Wright State (13-9) at Youngstown State (12-9)
GAME NOTES: The Wright State Raiders take aim at their third win in a row as they visit the Beeghly Center for Horizon League action against the Youngstown State Penguins.
The Raiders coasted to a 73-57 victory over the Milwaukee Panthers on Tuesday to improve to a 13-9 overall record including a 5-2 conference mark, which puts them just 1.5 games back of the Horizon League leading Green Bay Phoenix. Wright State is just 2-8 in true road tests, but edged Cleveland State, 49-46, last Saturday in its most recent away game. Coach Billy Donlon's squad is pacing the Horizon League in scoring defense with an allowance of only 61 ppg, but it is also last in the conference in points per game (67.5).
Youngstown State has a very different system than the visitors as it leads the conference and ranks 34th nationally in scoring at 79.3 ppg and is also ranked 21st among Division I programs in assists per game (16.1). The Penguins had a three-game winning streak snapped on Thursday with a 74-71 setback to Valparaiso at home. The loss dropped Youngstown State down to a 12-9 standing with a 3-3 league record. Coach Jerry Slocum's team had won eight of its first nine games at the Beeghly Center before being bested by the Crusaders.
This will be the 48th meeting in history between these schools. Wright State owns a 38-9 all-time series lead. The Penguins and Raiders will square off again at Wright State on Feb. 5.
WSU received a strong showing from Jerran Young in its 16-point victory over Milwaukee. The 6-foot-6 senior forward posted 19 points while A.J. Pacher tallied 12 points. Cole Darling added 11 points and eight rebounds and Reggie Arceneaux continued to shine in the backcourt as he finished with nine points, five assists and a pair of steals. The Raiders connected on 45 percent of their field goal attempts and forced the Panthers into 16 turnovers. They put the game out of reach early and led, 39-21, at the intermission. Pacher is the only player on WSU averaging double-figures in the scoring column at 10.5 ppg, but the team has the deepest rotation in the conference which makes it hard for any individual Raider to stand out as the top scoring threat.
The Penguins had a nine-point advantage on the scoreboard over Valpo at halftime on Thursday before converting a total of just nine field goals over the final 20 minutes of the contest. YSU was paced by Bobby Hain who tallied 16 points and cleared eight rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Kendrick Perry chipped in 15 points, Ryan Weber 14 and DJ Cole 12 points. Perry, who was the 2014 Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year, went just 2-of-8 at the free-throw line in the loss. The senior guard is still averaging a career-high 20.9 ppg on 52 percent efficiency from the field and already owns the school record for career steals with 226. Kamren Belin is second on the team in both scoring and rebounding with 11.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg.
Whichever team manages to control the pace of the game will have a huge advantage in this one. A hot start by YSU could force the Raiders out of their comfort zone, but finding success on the offensive end against WSU is not a regular occurrence. However, Perry is very rarely contained and is due for a big game after being held under the 20-point mark in consecutive outings.
GAME NOTES: The Wright State Raiders take aim at their third win in a row as
they visit the Beeghly Center for Horizon League action against the Youngstown
State Penguins.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beeghly Center (6,300) -- Youngstown, Ohio. Television:
None. Home Record: WSU 10-1, YSU 8-2. Away Record: WSU 2-8, YSU 2-7.
Neutral Record: WSU 1-0, YSU 2-0. Conference Record: WSU 5-2, YSU 3-3. Series
Record: Wright State leads, 38-9.Game Date and Time
Saturday January 25, 7:05 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Youngstown State 71, Wright State 63