Game #9-466: Wright State Raiders at Detroit TitansMarch 9, 2013 6:00 pm
Wright State is the most deliberate, disciplined team in the Horizon League. Detroit is the most athletic, fast-paced team in the Horizon League. Doug Anderson's dunks have been all over Sports Center for 2 seasons now. These two styles go together like oil and water. Something had to give. Would Detroit force the Raiders into a high-flying transition game they would certainly lose, or would Wright State force the Titans to play slow and deliberate, using the shot clock to its fullest extent most of the time, ceding their obvious advantage?
Who knows what determines the answer to that question? I don't. All I know is Wright State won the toss on this one. Bill Cosby once quipped that it would be interesting to go back in history and imagine that before all the great wars, there was a referee-led coin toss (like in football) between the captains of the 2 sides: Imagine the captain of the colonists and the captain of the British standing before the referee. The captain of the colonies wins the toss. The referee gives the British the bad news: "The colonists say that they get to wear any kind of clothing they want to and shoot from behind rocks and trees. They say that you have to wear red and march in a straight line. Or: "Captain Custer, this is Captain Sitting Bull. Captain Sitting Bull, this is Captain Custer. Call the toss, Cus.... Captain Custer calls heads. It's tails, you loss the toss Cus. You win, Sit, what'll ya do?... Alright, Captain Sitting Bull says you and your men got to wait at the bottom of the hill while him and all the other Indians in the world right right on down on you." Apparently, Detroit lost the toss last night, and WSU got to dictate the pace. Because, outside of a brief lapse or two, they did. A Horizon League official pointed out with about 5 minutes to go in the game, with the score in the 40s, that Detroit has never won this year when they scored less than 70.
Wright State stayed mostly ahead of Detroit the entire game, but every time they had the ball with a 3 point lead, they proceeded to deviate from their script and turn the ball over. It was painfully obvious that they would never put the Titans away, and every time they started to get wide-eyed about doing so, Billy Donlon held his hands up and implored them to SLOW DOWN. They never strayed from the script for more than a possession or two.
In the final minute, both teams had a chance to break the 54-all tie. Wright State turned the ball over with about 49 seconds to go, giving Detroit a chance, but still leaving themselves one last possession. After a timeout, the Titans worked the ball with Raider-like deliberateness, finding no seems in the Wright State defense. With 3 seconds, Horizon League player of the year Ray McCallum Jr. drove toward the lane but stopped and fed Doug Anderson on the wing. His desperation 3 bounced harmlessly off the back of the rim and into Wright State hands. With 14.2 seconds left, Billy Donlon drew up a play for Miles Dixon, go-to guy of the tournament so far for the Raiders. He had two options, neither of which worked out very well, leaving him on the baseline, surrounded by Titans and behind the backboard. Nevertheless, he launched the shot, and it dropped through the nylon seamlessly.Buzzer beaten
. For the 2nd game in a row. His teammates pinned him against the chairbacks with glee in their celebration. Nick Minnerath bent at the waist, grabbed his knees, and tried to comprehend what just happened. Nick, you played their game the whole way and they won.
For the 2nd time in a row, and the 3rd time in 5 years, the 2 seed lost its one and only Horizon League tournament game. Ray McCallum Sr. has been telling anyone who interviewed him lately how his Titans are the biggest road attraction of the Horizon League "because of the way we play." This vaunted high-flying highlight-reel style of play was nowhere to be found last night because Wright State dictated it to be so.And the team almost unanimously picked to finish last in the Horizon League is now one game away from the NCAA tournament. And Cole Darling is still in street clothes.
WRIGHT STATE 56, at DETROIT 54
WRIGHT STATE 21-11 (10-6) -- J. Young 5-12 1-2 12; K. Griffin 3-3 0-0 8; M. Dixon 6-8 2-4 14; R. Arceneaux 2-5 2-3 7; M. Vest 3-3 0-0 7; J. Yoho 3-7 2-2 8; A. Pacher 0-1 0-0 0; J. Bramanti 0-1 0-0 0; T. Sledge 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-42 7-11 56.
DETROIT 20-12 (12-4) -- J. Calliste 6-13 2-2 17; R. McCallum 1-7 3-6 5; N. Minnerath 2-9 4-4 8; D. Anderson 4-8 0-0 8; E. Bruinsma 6-7 3-4 15; J. Howard Jr. 0-0 0-0 0; P. Boutte 0-1 0-0 0; A. Wilson 0-0 0-0 0; U. Njoku 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 19-45 13-18 54.
Three-point goals: WRIG 5-9 (M. Vest 1-1; R. Arceneaux 1-2; K. Griffin 2-2; J. Young 1-4), UDM 3-9 (J. Calliste 3-4; R. McCallum 0-2; N. Minnerath 0-2; D. Anderson 0-1); Rebounds: WRIG 27 (J. Yoho 6), UDM 21 (R. McCallum 7); Assists: WRIG 10 (R. Arceneaux 3), UDM 10 (J. Calliste 5); Total Fouls -- WRIG 13, UDM 14; Fouled Out: WRIG-None; UDM-None.
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