CLEVELAND, Ohio – Playing its first double overtime game in four years, the Wright State men’s basketball team outscored Cleveland State 14-8 in that decisive period to pull out a 74-68 Horizon League win over the Vikings Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.
The Raiders led 8-7 on two Parker Ernsthausen free throws at the 12:57 mark of the first half, only to see CSU go on a 19-6 run over the next eight minutes to take a 26-14 advantage. WSU, though, answered with back-to-back threes by Ryan Custer and Mike La Tulip and trailed by just six at the halftime break at 28-22.
Wright State shot 37 percent from the field in opening 20 minutes compared to 38 percent for Cleveland State, but the Vikings connected on five of 14 three-pointers while the Raiders were two of six.
WSU chipped away at the deficit before a Steven Davis three tied the game at 33 with 14:32 remaining. Another Davis triple put the Raiders up 36-35, but Wright State found itself down 51-46 with 4:58 left following two Rob Edwards free throws.
Grant Benzinger, though, hit a three to make it a two-point game and Mark Alstork hit two foul shots to tie at the 3:38 mark.
Alstork forced the first overtime on two free throws at the 15.1-second mark and WSU led three times in the first extra period before a Demonte Flannigan dunk sent the game to a second overtime.
In that period, the Raiders took control by scoring seven of the first nine points, including a three and jumper by Benzinger.
Cleveland State drew to within two, but Wright State sealed the victory by making seven foul shots over the final 1:32.
It was the first double overtime game for the Raiders since they defeated Green Bay 70-68 at the Resch Center on February 7, 2013.
WSU shot 44 percent overall compared to 36 percent for CSU and was 18 of 26 at the foul line while the Vikings were 15 of 22.
Benzinger posted a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds to pace Wright State while Davis had 17 points and Justin Mitchell nine points and 10 boards.
Wright State (19-9, 10-5 Horizon), winners of four straight, take on Northern Kentucky in the regular-season road finale on Tuesday, February 21, at 7:00.