Women’s Basketball: Raiders pound Penguins, advance to HL title game for NCAA bid
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A broken record played at the Kress Events Center Friday night: Born to Run.
Once again, a conference opponent had no answer for Wright State’s speed in the open court.
Kim Demmings and Tay’ler Mingo each finished with 26 points, all five starters for WSU scored in double figures and the Raiders scored 28 fast-break points in a dominant 98-70 win over Youngstown State in Green Bay.
WSU advances to the Horizon League Championship game for the first time since 2008 and will challenge for an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament. The game will be on ESPNU on Sunday at 1 p.m Eastern.
Raiders head coach Mike Bradbury said his team’s third win over the Penguins was a near carbon copy of the second victory WSU posted on March 5 at the Beeghly Center.
“In the first half, we were really engaged and defensively we were really good. It was very similar to the game we played at their place,” Bradbury said.
In typical WSU fashion, the Raiders forced 22 turnovers against the Penguins. Four players recorded three steals. The Raiders, as a team, had 17 and before the YSU starters could blink, they were staring a near-insurmountable deficit right in the face.
“We got the pace right,” Bradbury said. “That game was up and down. Damn near every basket we scored was in transition. Most of them were just breakaway layups. It was probably the best game we’ve played all year.”
The pace Bradbury referred to was as fast as the officials would allow the Raiders to play at. WSU jumped out to a 12-2 lead, 3:15 into the game. Behind Mingo and the rest of the starters, the Raiders continued to build their advantage and led 39-19 after an Ivory James layup late in the first half.
With the Penguins unable to find a consistent scoring answer in the post, YSU resorted to shooting 3-pointers, but found no relief. The Penguins ended the first half 0-of-12 from the beyond the arc and shot 9-of-34 from the field. The Raiders led by 28 at halftime.
Much like the contest nine days ago, YSU was unable to challenge WSU in the second half. An 8-2 run pulled the Penguins to within 24 to begin the half, but just as quickly, the Raiders extended their lead back to 31 less than a minute later.
Mingo’s 26 points tied a career-high for the junior point guard and provided another resounding argument towards her arguable snub from a First Team All Horizon League selection.
Mingo led all scorers at halftime with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. The All-Defensive Team selection added three steals and five assists.
“I’ve basically told her (Mingo), ‘Nobody thinks you’re any good but me. You’re going to have to prove it to them,’” Bradbury said.
Following the win, Bradbury said he was unconcerned with which team the Raiders will meet on Sunday.
“I couldn’t care less who wins,” Bradbury said.