WSU advances to semifinals, will face Detroit Saturday night
It may not have been the cushy, comfortable, 25 point win the Raiders got last Saturday against Youngstown State, but in the end the Raiders are moving on to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament Saturday night.
Six days after WSU destroyed the Penguins at the Nutter Center 70-45 to end the regular season the Raiders found themselves needing one more victory against YSU to keep their season alive.
Wright State managed to get that victory 66-59 behind four Raiders scoring in double figures and Miles Dixon leading the scoring attack with 14 points. Juniors AJ Pacher, Jerran Young and sophomore Reggie Arceneaux each had 13, 13 and 11 respectively.
The game seemed comfortably in hand for WSU the majority of the game as the Raiders lead at the half 33-19, extending that lead to 18 just a few minutes into the second half.
But then the Penguins’ comeback began.
YSU patiently chipped away at the lead eventually trailing by only 3 after senior Damian Eargle hit a free throw with 3:36 remaining. But Arceneaux came up big with one of his three three-pointers the next possession to deflate YSU’s hopes and helping WSU eventually come out with the victory.
“He takes big shots,” Wright State head coach Billy Donlon said after the game. This was Arceneaux’s first game scoring in double figures since returning from suffering a concussion forcing him to sit out a number of games.
Arceneaux credited his team’s depth as a major factor in WSU’s advancement to the semifinals Saturday night against Detroit.
“Anybody that subs in there’s no drop off,” Arceneaux said. “We can play as hard as we want on defense because of that.”
Half of WSU’s 66 points were scored from non-starters and Miles Dixon lead way with 10 points in the first half and 14 overall.
“It’s a different guy every game with this team,” Dixon said. “And I guess it was my night.”
Originally it was ruled that Youngstown State star and 1st team all Horizon League selection Kendrick Perry was going to have to sit this contest out like he did six days ago. But Perry dressed and came off the bench for 11 points, all coming in the second half.
“Mentally I think it (Perry’s knee injury) held me back from attacking in the first half,” Perry said after the game.
Youngstown senior Damian Eargle credited the WSU defense for stifling his team’s offense most of the evening saying his team wasn’t “ready for the pressure” that the Raider defense played with.
Looking forward to tomorrow night Wright State (20-11) will play the second-seeded Detroit Titans (20-11) for a trip to the Horizon League Championship game this upcoming Tuesday night. Donlon believes the key is playing Detroit at the tempo his team is comfortable with.
“We have to make it a possession game,” Donlon said. “They’re (Detroit) really good. All five of their starters can get double figures.”
The game will tipoff at 6:00 p.m. and can be seen on ESPNU on a tape delay at 10:30 p.m. Radio broadcast of the game can be heard live at www.myclassiccountry.com .
The Guardian will be at the game tweeting live updates at @Guardian_Sports.