INDIANAPOLIS — The final team charge to the finish was completed.
And a new name is ready to go in Raiders’ lore.
Wright State fought its way to an NCAA Tournament berth after a 2-7 start to its season with a Horizon League championship on Tuesday after a 72-71 victory against Northern Kentucky at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
The winning shot by Trey Calvin, his 20th and 21st points of the night, came with 10 seconds left and capped a furious comeback in the final 11 minutes by Wright State.
“It didn’t look good,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “We’d been in a situation before we were down 12 against Oakland with seven minutes ago and won that game. One thing about our kids, they knew to stay together.”
Trailing for the majority of the game, Wright State fought its way back midway through the second half with a 14-0 run to cut a 16-point deficit to two.
The Raiders eventually grabbed its first lead since 2-0 on a Tanner Holden layup with 5:39 remaining. The two teams traded jabs over the next four minutes.
Wright State led by two with under 30 seconds remaining, but NKU’s Marques Warrick drained a three to put the Norse back into the lead.
Without calling a timeout, Trey Calvin brought the ball up the floor, found a position in the paint to pull up for a 12-foot jumper to hit the championship winning shot.
“Taking what the defense got me, I crossed them over and I saw the open lane and that’s my shot right there that pull up mid range and I hit it,” Calvin said.
A defensive stop on the other end secured the Raiders’ fifth ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
“No matter what we doing, no matter if we’re down or up, we will stick together and go through it together and that’s been the theme of our team,” Calvin said. “And you know, we’re champions now.”
Tanner Holden was a huge part of the second half effort for WSU with 15 points after begin held to four in the first. After being held out for foul trouble during crucial parts of the opening 20 minutes, Grant Basile didn’t pick up another and was a force down low on defense, also scoring 18 points in the game.
Wright State’s tournament completes consecutive wins against teams it lost to twice during the regular season after its semifinal victory over top-seeded Cleveland State in the semifinals.
“It’s hard to beat somebody three times, just as hard to beat somebody once,” Nagy said. “It certainly lights a fire and then when you go back and look at film and see how you got whipped, I mean you should be ready to play.”
Wright State will learn its tournament destination when the brackets are revealed at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
“My whole life I’ve been thinking about this so this is amazing,” Calvin said. “I can’t wait. … Oh my god, I’ve never felt like this.”