GREEN BAY, Wisconsin – In a game that saw 10 lead changes, four ties and neither team having more than a seven-point advantage, the Wright State men’s basketball team went in front to stay at the 7:44 of the second half and went on to a 68-63 win over Cleveland State in the Horizon League Semifinals Saturday night in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The Raiders raced out to a 7-0 lead thanks in part to a three and fast-break layup from Miles Dixon, but the Vikings answered with 12 straight points and maintained a five-point edge until back-to-back triples from Jerran Young put WSU back in front 15-14 with nine minutes to play in the first half.
Cleveland State regained the lead at 20-16 on two free throws each by Anton Grady and Sebastian Douglas and still was up one at 29-28 on a Trey Lewis three at the 2:26 mark before WSU closed the half with a 9-2 run, four of those coming from Cole Darling, to take a 37-31 halftime lead.
Wright State hit 13 of 21 shots in the opening 20 minutes for 62 percent, including five of eight three-pointers, while the Vikings shot 47 percent and were 11 of 12 at the foul line.
A Darling three put the Raiders up six, but CSU tallied seven consecutive points to take what turned out to be its final lead of the night at 50-49 with eight minutes remaining.
Darling gave WSU the lead for good with two foul shots at the 7:44 mark and a three-point play from Dixon extended the margin to four. A Matt Vest three with 1:58 left made it 63-57 and the Raiders were able to hold on from there by making five of six foul shots over the final 34 seconds.
Wright State shot 47 percent in the second half to end up at 55 percent overall, including seven of 14 from three, while Cleveland State shot 40 percent for the game.
Darling led the Raiders with 21 points, including a perfect 10 for 10 at the line, while Dixon had 17 and AJ Pacher 11.
Charlie Lee paced Cleveland State (21-11) with 16 points while Trey Lewis had 14 and Grady a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Wright State (20-13) will face either Milwaukee in the Horizon League championship game on Tuesday, March 11 at 7:00 at Wright State’s Ervin J. Nutter Center.