Women’s Basketball: Demmings’ 30 points leads Raiders to win in WSU Invite title game
In an early season full of accolades, Kim Demmings added one more honor to her collection: Wright State Invitational Most Valuable Player.
Demmings scored a team-high 30 points and lead an aggressive defensive effort that culminated in a 87-71 win for the Raiders over the Bradley Braves Saturday afternoon at the Nutter Center, earning WSU the championship trophy for the tournament.
Along with Demmings, Ivory James (17 points) was named to the all-tournament team.
“It feels pretty great,” Demmings said of receiving MVP honors. “It’s all because of my team. The credit really goes to them.”
After two games where she combined for 13 points on 5-of-31 shooting, Demmings responded by lightning up the scoreboard against Gardner-Webb and Bradley. Demmings totaled 59 points for the tournament and shot 56 percent.
“It felt good, but you know, it’s not all about offense. In those games, I got some good defensive [plays] and forced some charges. Obviously, I like to score, but I can get it done on the other end, too,” Demmings said.
After a game that featured what head coach Mike Bradbury characterized as embarrassing defensive effort, WSU rebounded. Literally. The Raiders closed the rebounding deficit to minus-4 against the Braves compared to minus-23 on Friday night. WSU also forced 25 turnovers against Bradley and collected 11 steals.
The Braves top three scorers- Michelle Young, Kelsey Budd and Kelly Frings- came into Saturday’s game averaging 43.5 points per game, but were held to 27 against WSU.
“This is as good as we’ve been. I mean, that team scores, and scores and scores, and for about 35 minutes, we were really good,” Bradbury said.
A point of emphasis for Bradbury during practice week was taking better care of the ball. Leading up to the tournament, WSU uncharacteristically committed 40 turnovers in two games against Louisville and Xavier. In both of their tournament wins, the Raiders turned the ball over 20 times.
“We had 15 tonight, but four of those came in the last couple of minutes. So that’s averaging 10 for the tournament. That’s pretty good,” Bradbury said.
Four Raiders finished in double-figures. All but three players who logged minutes against the Braves scored at least one field goal. KC Elkins, who scored 12 points in 17 minutes believes her teammates have responded well to what they knew would be a grueling out of conference schedule.
“We set goals and this [winning the WSU Invitational] was part of it. We had a really tough preseason and it’s carrying over. This is what we expected and this is what we wanted,” Elkins said. “We’re growing and we’re getting better every day and I think that’s showing.”
The Raiders (10-3) next two games are against road opponents. WSU travels to Chicago State on Dec. 29, then plays cross-town rival Dayton on Jan. 2.