Men’s Basketball vs. Detroit Mercy | Photo by Arden Reimer | The Wright State Guardian
Wright State University men’s basketball may have a turning point for the season on its hands as the team brought back a difficult game against the Detroit Mercy Titans on Friday to win 90-85.
A necessary comeback
Despite being down 15 points in the middle of the second half, the Raiders fought back the entire night, as Brandon Noel brought down 17 rebounds and Trey Calvin connected for 27 points to cap off the WSU conference win.
For head coach Scott Nagy, the win shows the growth of the team, who put together 36 points in the last nine minutes to come away with a win.
“For our team and for our confidence, if we have a turning point in the season, hopefully this will be it,” Nagy said. “We were on the verge of emotionally caving, and we had one time out, just calmly talked about it, and they came out and responded.”
Basketball at any level can often be a game of momentum, whether through building it or not caving to the opponent’s pressure. The Titans came out quickly in the first half, as Jaydon Stone scored 10 points in the first four minutes of the game.
Especially after the Titans ended the half with a last second three-pointer to go up by eight, the Raiders were able to turn the game around in the second half.
Of Trey Calvin’s 27 total points, only six points came in the first half. For Calvin, bringing energy and effort as a team in the second half created Raider momentum.
“It’s just bringing energy,” Calvin said. “I feel like the first half we had no energy as a team, but myself mostly, so I had to be more aggressive in the second half, and I did that.”
Brandon Noel struggled in the paint offensively in the first half, but putting in effort on defense allowed the forward to gain some control of the game, finishing with 18 points and 17 rebounds in the game.
“It’s just effort plays, hustle plays,” Noel said. “I wasn’t doing too well with the ball offensively, so I figured I’d just go get it. Rebounds, put backs, things like that allowed me to get going.”
The perfect time
With five of WSU’s next seven games being home conference matchups, this comeback against the Titans is a perfect time for the Raider team to find its form.
The Horizon League schedule has games every few days for the Raiders, so it is important for WSU to take on the season one game at a time.
“We’ve got to continue this energy into the next game and just game by game,” Noel said. “We can’t look as far as we have a long season left, we have to take it one at a time, and that’s going to be the key to getting wins and getting back up in the conference standings.”
While the Raiders started off conference play at 1-3, hopefully the comeback win over DET can give WSU confidence through the upcoming games.
“We’re getting to where we want to get, and this is going to help our confidence,” Nagy said. “But, these games come fast and all these teams are good, so they’re coming in with a lot of confidence too.”