DAYTON - Wright State coach Brad Brownell was amazingly calm after winning a nail-biter 65-64 against Green Bay.
In the span of 26 seconds Wright State came within hair of blowing a four point lead and losing.
In that short 26 second time frame Wright State's Scott Grote made two free throws to put Wright State up 63-59. Green Bay brought the ball down and Ryan Tillema was fouled by Todd Brown and made both free throws. The score was 63-61.
The inbound pass was to Mike Grote and he threw it right into the hands of Green Bay's Troy Cotton. He turned around and made a short jump shot as Grote fouled him. Cotton made the foul shot and Green Bay led 64-63 with 16 seconds to go.
The Raiders ran a play for N'Gai Evans. He got the ball at the top of the key with nine seconds left, drove down the lane and hit a layup to put Wright State (18-12, 12-6 HL) up for good at 65-64.
The excitement wasn't over as Green Bay rushed the ball up the court and Cotton got off a weak shot that was tipped, then batted around a few times and finally the ball got knocked up court far enough from the basket that Green Bay could not get a shot off even if they could have gotten to the ball. As the buzzer sounded 6465 fans let out a sigh and started applauding.
"They converted the last play, we didn't. I thought it was a heck of a basketball game," said Green Bay coach Tod Kowalczyk. "Both teams played with unbelievable heart and character. It was a tremendous college basketball game, unfortunately we came out on the short end."
In the first half the Phoenix held a small but consistent lead most of the game. It ranged from one point to as high as six points at the 7:01 mark at 22-16. The defense of both team dominated the action with Green Bay taking a one point lead into the locker room at halftime at 27-26.
In the second half the offense picked up a little led by Green Bay's Ryan Tillema with 22 points as he went 10-17 including 5-8 from 3-point land. Cotton also scored 15 of his 22 points. Wright State's offense improved too with Brown scoring 14 of his 19 points. The score still stayed close with the score tied five times and 13 lead changes.
Wright State's coach Brad Brownell felt that the win on Thursday against Milwaukee gave his team some added confidence that helped his team prevail tonight.
He said, "In the second half the tempo changed they pushed it more trying to be more aggressive. It put us on our heels just a little bit but our guys felt comfortable and confident after the win Thursday night. Our overall confidence and our ability was the difference tonight."
-Green Bay leads the all-time series with Wright State 21-18.
-On Wednesday, senior Mike Schachtner was named to ESPN the Magazine's Academic All-America Second Team, becoming the school's first three-time selection in any sport.
-Green Bay is the second seed in the Horizon League Championship and they will not play until 7 p.m. on Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
-Wright State's seed will not be determined until later tonight but they play their first round Horizon League Championship game on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.