Wright State's first ever victory in Green Bay was a big one. After being swept by the Phoenix during the regular season, the Raiders won the game that mattered most, beating Green Bay Sunday afternoon 88-69 in the Horizon League tournament championship. Green Bay lead by six at the half, but conference Player of the year Kim Demmings, who sat the majority of the first half with three fouls, came out on a mission. She scored 11 quick points, part of a 13-1 run for the Raiders, that put them on top for good.
“Still 20 minutes and I just came out and felt like it was my time. That's what I felt like,” Kim Demmings explained.
“I knew they were going to score. You had Demmings sitting on the bench in the first half and you knew they just had a lot of energy in the second half, and I kinda figured that. I knew we'd have to score in the second half because with her back in there that gives them a lot of firepower,” Phoenix Head Coach Kevin Borseth said.
Demming scored 22 of her 26 points in the second half. Her teammate Taylor Mingo lead all scorers with 31. The Phoenix just couldn’t keep up. They were outscored by 25 in the second half.
“We scored two points in the last six minutes. Why? I don't know but we had a nice little lead but that was chopped off in a hurry obviously,” Borseth said.
The glaring statistic was Green Bay's season-high 24 turnovers which translated into 33 Wright State points. The Raiders are first in the Nation in turnover margin.
“For whatever reason we made a lot of decisions today that were either bad or rushed decisions on Wright State's part, I'm not really sure but... yeah turnovers hurt us,” Borseth said.
So the Phoenix will not be making their 6th consecutive trip big dance. Although it's their ultimate goal, all is not lost. Green Bay now turns their sights to preparing for the NIT tournament.
“Ten o’clock tomorrow morning we'll roll out and shoot and we'll pick up the pieces. I'm quite certain the sun is going to shine tomorrow, hopefully it'll be a little warmer than it’s been and we're just going to kinda move forward,” explained Borseth.
Green Bay will have to wait until Monday to learn where they are headed in the NIT. For now, the sting of today's loss, having to watch another team celebrate on their court will fuel the Phoenix 10 underclassman.
“I don't think anyone likes this feeling. And so we are prepared to do whatever we have to do to not have this feeling again,” weighed in Mehryn Kraker.