Confidence riding high as Raiders prepare for Valparaiso
It could be the most important game in the regular season for the Horizon League in 2013.
The Valparaiso Crusaders visit the Nutter Center Tuesday night with a 1 and a half game lead over second place Wright State as the regular season begins to wind down and tournament seeding beings to gain significance the closer to March we get.
Both teams are currently on a three game winning steak after WSU just swept both Green Bay and Milwaukee this past weekend while Valpo most recently defeated Cleveland State on the road 80-72.
The teams played earlier this year in Valparaiso where the Crusaders trailed for most of the game until Valpo scored on each of their final 10 possessions to come from behind and hand WSU a 69-63 defeat.
WSU sophomore point guard Reggie Arceneaux called the game “crucial.”
“I don’t think we’re hungry, I know we’re hungry,” Arceneaux said. “As soon as we got the games over with in Wisconsin and we beat Milwaukee that’s all we were thinking about was Valpo.”
Arceneaux said that Tuesday night “will definitely be a different story” from the game earlier in the year at Valpo and “We (WSU) look forward to beating them right on our home court.”
WSU junior AJ Pacher said the team’s confidence is riding high for the time being and after that recent sweep of Green Bay and Milwaukee the team “deserves” to be feeling good about themselves at the moment.
“I think confidence after that trip is deserved,” Pacher said. “When you go up there (to Wisconsin) and win since we’ve never won since 1998 at Milwaukee,”
Pacher said he also feels that consistency on defense as well as playing “even keel” emotionally will determine how well Wright State performs Tuesday night.
“I think if we can get back to Wright State defense every single possession – I think that’s the biggest key,” Pacher said. “A lot of games we’ve shown it for 20 or 30 minutes but if we get there for 40 minutes vs. Valpo we’ll have a really good chance.”
Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night and Wright State students can receive two free tickets with a valid Wright1 card at Gate 9 of the Nutter Center starting at 6:00 p.m. The game can also be viewed live online at www.horizonleague.org.