DAYTON, OHIO – Playing in its second game in as many days, Jacksonville University faced tournament host Wright State Saturday evening in the fourth game of the Wright State Tournament, hosted at the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio. The Raiders won 68-44 over the Dolphins.
"We didn't do a very good job on either end of the floor," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "We got away from areas where I think we can be successful; I don't think we got a paint touch in the second half, we didn't talk care of the ball very well, and defensively it was a constant struggle for us today. So, we've got to make some progress tonight and hopefully come out tomorrow with some fire and energy. The aim is to get a second win before we head home."
The Dolphins' offensive struggles continued in the opening minutes of the second half; Jacksonville missed its first four shots and turned the ball over twice as Wright State went on an 8-2 run. JD Notae's two free throws were the lone JU points in the opening three minutes. Cody Helgeland ended that Raider run dramatically with a catch-and-shoot three off a pass by Tanner Rubio, but the Dolphins couldn't quite keep pace with Wright State in the closing minutes.
There were several bright spots in the second half; Jace Hogan scored 10 points, placing the US Naval Academy transfer in double-digits in each of his first four games. Devin Harris tied a career best with seven assists, and Jacksonville outscored Wright State 9-8 in the closing 9:42 of the game, with the Raiders missing their final nine shot attempts and turning over the ball three times. But the scoring margin couldn't be completely overcome; Wright State defeated Jacksonville 68-44.
Opening tip went Jacksonville's way for the fourth time in a row, and that led to the Dolphins scoring first. Helgeland caught a pass at the top of the key and fired off a three that just barely moved the net as it went through. That was Jacksonville's only lead of the half as Wright State quickly strung together a 20-5 run to lead 20-7 with about 12 minutes left in the half.
Three consecutive baskets by Hogan cut the lead down to just eight points, 23-15, with just over nine remaining in the period, but the Raiders responded with a 6-0 run of its own to cancel out the redshirt junior transfer's contribution. It was still close most of the half; Wright State hit their next four shots while Jacksonville tried to keep pace with threes by Helgeland and Rubio, but the Raiders maintained at least a nine-point lead through the rest of the period. Wright State hit a buzzer beater to put the margin at 13, 41-28, at the half.
- Rubio scored 10 points on the night, joining Hogan as the only double-digit scorers. Helgeland came close to double-digits with nine points on 3-5 shooting from three.
- Wright State outperformed its usual three-point percentage with a 44 percent mark from deep; before this game the Raiders averaged 29.0 percent from beyond the arc.
- Harris had five points, six rebounds, and seven assists in the game. He scored all five of his points from the penalty stripe, making five of six opportunities.