Tanner Holden scored 37 points to help Wright State defeat Bryant 93-82 in an NCAA Tournament First Four game on Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio.
Holden was 11-for-15 from the field and 14-for-16 from the free-throw line for #16 seed Wright State (22-13), the Horizon League tournament champion, which advanced to meet #1 seed Arizona in a South Region game in San Diego on Friday.
Trey Calvin scored 21 points and Grant Basile finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for Wright State, which won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in school history. The Raiders are in the tournament for the first time since 2018.
Peter Kiss scored 28 points for Bryant (22-10), the Northeast Conference champion and also a #16 seed. The Bulldogs played their first NCAA Tournament game as a Division I program. Kiss was 2-for-6 from 3-point range; his teammates were a combined 2-for-18.
Wright State led 44-42 at halftime and built a 54-46 lead with 16:28 remaining in the game after a basket by Calvin. Bryant cut the deficit to five with 13:18 left when Kiss hit a jumper to make it 62-57, but Wright State then took command. The Raiders scored the next five points to lead 67-57, then used a 10-4 run to go up 77-61 with 6:50 remaining.
Bryant cut the lead to 82-71 with 4:53 remaining after six straight points by Kiss. But a 3-pointer by Basile with 3:57 left and a basket by Holden with 3:07 remaining restored Wright State’s lead to 16 points.
Wright State took a 19-13 lead with 9:10 remaining in the first half, but Bryant used a 9-3 surge to tie the game at 22-22 with 7:03 remaining until halftime. Wright State answered back and built a 42-35 lead with 1:30 left in the first half before Bryant ended the half on a 7-2 run.