Raiders begin crucial road test against Loyola on national TV

Charles Grove, Sports Writer

Now the real test begins.

After three conference home games the Wright State men’s basketball team sits tied atop the Horizon League standings at 3-0. But now WSU’s biggest road trip of the season with four straight road conference games begins tonight vs. the Loyola Ramblers.

Loyola enters tonight’s game with a 10-5 record and a 1-2 mark in league play after upsetting Horizon League favorite Valparaiso to begin the conference campaign. The Ramblers since have lost two straight to Youngstown State and Green Bay.

The Raiders overall are 12-4 and are off to their best season start since 1989-1990. That start has been propelled by a WSU defense allowing only 55.5 points per game, first in the league.

History is on WSU’s side in this series as the Raiders own a 22-15 record vs. the Ramblers including 11 wins in the past 12 games. Wright State head coach Billy Donlon is a perfect 4-0 vs. Loyola as well.

Despite the history Donlon isn’t overlooking the Ramblers.

“I think we’re similar teams,” Donlon said. “It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be on national TV. We’ve got to be ready.”

Loyola has two signature victories to their season already as they defeated Mississippi State and crosstown rival DePaul.

The Rambler attack is led by 6’8” senior Ben Averkamp who is averaging 15.1 points per game while also pulling down 6.5 rebounds per game.

Leading the green and gold offensively is junior Cole Darling averaging 10.6 points per game. Reggie Arceneaux also averages 9.7 per game while junior Jerran Young is coming off a 23-point performance vs. Cleveland State in WSU’s last victory.

Tonight’s game kicks off a road trip that will see the Raiders play at Valparaiso, Detroit, and Youngstown State before returning to the Nutter Center to play UIC on Jan. 26.

Tonight’s game will tipoff at 9:00 p.m. on ESPNU. If you can’t tune in you can also listen to the radio broadcast live online at www.myclassiccountry.com.

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