Michael Karena scored four points and Joe Thomasson made two free throws to give Wright State its largest lead, 49-44 with 6:43 to play. Cleveland State pulled within 49-48 on Marlin Mason's layup with 4:07 remaining.
The Raiders shot 1 of 4 from the line, and then were in man-to-man defense and left Yates wide open for his key 3-pointer with 1:19 left. Trey Lewis converted a three-point play, and Charlie Lee a free throw to ice it.
Michael Karena scored 18 points to lead Wright State (10-8, 2-2), which shot 15 of 24 for 62.5 percent from the line.