Raiders fall to NIU in Showcase event

DEKALB, Illinois – The Wright State men’s basketball team led by eight at the half, but was held to 20 points in the second half as Northern Illinois scored the final six points for a 65-59 decision Sunday at the NIU Showcase in DeKalb, Illinois.

A JT Yoho three gave the Raiders a 26-23 lead with 5:19 remaining in the first half and threes by Joe Thomasson and Grant Benzinger along with a Yoho three-point play down the stretch helped WSU build a 39-31 advantage at the break.

Wright State shot 54 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, including six of 10 from behind the arc, while the Huskies shot 44 percent, but were just two of seven from three-point range.

Northern Illinois started the second half with a 15-5 run over the first five minutes to go up one, only to see Alan Vest connect on a three to give the Raiders the edge at 47-46 with 11:50 to play.

Another three, this time by Mark Alstork, put WSU up 53-50 at the 8:53 mark and the margin was 57-53 on a Justin Mitchell layup with 5:25 left.  The Huskies tallied the next six points to go up two before Alstork tied it at 59 with 1:19 to play.

Aaric Armstead, however, hit two foul shots after being fouled on a three-point attempt at the 51.5 mark to give the Huskies the lead for good.  Following a missed three attempt by Wright State on its next possession, Travon Baker connected on a three with 14.7 seconds left to make it 64-59.

After shooting 54 percent in the first half, WSU cooled to 27 percent over the final 20 minutes to finish at 42 percent overall while NIU shot 48 percent in the second half to end up at 46 percent.  Northern Illinois also made 20 of 32 foul shots, 11 of 17 in the second half, to just seven of nine for the Raiders.

Yoho led Wright State with 16 points while Thomasson added 15 along with seven rebounds.  Benzinger chipped in nine points and Alstork seven.

Wright State (1-2) wraps up its season-opening four-game road swing on Friday, November 20, at 8:00 as the Raiders face the nationally-ranked Kentucky Wildcats in Rupp Arena.

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