VALPARAISO, Ind. - In the first semifinal game of the Horizon League Men's Basketball Tournament, Miles Dixon swished a short jumper as time expired to deliver a 56-54 win for No. 3 Wright State over the No. 2 Titans.
The upset ended Detroit's hopes of back-to-back Horizon League tournament titles.
A broken play on Detroit's last possession of the game led to a long 3-point attempt that came up short. Wright State pulled down the rebound with the score tied 54-54 and 14.8 seconds left on the clock.
Out of the timeout, Dixon ended up low in the post with the ball, seemingly trapped beneath the basket. With the final seconds ticking off the clock, the 6'1" Dixon rose above the crowd and somehow snuck a shot past the backboard and through the hoop.
After a quick review by the officials, the basket was deemed good.
"The play was written up for JT Yoho. I didn't see him in the post, and I ripped it to the baseline and sot a miracle," Dixon said. "I saw the clock winding down. I knew how much time was left and I was able to get it off in time."
Defense allowed Wright State to stay in the game as the Raiders effectively shut down Horizon League Player of the Year Ray McCallum, who finish the game with a season-low five points and committed four turnovers without recording an assist. McCallum was held without a field goal until he tipped in his own miss at the 2:23 mark of the second half.
Wright State also held McCallum's First Team All-Horizon League counterpart Nick Minnerath to just eight points and two rebounds. The Titans were led in scoring by Jason Calliste's 17 points; Evan Bruinsma added 15. Detroit falls to 20-12 and will await a postseason assignment.
Dixon led the Raiders with 14 points. Jerran Young, who proved to be a defensive nightmare for Detroit against McCallum, added 12 points and six rebounds, all on the defensive glass.
"He's a great player," Young said of McCallum. "Our game plan was to play Wright State defense, and I credit my teammates also. They had my back on help-side defense."
With the win, the Raiders improve to 21-11, adding to their first 20-win season under Horizon League Coach of the Year Billy Donlon. The Raiders will play in Tuesday night's championship game on ESPN, its fourth Horizon League Championship appearance and first since 2010.
"There was no doubt that our kids, the entire night, believed they were going to win the game," Donlon said. "They went out and won it. The players went out and won it."
Wright State was picked to finish ninth – dead last – in the preseason poll. Donlon said he reminded his team of that ranking prior to Saturday's game.
"We talked about it this morning for the first time in a long time because I felt like we were satisfied with beating Youngstown," Donlon said. "I told them, ‘Demand more of yourself.'"
Making off with some last minute bargains, shoppers flooded the Dayton Mall Saturday before round two of the storm hits the Miami Valley.
State representatives Mike Henne and Jim Butler spent Saturday morning going door-to-door in a riverside neighborhood.
Christmas comes early for some kids in the region.
Two women were arrested early Saturday morning after leading Dayton and Riverside Police on a slow speed pursuit with a stolen snow plow.
Preble County crews are battling a barn fire this afternoon on Barnetts Mill Road in Camden.