Oxford, Ohio - When you are a new coach coaching in your first game, you want to get that first win under your belt. Well Brad Brownell got his first win in the most exciting fashion. All it took was Wright State’s DeShaun Wood driving to the basket and laying in a floater with two-tenths of a second left in the game to give the Raiders a 57-56 road win over Miami.
When he made it the RedHawks called timeout with just that two-tenths of a second left. They threw it in and tried in vain to get a shot off.
Wright State’s Drew Burleson scored the games first basket and then it took until 33:48 into the game for the Raiders to actually take the lead again, 33-31 on two free throws by Wood. That two-point lead turned out to be Wright State’s biggest of the game. It took just over a minute for Miami to get the lead back on a 3-pointer by Nathan Peavy to make it 35-33.
For the last six minutes of the game, the score went back and forth with the biggest lead being just three points on a foul shot by Carl Richburg to make it 52-49.
In the first half the Raiders had the opening night jitters as they shot only 33.3 percent and turned the ball over 11 times. Miami was not shooting lights-out either, but their 41.7 percent was good enough to grab a 25-20 lead at the half.
Wright State’s Wood thought the Raiders’ defense kept them in the game the first half. “Even though we were not making shots, we were playing good defense. They could have easily taken that lead from eight, nine, 10 and pushed it up to 15 points,” said Wood.
Miami did briefly get the lead up to 12 points at the 4:40 mark in the first half when Peavy hit a 3 pointer to make it 23-11 before the Raiders chipped it back down to a five point deficit at halftime.
At halftime Brownell decided to institute a little more structure in the Raiders’ offense in the second half.
“We didn’t run as much motion as we did in the first half. We probably just tried to space a little more and ran a few more set plays,” explained Brownell.
Aside from Miami’s tough defense, Brownell thought the players were nervous. “They made it hard on us and we kind of started to press a little bit. I told the kids at halftime that we got ourselves back in the game and that our offense would be better in the second half and that we going to win it by holding them on the defensive end.”
For Miami, Peavy just sliced and diced the Raiders’ defense scoring 20 points on a six for eight shooting performances including going three for five from 3-point land and hitting five of six from the foul line.
No other RedHawk played scored in double figures. Alex Moosman did score nine points going three for four from 3-point land.
Miami coach Charlie Coles never felt good about how his team played.
“I don’t know if I ever felt comfortable in the game. We are not practicing well and we are not playing well,” said Coles. “Even when we had the lead I didn’t feel like we were getting much done.
Cole credits Wright State for having good ball movement on offense all throughout the game, but he also blamed himself for the last play of the game that beat them.
“You probably don’t want that guy (Wood) to beat you. I didn’t know where Vaughn Duggins would be, so I hesitated to say we were going to help. But once the shot clock got down to one second, once he drove, we should have helped, said Coles as he shook his head.
The rebound war was won by Wright State 29-26. Miami had 13 turnovers to 16 for the Raiders.
- Notebook -
*This loss snapped a 15 game Miami home-opening winning streak that goes back to 1990-91 when they lost to Evansville 93-82.
*This was Wright State’s first win at Millett Hall since December 7, 1981 when the Raiders won 65-59.
*Miami leads the series with Wright State 15-7.
*WSU SID Bob Noss was late arriving in Oxford for the game because he was at the White House having breakfast with President George Bush in a celebration for Veterans Day, No word if he managed to bring back some White House silverware.
*Wright State’s Vaughn Duggins’ 13 points including some key baskets going down the stretch, was encouraging to Raider fans in his first game in a Raiders uniform.