Men’s Basketball remains undefeated in league after win over Cleveland State
The WSU men’s basketball team took an 18 point halftime lead and was able to cruise to a 69-53 victory over the Cleveland State Vikings Wednesday night at the Nutter Center in front of 4,048 fans.
With the victory Wright State is now 12-4 on the season, 3-0 in conference play, and a perfect 8-0 at home. The last WSU team to start 12-4 was in 1989-90.
“That was one of our goals that we talked about at the beginning of the season is to defend the Nutt House and so far we’ve been able to do that,” WSU sophomore Kendall Griffin said.
Jerran Young came off the bench for WSU and scored 23 points on 8-11 shooting in just 21 minutes of action. Griffin also scored in double figures with 12. Junior Matt Vest chipped six assists along with a big four-point play for WSU’s first basket to get the Raider offense going.
Both Griffin and Wright State head coach Billy Donlon spoke their praises of Young after his performance.
“He (Young) plays hard. Really hard. Offensive rebounds, getting to the paint, making big plays – that’s what we needed and he does it on a consistent basis too.”
“He (Young) can guard five positions. And guard them all very well,” Donlon said. “That’s impossible to find. His athleticism is elite for any level.”
Wright State’s defense hounded the Viking offense all night only allowing 17 points in the first half and limiting CSU to 37 percent shooting for the game. Viking sophomore Charlie Lee shot an abysmal 1-11 from the field in 37 minutes played.
“I’m really proud of the way our guys competed defensively to start the game,” Donlon said. “If our team guards we’re going to have chances most nights.”
Three pointers were falling early and often for the Raiders who shot 7-13 from beyond the arc in the first half and hit nine overall.
“We always do a lot of shooting because I think that’s one of our strengths,” Griffin said. “We have a lot of guys that can shoot.”
WSU was also able to get to the free throw line consistently and knock shots down shooting 16-20 from the charity stripe. Young spoke about WSU’s game plan for getting to the stripe.
“Attacking when we drive and make sure you get body contact and just finish plays,” Young said.
WSU jumped out to an 8-0 start and didn’t allow a Viking point until Bryn Forbes hit a jumper at the 14:38 mark. The Raiders never trailed in this game and were able to extend their lead to 20 just a few minutes before the final buzzer.
Turnovers once again played a big factor for a WSU defense which came into tonight’s game first in the Horizon League allowing only 55 points per game. The Vikings turned the ball over 16 times leading to 24 Raider points.
WSU now goes on the road for four straight conference games starting this Friday at Loyola in a nationally televised ESPNU game at 9:00 p.m.
“It’s a tough stretch,” Griffin said. “We’re going to be on the road for awhile.”
Chrishawn Hopkins, a transfer from Butler who will not be eligible to play until halfway through next season, was on the bench for tonight’s game and practiced with the team today.
“He got cleared to practice yesterday,” Donlon said. “He had class so he got there for the last 15 minutes. He made four plays that nobody on our team can make. He’s been really well coached.”