Women’s Basketball: Raiders snare second place with rout of Panthers
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Less than 48 hours after Wright State’s 79-72 overtime loss to conference leader Green Bay, the Raiders were afforded an opportunity to take out any frustrations they had left against the Milwaukee Panthers.
WSU bounced back with a dominant defensive effort en route to a 94-70 blowout win Saturday afternoon at the Nutter Center.
Raiders head coach Mike Bradbury said the Raiders’ performance Saturday was exactly what he expected from his players.
“They did what I thought they were going to do,” Bradbury said. “They’re good kids, they’re resilient and they’re competitive. We haven’t lost two games in a row all year. There are not many people who can say that. They’ve done this time and time again and I’m proud of them.”
Ivory James led WSU with 22 points, Tay’ler Mingo scored 19, added five assists and five steals and Kim Demmings added 15 points and eight rebounds in the win.
The Raiders (21-8, 10-4) took control of second place in the Horizon League with the win and were aided by Detroit’s 75-60 upset win over Youngstown State (13-14, 9-5).
The Raiders will take on the Penguins Wednesday night in Youngstown in a game that will have big implications on the No.2 and No.3 seeds in the Horizon League Tournament. Tip off between the Raiders and Penguins is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Beeghly Center in Youngstown.
“I definitely think that we just came in focused,” Demmings said. “We needed this win, so I feel like…we had to take it out on somebody and obviously they were the next ones.”
WSU took a 12-point lead into halftime after ending the first half on a 20-10 run during the final 7:43.
The Raiders’ lead continued to balloon when three WSU free throws capped off a 14-2 run during the first four minutes of the second half.
A part of the Raiders’ success in the second half revolved around keeping UMW’s leading scorer Angela Rodriguez under wraps. Rodriguez kept WSU on its heels in the opening 20 minutes, leading all players with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half.
When the second half began, the Raiders put on the clamps, and Rodriguez was unable to get comfortable, thanks in part to numerous double teams the Raiders threw her way. The senior point guard was held to just four points in the second half and made one field goal.
Mingo, who spent much of the game shadowing Rodriguez, said the Raiders’ game plan was to push Rodriguez off her spot and make her feel uneasy.
“We know that she’s a really great player when she’s comfortable, so we tried to get her to where she wasn’t as comfortable. And I felt like we tried to do that for the most part, but our communication was a little slow in the beginning, but we put it together in the second half and we really guarded it how we play defense,” Mingo said.
The Raiders turned 25 Panthers turnovers into 23 points and outscored UMW 46-24 in the paint, one game after being outscored 38-18 in the paint by Green Bay.