Raider women win Horizon League title, head to NCAA tournament for first time

Fans invited to join team at selection show watch party at Nutter Center

For the first time, the Wright State women's basketball team is headed to the NCAA tournament.

Down 10 points early in the second half, the Wright State women’s basketball team outscored Green Bay 52–23 the rest of the way to defeat the Phoenix 88–69 in the Horizon League title game Sunday afternoon, earning its first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament as a Division I member.

The team welcome fans to join them Monday night for the NCAA Tournament bracket announcement on the Fricker’s Deck at the Wright State University Nutter Center.

The announcement show on ESPN will start at 7 p.m. with the doors opening at 6 p.m. Fans should enter the Nutter Center through Gate 1 or through Gate 9 and take the elevator to the concourse level.

Green Bay jumped out to an early 13–6 lead and later went up 24–15 on two Ellen Edison free throws with 8:04 remaining in the first half. The Raiders, though, answered with 10 straight points, capped off by a KC Elkins basket, to go up one despite having Kim Demmings and Ivory James picked up their third fouls during the period. Wright State trailed 42–36 at the break.

The Phoenix shot 61 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes compared to 39 percent for the Raiders, but Wright State hit five of 11 three-pointers to just three of nine for Green Bay and had eight more field goal attempts thanks in part to forcing 12 turnovers while committing six, also resulting in a 13–2 differential in points off of turnovers.

Green Bay tallied the first four points of the second half to extend its lead to 46–36, but that’s when Demmings took over as she connected on three three-pointers in a 2:06 span to key an 11–0 run and give Wright State the lead back at 47–46. The Raiders extended their advantage to 63–55 on another triple by Demmings and a Tayler Stanton layup, only to see the Phoenix close to with two with six unanswered points.

Wright State held just a five-point edge at 72–67 with six minutes to go, but an 8–0 burst, half of those coming from Ivory James, extended the lead into double figures for good. In all, the Raiders outscored Green Bay 16≠2 over those final six minutes with the final eight scored by Mingo.

Wright State hit 15 of 30 shots, including six of 13 threes, in the second half to finish at 44 percent overall and 11 of 24 from behind the arc, while the Phoenix shot 41 percent after halftime to end up at 50 percent altogether, but just three of 16 from three. The Raiders were also 19 of 29 at the foul line while Green Bay was six of nine.

The Phoenix led 50–30 in the points in the paints, but Wright State countered by outscoring Green Bay 33–10 in points off of turnovers, 18–13 in second-chance points and 11–8 in fast-break points.

Mingo, who tied a career high with 26 against Youngstown State in the semifinals on Friday, set a new career best with 31 points and added five assists and five rebounds. The junior guard, who was selected to the All-Tournament Team, finished with 81 total points in three tournament games to set a new league record, breaking the previous mark of 73 by Wright State’s Shey Peddy in 2008.

Demmings, who was selected the tournament MVP, finished with 26 points, 22 of those coming in the second half. James added 13 points while Stanton had eight points and collected 15 rebounds, 10 on the offensive end.

Mehryn Kraker paced Green Bay (22–9) with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds while Breanna Ranger also had a double-double of 16 points and 10 boards. Kaili Lukan chipped in 11.

Wright State (26–8) will find out its opponent, destination and time for the first round of the NCAA Tournament with the selection show on Monday at 7 p.m. The show will be televised live on ESPN.

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