Raiders split road games, keep tie for Horizon League lead
The Wright State men’s basketball team went to Valparaiso and Detroit over the weekend in two key conference matchups and still find themselves tied for the top spot in the Horizon League.
WSU suffered its first conference loss of the season Saturday night at Valpo as the Crusaders got the better of a WSU team who lead most of the evening, 69-63.
Senior Ryan Broekhoff scored nine points in the final minute-and-a-half of a comeback victory for Valpo to send the Raiders falling to second place in the conference.
Two days later, WSU squared off against the Detroit Titans, who had trounced UIC 98-47 just two nights before. WSU’s defense answered the call ,giving the Raiders a 64-62 road victory and a share once again of first place in the league.
WSU sophomore Kendall Griffin scored 15 points to lead the Raiders in the Motor city while holding Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Ray McCallum to only eight points. McCallum had been averaging nearly 19 points per game prior to the contest.
After the two games, WSU moved to 14-5 overall and 5-1 in the Horizon League. 14 victories surpasses WSU’s win total from a year ago when the team stumbled to a 13-19 overall record and a 7-11 mark in Horizon League play.
The Raider offense sputtered at times in Valparaiso Saturday evening as the team shot 42.9 percent from the floor and only 3-11 from beyond the arc. In addition the 69 points WSU surrendered was the most given up since the first game of the year when the Raiders defeated Idaho 80-70.
Those problems corrected themselves in Michigan Monday evening as WSU shot 50 percent from field while holding a Detroit team who was averaging just under 80 points per game to 62.
The Titans, playing their third game in five days, only gave six players significant playing time against WSU. Two players, (McCallum and Calliste), played all 40 minutes.
Depth proved to be a major factor in WSU’s victory as the Raiders had nine players who played 13 or more minutes. Bench scoring was also lopsided in WSU’s favor (20-2).