Joseph Craven | Wright State University

Wright State’s Alexis Hutchison scored 26 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in the Raiders win Wednesday.

FAIRBORN — Moments before tipoff, Alexis Hutchison looked over at some family members and gave them a smile and thumbs up.

Perhaps she knew what was about to happen.

The 5 foot, 7 inch guard, who was a two-sport star at Centerville, had one of her best all-around games, scoring a game-high 26 points and pulling down a career-high 16 rebounds (yes, you read that right) in the Raiders’ 76-68 win over a scrappy Robert Morris team Wednesday at the Nutter Center.

In her last regular season game on her home court, Hutchison was all over it. In 38 minutes played, she made 9 of 17 shots, six of eight from the free throw line, drew nine fouls, and had three assists.

“She’s just a baller,” Coach Kari Hoffman said. “Makes huge plays when you need them. Made some really huge buckets at the rim. Felt like she was everywhere once that shot went up. She has a knack for where the ball’s gonna land and she attacked that defensive glass and we needed her to do that. She can jump and she has a great knack for where that ball is coming and she’s in the right spot at the right time. And she has energy for days. I subbed her one time.”

Hutchison had plenty of help. Kacee Baumhower scored 18 points, going three of four from three-point range and seven of seven from the free throw line. Rachel Loobie had 12 points, six rebounds, one assists, and one steal.

The Raiders also regained their three-point touch. After making just 8 of 50 in the last two games combined, the Raiders made 8 of 19 against the Colonials, just the second time this month they have shot at least 40 percent. WSU made just one of six in the first, but the Raiders made five of eight in the second quarter and two of four in the third.

“We needed that second quarter bad,” Hoffman said. “That’s not our identity, but that sure is a huge part of our offense and we’ve had a hard time. Even the ones in the first, they go down and then they pop out. I was like, we gotta use a different ball or something. I don’t know what it was but the other team is swishing them and ours are right there, they’re just not, not finished so it felt good to finally make (them).”

And it turns out that every little bit was needed to hold off the Colonials, who had lost 14 straight games but led by as many as five in the first quarter before leading 17-14 after 10 minutes. In the second quarter, Baumhower (11) and Hutchison (10) scored all but two of the Raiders 23 points as they led 37-33 at the half.

Baumhower made three of three from three-point range and two of two at the line, while Hutchison made a pair of three pointers and two free throws. The Colonials (6-21, 2-16 Horizon League) would not go away, however, cutting the lead to 50-48 after three.

“Obviously credit to Romo (Robert Morris),” Hoffman said. “That’s a team that is playing so hard you would never guess that they only had six wins. They made everything difficult. Their defense is so sound that we had a hard time just passing to each other.”

Loobie then made her presence known in the fourth, scoring eight points on three-of-four shooting. She also made two of three at the line.

“Huge fourth quarter,” Hoffman said of Loobie. “Made some huge plays. Just finished the ones she was supposed to and, you know, just made really smart basketball plays. That’s what I was proud of (the team) for. We haven’t played very smart basketball lately and I thought we did that for the majority of the game today.”

It was a much-needed win for the Raiders (16-13, 10-8 HL), who had lost two straight and three of four.

“It meant a lot,” Hoffman said. “It had to happen. It was the game, you know, after last week, that we were focused on. It was one game at a time this time of year and the wins are hard to come by. So just proud of them for making the plays when it mattered.”

Hoffman said it was likely the Raiders were looking too far ahead, worrying about where they were in the league standings and not focusing entirely on the next game.

“I think we learned our lesson there,” Hoffman said. “I think as a coaching staff we tried to take all the pressure off of them the last couple days of practice, just go have fun, go compete. Let’s get our identity back and felt like we did that, really did.”

And in the process, the Raiders held on to fourth place in the league and a first-round tournament bye. The top five teams actually get a first-round bye as seeds No. 4 and 5 play each other in the second round.

WSU has a one game lead on Detroit Mercy (8-8) and a one and a half game lead on Milwaukee and Youngstown State (8-9) with two games left, including one at Detroit March 2. WSU is at Oakland Feb. 29.

Reach Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.