Dayton, Ohio - Freshman Azjah Bass netted a career-high 18 points and the Bulldogs rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to take a four-point lead late, but Wright State hit the critical shots it needed down the stretch to hold on for a 70-65 decision over Butler on Saturday (Jan. 26) afternoon at the Nutter Center.
The Bulldogs (13-5, 3-4 Horizon League) erupted on the offensive end in the second period, shooting 56 percent from the field, but was unable to get the stops they needed in the final minutes.
Wright State (7-11, 4-3) finished the game with a 57.5 effort from the field, including a dominant 66.7 percent (12-for-18) in the opening stanza.
Butler led throughout almost all of the first period, as Bass tallied seven points and Lade Akande added six to help the Bulldogs out to as much as a five point lead at 23-18 with 6:51 remaining.
The Raiders kept the pressure up on offense, however, and, after bringing the game even for the fourth time, took their first lead of the contest at 29-27 with just under two minutes to go. A three-pointer by Whitney Lewis moments later sent Wright State into the locker room with a five-point advantage.
WSU continued to pour on the offense at the start of the second frame, as a 6-2 surge put the Raiders ahead by nine at 38-29 just over three minutes in.
Butler would come roaring back, as an 18-4 run, keyed by five points from Candyce Brown and four from Akande, surged the Bulldogs back in front 47-42 with just over 10 minutes left.
Jumpers by LaShawna Thomas and Sierra Crayton cut the advantage to one, but the Bulldogs pushed the lead back out to four after Melanie Thornton tallied three the old fashioned way on a lay-up and the bonus.
The Bulldogs could not push ahead by more than four, however, as Butler jumped out to four-point leads on six occasions only to have the Raiders answer in each successive possession before WSU took a one-point lead on a lay-up by Whitney Lewis with 1:41 remaining.
It would be the final lead change of the day, as a three-pointer and a pair of free throws by Sheylani Peddy put Wright State in front by six with 30 seconds to go.
Bass finished the game with a team-best 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field. Sophomore Susan Lester added 15 and a team-best seven rebounds, while Akande chipped in 12 points.
Butler returns to action on Thursday (Jan. 31) when it opens up a four-game home stand against Cleveland State beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse.