The Wright State Raiders did what very teams have done over the last 16 years, defeating the Green Bay Phoenix women 88-69 at the Kress Events Center to win the Horizon League Women's Tournament Championship to earn their first ever automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Green Bay has won or shared the last 16 conference titles, earning 11 trips to the dance but after graduating four of five starters, Horizon coach of the year Kevin Borseth had to rebuild quickly with a young team. The fact that they earned the regular season title and number one seed is testament to Borseth's work. That was of little consolation to the team who watched with long faces as Wright State collected the trophy and cut down the nets.
Things started well for Green Bay as they led 42-36 in an up-tempo first half. Mehryn Kraker scored 15 for Green Bay which shot over 60% from the floor and Wright State's top player, Horizon player of the year Kim Demmings was saddled with three fouls and scored only 4 points in 9 minutes.
It was the Demmings show from there. She blistered Green Bay for three, three's and a layup in the first four minutes of the second half as the Raiders stormed in front and never looked back, scoring 52 points in the second half and holding Green Bay to just two points over the final six minutes. Demmings finished with 26 and fellow junior guard Tay'ler Mingo poured in 31. Wright State is now 26-8. Kraker led Green Bay with 19, Breannah Ranger finished with 16 as the Phoenix stand at 22-9.
After the game, Phoenix head coach Kevin Borseth talked of how proud he was to take a very young team to the conference tournament final:
As for Wright State head coach Mike Bradbury, thrilled that his girls get to go dancing!
Audio: Mike Bradbury
Both teams will play on, Wright State to the NCAA's, Green Bay likely bound for the WNIT.