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Men’s Basketball Falls in the Horizon League Tournament

Men’s Basketball vs Green Bay | Photo by Dominic Wenrick | The Wright State Guardian

The season has ended for Wright State men’s basketball, as the Raiders fell to Milwaukee on Thursday night 70-87. The Raiders had solid momentum after a win versus Green Bay, but early domination from the Panthers took WSU out of the game.

Too much pressure

Trey Calvin’s 28 points tried to cut the difference, but Milwaukee was stronger on the boards, holding its lead from the beginning to the end.

“Amazing start by these guys, and we used that lead to propel us for the rest of the game,” Bart Lundy, head coach for the Panthers, said. “They made some runs at us, but we were able to score enough baskets and get enough stops.”

From the beginning of the game, it was clear that MKE was ready to go. BJ Freeman put up five points of the Panthers’ nine before WSU could get on the board, and that momentum would continue for the coming minutes.

The Raiders were 2-0 against Milwaukee before the game, but the pressure in those two wins had been a problem from WSU.

“Lots of pressure. They play fast and we play fast,” Scott Nagy, head coach for WSU, said. “We turned the ball both of the times we played them, a lot. That’s got to be a key for us, that we take better care of the ball.”

MKE jumped to a 15-point and then a 20-point lead midway through the first half, as the packed house of Milwaukee students cheered the team on. The crowd went wild whenever MKE hit a big shot, adding to the feelings of doubt for WSU.

“That crowd, all of Milwaukee, our fans, our students,” Lundy said. “Really, that had as much to do as anything as the win.”

The Raiders would exit the first half down 18 and would only outscore the Panthers by one in the second half. The early dominance by MKE would give the Panthers the edge and winning rebounds 48-31 would keep the Raiders back.

Trey Calvin and BJ Freeman would go shot-for-shot throughout the game, with Freeman scoring 29 and Calvin scoring 28; but, WSU shot 36 percent from the field, and MKE hit 51, making the most of the shots.

“I knew they were going to focus on BJ, so I knew I would have a lot of open shots,” Elijah Jamison, who scored 19 for MKE, said. “I got the ball in the right spots today, and I was really confident with it.”

The Raiders would try to claw back the game but only bring it to around a 10-point deficit before the Panthers would reclaim a dominant lead. MKE would finish the win up 17 points and end the season for the Raiders.

Season takeaways

While the basketball season is now over for WSU, the Raiders have a lot to look back on for this season.

The Raiders had several new faces stand out for the roster this season. Brandon Noel is the biggest example of a surprise standout. As a redshirt freshman, Noel started 26 games for the Raiders and averaged 13 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Noel also shot around 60 percent from the floor throughout the season.

Noel’s standout performance as a freshman earned the redshirt the Horizon League Freshman of the Year. 

Amari Davis was also a new face for the Raiders and a player that has evolved a personal game throughout the season. The transfer came in as a scoring threat but became a great rebounder off the bench for the Raiders.

Finally, Trey Calvin was second in the Horizon League for points per game (20.3). Calvin was WSU’s biggest scoring threat this year and will continue to lead the offense next year.

The senior currently plans to play another year for the Raiders and continue scoring dominance. With Calvin at the helm and the supporting players, WSU has several threats returning next season.

Noah Kindig

Sports Reporter

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