NAPLES, FL – A quick start and a chance to win it at the end did not go in favor of the Wright State men’s basketball team on Tuesday afternoon, as the Raiders fell to James Madison 78-76 in the middle game of the Naples Invitational.
The Raiders (1-4) will wrap up action in Florida with a second-straight noon tipoff on Wednesday when they take on either Long Beach State or Missouri State. Fans can follow the action several ways – via live stats, by watching on Flo Hoops or by tuning in on WZDA 103.9 FM. Chris Collins and Jim Brown will have all the play-by-play on the radio.
Tanner Holden finished with a game-high 25 points, matching his season-high, on 10-of-13 shooting, while he added four rebounds and four assists. Grant Basile added 19 points and six rebounds, while Tim Finke was the third Raider in double figures with his 13 points. AJ Braun just missed out on his first double-digit scoring game, finishing with nine points off the bench in 16 minutes of action.
Wright State was aggressive early on Tuesday, jumping out in front and holding a 10-point advantage at the under-12 timeout. The Raiders eventually went into the locker room with that same 10-point margin being 16 first half points from Holden and 15 points from Basile as Wright State shot 57 percent as a team over the opening 20 minutes.
Momentum turned to start the second half, as James Madison opened the period on a quick 10-0 run over 90 seconds to pull even and the contest was back-and-forth throughout the remainder of the afternoon. Wright State pushed its advantage up to as many as five points on three occasions as James Madison continued to hang around and eventually took its first lead on a jumper with just over seven minutes to play.
After James Madison extended its advantage to six points with 4:42 remaining – its largest lead of the afternoon – the Raiders responded with the next seven points to take a one-point lead with 2:18 remaining. After empty possessions by both sides, JMU’s Charles Falden hit a three-pointer with 83 seconds remaining that proved to be the game-winner. However, Wright State had one last chance after James Madison missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with under 10 seconds remaining, but in the closing moments, Keaton Norris’ pass ahead towards Holden was too strong and went out of play as the last second ticked off.
Wright State finished the afternoon shooting 54 percent (30-of-56) and hit four three-pointers (4-of-18), while James Madison shot over 50 percent in the second half on the way to a 44 percent (31-of-70) overall shooting percentage with four threes as well (4-of-16). The Raiders were outrebounded, 33-31, and also had 18 turnovers that resulted in 16 JMU points.
James Madison had four players finish in double-digits, paced by 16 points from Justin Amadi, and got scoring contributions from all nine players that saw action, leading to 28 bench points.