The Wright State Raiders Men’s Basketball team will hit the Nutter Center floor for its biggest game of the season thus far on Friday night. The Raiders (11-8, 3-1) will host the Green Bay Phoenix (13-3, 3-0), which is currently alone atop the Horizon League standings and 3 point favorites entering the game. The two programs entered the season as favorites to win the Horizon League, with Green Bay beating the Raiders out by one vote. Wright State will look to continue its perfect home campaign in the 2013-14 season and extend the home record to 10-0.
The Raiders’ athletic marketing team has been hard at work in an effort to make the ESPNU broadcast an exciting one, designating the game as a “white out” and offering t-shirts
to the first 5,000 fans through the doors. The game is also a faculty/staff appreciation night and already has over 1,000 participants signed up for that pregame celebration.
Wright State had a slow start to the season, sporting a 5-7 mark through their first 12 contests, but have since turned things around , winning 6 of the last 7, including a 3-1 league record. Meanwhile, the Phoenix have lived up to preseason hype at 13-3, with a close 69-66 loss to Wisconsin.
Last Time Out:
Both teams are coming off of Sunday afternoon league contests. Wright State hosted Illinois Chicago, pulling out a 58-53 victory, while Green Bay won an overtime thriller at rival Milwaukee by a score of 93-86.
Keys for the Raiders:
Wright State will have their hands full defensively with three veteran Phoenix players averaging double digits in Keifer Sykes, Alec Brown and Greg Mays. The Raiders play a man to man defense the majority of the time and head coach Billy Donlon’s teams are known for their stifling defense, particularly when it comes to keeping opponents’ leading scorers in check. Senior forward AJ Pacher is coming off of a 17 point, 8 rebound performance and will need to have another well rounded game in order to open up outside opportunities for the Wright State guards. The Raiders’ depth, defensive discipline, and free throw shooting will have to prevail for them to have an early share of first place in the Horizon League. Starters Matt Vest and Kendall Griffin are questionable, as starter JT Yoho is out with an ankle sprain.
Keys for the Phoenix:
Green Bay will need to play 40 minutes of sound defense, as Wright State has as distributed scoring as can be found anywhere in the nation. Only AJ Pacher averages over ten points, and scoring is well distributed from there, as any one player can have a great night, any night. Wright State likes to slow the game down, and in a hostile environment the Phoenix will need to control the tempo the best they can in order to pull out a win. The Phoenix will look for Alec Brown to stay out of foul trouble and will need to pound the ball down low in order to put Wright State’s 5 post players in foul trouble and stay in control of the game.
The Game can be seen at 7p.m on ESPNU or listen on Dayton’s BIG 106.5 FM.
Topics: Wright State Raiders