the game, only to see WSU close to within one at 9-8 following an Ivory James fast-break layup with 15:36 remaining in the first half. Middle Tennessee, however, answered with six straight points and, despite the Raiders cutting the deficit to two on three occasions, used a 13-1 run to go up 39-25 en route to a 39-29 halftime advantage.
MTSU shot 48 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes and hit 10 of 12 free throws while Wright State shot just 32 percent and was four of seven at the stripe.
The Raiders chipped away to start the second half and eventually tied the game at 50 on a Tay'ler Mingo layup with 10:44 to play. WSU was within one at 54-53 as KC Elkins connected on a three at the 8:24 mark, only to see the Blue Raiders go on their decisive 12-0 run from there over the next six minutes.
Wright State trimmed the margin to 67-62 on a Tayler Stanton putback with 59 seconds left, but could get no closer.
The Raiders could not get on track offensively the entire game, shooting just 31 percent overall and were seven of 25 from behind the arc. Middle Tennessee, meanwhile, shot 46 percent for the game and outscored WSU 48-22 in the paint.
Kim Demmings, after scoring 30 points Friday against NC State, tallied 27 more in this game to lead WSU while James and Mingo had 11 each. Stanton just missed a double-double as she had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Ebony Rowe paced Middle Tennessee (3-3) with a double-double of 28 points and 11 rebounds while Shanice Cason had 14 and Laken Leonard 13 off the bench.
Wright State (6-2) will face James Madison (5-1), who dropped a 65-52 decision to Mississippi State in the other semifinal, in the third-place game Sunday at 2:30.