Men’s basketball drops two games in Utah tournament

Charles Grove, Sports Writer

The WSU men’s basketball team spent their weekend in Salt Lake City for the Utah Thanksgiving Tournament and suffered their first two losses of the season.

The Raiders entered the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record, but dropped the first game 59-55 score to Central Michigan—a team WSU had beaten each of the past three seasons.

“We didn’t come ready to play,” Yoho said. “I think we took them a little bit for granted.”

WSU rebounded by suffocating the Idaho State Bengals on the defensive end in a 60-45 victory. WSU dominated ISU in terms of points in the paint (34-6) and points off turnovers (19-6).

The only blemish in the Idaho State victory was free throw shooting. WSU shot 39.1 percent (9-23) from the charity stripe in the victory, which allowed the Bengals to stick around despite not scoring a field goal in the second half until the 10:38 mark.

Free throw shooting was also an issue in WSU’s final game against Utah the next night Instead of missing free throws, WSU only attempted two free throws the entire game.

“We settled at times,” Wright State sophomore Reggie Arceneaux said. “There were 6’10” guys on me that were a lot slower than me. I should’ve blown past them. We didn’t attack the bigs off the ballscreen.”

Utah freshman Jordan Loveridge had a banner night early in his collegiate career against the Raiders, going for 22 points and nine rebounds.

“I didn’t think he was capable of making that many shots,” Wright State junior Miles Dixon said.

“He hit a lot of jump shots,” Yoho said. “The scouting report said he was known as a driver, so we gave him a little room to shoot and he knocked down some difficult shots.”

The WSU defense continued to force turnovers during the trip, drawing 15 from Utah, 17 from Idaho State and 14 from Central Michigan.
“We have a lot of athletic guys that can defend the ball on every spot on the floor,” Arceneaux said.

“Our gap defense has been strong,” Yoho said. “If the first line gets beat, the second line’s right there.”

The Raiders (4-2) return home for their second home game of the season against Morehead State Saturday. To emerge with the win, the team hopes to improve its defensive effort.

“We have to defend the dribble,” Yoho said. “That’s very important. We’ve been struggling on that.”

“We need to defend the dribble, rebound and we have to be physical on the defensive end throughout the game,” Arceneaux said. “That’s just on the defensive end. That’s what we’re focusing on. I’m not even going to talk about the offensive end. That part will come to us.”

Saturday’s game with Morehead State will be broadcast on Dayton’s CW station. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.

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