March 1, 2005
Wright State used a pair of second-half runs to down Butler, 61-57, in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament in Dayton, Ohio Tuesday night. The host Raiders used a 13-5 run to take a 57-47 lead with 2:30 remaining, which served as the largest advantage of the night and proved to be too much for the Bulldogs to overcome. With the win, Wright State improves to 15-14 overall and advances to Friday's second round. Butler sees its season end at 13-15.
Junior Brandon Polk led the Bulldogs with 24 points and nine rebounds, hitting nine of his 14 attempts. Freshman A. J. Graves chipped in 17 points, including a running three-pointer with eight seconds to play that pulled the Bulldogs within two, 59-57. Wright State's Jaron Taylor then hit two free throws to ice the win.
The teams traded the lead five times in the opening minutes of the second half before an 11-0 Wright State run gave the Raiders a 42-33 advantage with just under 11 minutes to play in the contest. A Polk three-point play at the 10:38 mark stopped the spurt and a Gary Patterson three-pointer on the next possession brought the Bulldogs within three at 42-39. The Bulldogs would pull within two at 44-42 after another Polk three-point play.
A slow start to the game saw the teams combine to hit just three of their first 17 shots in the opening seven minutes of the game. Graves and Polk heated up midway through the first half, scoring 20 of the team's 23 first-half points. The duo combined to go 9-of-16, while the rest of the team hit only one of eight attempts. The Raiders couldn't capitalize, shooting just 36 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes. The teams went into the intermission tied at 23.
DaShaun Wood led the Raiders with 17 points, while Zakee Boyd added 16. The Raiders held a 39-26 advantage on the glass and shot 47 percent from the field, compared to a 44 percent mark for Butler. The Bulldogs struggled from behind the arc, hitting just six of 22 tries.