Wright St. upends No. 19 Butler for first Horizon title
Dayton, OH (Sports Network) – DeShaun Wood scored 27 points and pulled down
eight rebounds to lead Wright State to the Horizon League Tournament title, a
60-55 triumph over 19th-ranked Butler.
Drew Burleson added 15 points and Scottie Wilson 10 for the Raiders (23-9),
who secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993, when
they were champions of the Mid-Continent Conference.
Brandon Crone had 18 points and A.J. Graves scored 12 for the Bulldogs (27-6),
who scored the game’s first 10 points, but faltered by going 9-of-23 from the
field in the second half.
Wood’s three-pointer gave Wright State the lead for good at 55-52 with 1:06
left, but Crone’s layup had the Bulldogs within a point with 35.3 seconds
Vaughn Duggins made one free throw for the Raiders with 29.1 ticks remaining,
and Crone then missed a chance to tie the game by making only 1-of-2 foul
shots with 11.8 seconds left.
Will Graham, who ended the game with four points, all on free throws in the
final 11.6 seconds, made it a 58-55 contest with 11.6 seconds remaining.
Graves then missed a leaning three, and Graham was fouled in the corner with
1.3 seconds to go and nailed two foul shots to ice Wright State’s monumental
It looked bleak for the Raiders, as Butler scored the opening 10 points,
capped by a three from Julian Betko. However, Wright State responded with a
15-2 spurt, taking the lead midway through the half on Wood’s three-pointer.
Wright State led by as many as six later in the half before settling for a
Burleson’s three-pointer carried the Raiders to a 43-35 advantage with 11:08
remaining, but Butler scored the next eight, capped by Crone’s long-distance
jumper to even the score with 7:36 left.
Neither team led by three until the final 11 seconds.
This was the Bulldogs’ ninth appearance in the final of this event and their
second in a row. Butler lost out to Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the championship
game last year, but its four titles are still the most among any active member
of the league. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series against the Raiders,
16-14, with the schools splitting a pair of meetings during the regular