Raider Recap


Mandatory Credit: Tim G. Zechar

Wright State’s Men’s Basketball team had an eight-day break after losing four of their previous five Horizon League matchups and taking a tumble through the conference standings from second to sixth place.  The Raiders would head to Rochester, Michigan on Sunday looking to turn things around against Oakland at the O’Rena.

In recent games the starting five has struggled to get the offense going early on  (a 16-3 deficit to start against Cleveland State, 8-2 vs. Youngstown State, 5-0 vs. Green Bay, 14-5 vs. Milwaukee, and 8-0 vs. Youngstown State) in their previous five games.  Coach Billy Donlon finally made a change and inserted two of the more athletic and offensively productive members of his team into the starting unit.  He shook up his  lineup, giving Butler transfer Chrishawn Hopkins (47% 3P) his first start, and Jerran Young (50% FG) his second of the year.  The change seemed to pay dividends as the Raiders would appear to be clicking on all cylinders early.

Game Highlights.

At the first media timeout Wright State held an 8-7 edge in a game that would see five ties and seven lead changes.  However, the Grizzlies would maintain the advantage the majority of the game, extending it to as many as 13 (50-37) at the 15:37 mark of the second half.  Oakland would hold a 67-57 lead with 2:01 remaining in the game before Wright State made magic happen on the road, scoring 15 of the final 19 points en route to an unprobable victory.

Cole Darling started it off with a three with 2:00 remaining to cut the deficit to seven.  An offensive foul commited by Mondy at the other end would lead to a Reggie Arceneaux trey for the Raiders to make it 67-63.  Another Mondy turnover lead to an easy Wright State bucket as AJ Pacher cut the lead in half on a layup with :56 on the clock;  67-65 Oakland.  After a pair of Oakland free throws the Raiders would have an answer as Arceneaux found a curling JT Yoho who netted another three, cutting the deficit to one with :28 to go.  Oakland’s Travis Bader would carry the ball on the inbounds play, leading to Cole Darling earning a trip to the free throw line and earning Wright State’s first lead   (70-69) since 10-9.

Mondy would hit another pair of free throws to make it a 71-70 Grizzly lead with :13 remaining and Wright State needing another answer.  A play would be drawn up for senior AJ Pacher as Oakland big man Petry had fouled out minutes earlier.  The play was executed to perfection as Pacher got the roll on the baby hook with 1.6 remaining and the Raiders held on for the victory.  The coaching staff is hoping this will be the signature team win they’ve been looking for as the season nears league tournament time and seeding becomes everything.

Notable Performances:

Cole Darling led all scorers with 21 points while Pacher notched 15 points and ten rebounds and Jerran Young pitched in 11 and 7.

Matt Vest was assigned to guarding the all time NCAA 3 Point Leader in Travis Bader.  He was successful in his endeavors, holding the phenom to 1-10 from the field, including 0-3 from his beloved three point land.

A Look Ahead:

The Raiders can still claim third in the HL by winning out and getting a little help, which begins Friday at the Nutter Center vs. Detroit (12-15, 5-7).  The game will be a 10:00 p.m. tip to accomodate ESPNU.