CSU’s shooting ends season for Raiders in semifinals


INDIANAPOLIS — Wright State made it a habit to not go away quietly against most teams it trailed against this season. There was not much of an opportunity to do that though on Monday.

Cleveland State from the opening tip seemingly came out without an ability to miss a shot from the field. The top-seeded Vikings easily handled the Raiders 83-50 in the Horizon League semifinals at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum to end their season.

The Raiders were bombarded in the opening quarter-plus of the contest by CSU’s hot shooting. Wright State fell behind 38-15 early in the second as CSU was making 71 percent of its shots.

“Obviously not our best game,” head coach Kari Hoffman said. “Credit to Cleveland State, they played incredible. One of the best games of the season for them with five players in double figures. It felt like they could do no wrong today.”

Wright State was only able to pull back as close as 16 late in the first half due in part to a 13-2 run as its first signs of life. Missing four of its last five attempts from the field iced any further efforts, though, as the Vikings built its lead back up to 20 by the break and did not let their foot off the gas during the third quarter.

“We unfortunately turned the ball over to them way too many times and then they just started countering,” Hoffman said. “They were really efficient from the paint, and it’s just really hard to overcome that.”

Alexis Hutchison did her best to try and keep Wright State as close as possible. She scored 22 points in her final collegiate game while also leading the team in rebounds (7) and assists (5). Along with Kacee Baumhower, the duo combined to take more than half of WSU’s attempts but could only muster shooting 37 percent between them as Cleveland State bottled up the rest of the Wright State offense.

Springfield native Mickayla Perdue led CSU with 18 points, and Colbi Maples had 14.

Wright State combined to win just 12 games over the last two seasons, but with the assistance of several key transfers upped that to 18 this year.

The new era of college athletics can allow for quicker turnovers, something eluded to by Cleveland State head coach Chris Kielsmeier after the game in how quickly Wright State improved this season. Hutchison was a key part of that success, and Kielsmeier continued his praise in saying he believes the right coach is in place to keep the program’ path on an upward trajectory.

“I’m really proud of our group,” Hoffman said. “They’ve been a really big blessing to coach, they’ve been nothing but fighters the entire season and I’m very proud of them for it.”

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.

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