Wright State women earn 79-63 win over Oakland

FAIRBORN — Up just one after three quarters, the Wright State women’s basketball team outscored Oakland 28-13 in the final period to defeat the Golden Grizzlies 79-63 in Horizon League action Thursday night at WSU’s Nutter Center.

Neither team had more than a three-point advantage during the opening stanza, with Oakland going up 15-13 on a Sidney Santos three in the final minute.

The Raiders went up 24-20 at the 4:51 mark of the second quarter on two foul shots and a jumper by Kim Demmings and a later three from the senior guard made it 29-23, but the Golden Grizzlies ended the half on an 11-4 run, including a pair of threes by Nicole Dodd, to hold a 34-33 edge at the break.

Oakland shot 32 percent in the first half, including six of 14 from behind the arc, while WSU shot 30 percent and was just two of 11 from three and seven of 13 at the foul line.

The Golden Grizzlies held the lead for most of the third period until a Demmings three in the closing minute put Wright State up for good at 51-50. Baskets by Antania Hayes and Richelle van der Keijl extended the margin to five in the opening minute of the fourth quarter before Oakland answered with four straight of its own to again make it a one-point contest with 8:07 to play.

The Raiders, though, broke the game open with an 8-0 run, the final four coming from Demmings, and after the Golden Grizzlies closed to within six, WSU sealed the victory by scoring the last 10 points of the game over the final 3:11, including six more by Demmings.

Wright State hit 11 of 16 shots in the fourth quarter to finish the contest at 39 percent while Oakland ended up at 30 percent. The Raiders led 38-8 in points in the paint and 18-7 in second-chance points.

Demmings led all scorers with 34 points, 12 coming in the final period, and also had seven rebounds. The 34 points are tied for the fifth most in a game during her career as she also had 34 against Detroit on February 16, 2012. It was one point shy of her season-high of 35, set at UIC on February 6, and two short of the 36 she had at Oakland two years to the day on February 18, 2014.

Two other Raiders scored in double figures as Hayes had 13 points along with nine rebounds while van der Keijl posted a double-double of 10 points and 11 boards. Lexi Smith also had 11 rebounds for WSU.

Elena Popkey paced Oakland (14-11, 6-8 Horizon) with 26 points, but no other Golden Grizzly reached double figures.

Wright State (20-6, 10-3 Horizon), which reached the 20-win plateau faster than any other Raider team since moving up to Division I in 1987-88, hosts Detroit at 3 p.m. Saturday.