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Wright State Women Defeat Milwaukee in HL Quarterfinals
The Wright State women's basketball team shot just 31 percent for the game, but hit 25 of 29 foul shots in holding off Milwaukee 73-64 in the Horizon League Quarterfinals Wednesday night at WSU's Nutter Center.
The Panthers jumped out to an early 9-3 lead and held a slight advantage for most of the first half until a three-point play by Kim Demmings gave the Raiders what turned out to be the lead for good at 20-18 with 5:46 remaining in the period.
WSU extended the margin to seven with five more in a row and was still up seven on a KC Elkins jumper at the 2:37 mark, only to see UWM score the final five points of the half, four by Ashley Green, to make it 27-25 at the break.
Both teams found the offense hard to come by in the opening 20 minutes as Wright State shot 24 percent and Milwaukee 25 percent..
A Demmings jumper in the paint and two Ivory James foul shots started the scoring in the second half and the Raider lead went up to 39-29 on a Demmings layup at the 13:39 mark. Milwaukee closed to within three on four different occasions, but WSU maintained the edge and eventually pushed it back up to double figures at 66-55 on another Demmings basket with 2:23 left.
The Panthers would get no closer than seven the rest of the way as four Tay'ler Mingo foul shots and two from Demmings in the final 37.6 seconds sealed the victory.
With the win, WSU ties the 1986-87 squad (24-6), the final season for the program in Division II, for the most victories in a season in school history.
Both teams shot better in the second half as Milwaukee shot 52 percent to end up at 38 percent overall while Wright State shot 41 percent to finish at 31 percent. The Raiders, though, led 40-28 in points in the paint, 10-5 in points off of turnovers and made 25 of 29 free throws, 22 of 24 in the second half, compared to 12 of 19 for the Panthers.
Demmings, who earlier this week was named the Horizon League Player of the Year, led WSU with 25 points, 16 of those coming in the second half, while Mingo, who was selected to the All-Defensive Team, added 24 points, 20 after hafltime. James, who joined Demmings on the First Team, posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Second Team All-Horizon League performer Angela Rodriguez paced Milwaukee (8-22) with 17 points in her final collegiate game while Avyanna Young (14 points, 18 rebounds) and Ashley Green (12 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles.
Wright State (24-8) now advances to the semifinals on Friday, March 14, against #3 Youngstown State who defeated Oakland 68-64 in another quarterfinal matchup, at 6:00 Eastern at the Kress Center on the Green Bay campus. The other semifinal at 8:30 Eastern will have the top seed Phoenix facing #4 seed UIC. The two semifinal winners will meet in the championship game on Sunday, March 16, at 1:00 Eastern, again at the Kress Center, with an automatic bid to the NCAA on the line.
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