Women’s Basketball: Raiders start new year with continued cross-town matchup against Flyers
While Wright State men’s basketball coach Billy Donlon continues to make his case for a Dayton/WSU matchup to take place before he leaves Fairborn, the Raiders’ women’s team will play the Flyers Thursday night at 7 p.m. for the 15th-consecutive year.
Except, WSU women’s head coach Mike Bradbury does not want anyone to refer to the game as a rivalry.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to play a quality opponent. That’s where we look at it,” Bradbury said. “As far as a rivalry, that’s isn’t one, really. I don’t know that we’ve ever won, so we’re going to have to be competitive for it to ever be a rivalry. The last three years they’ve beaten us up pretty bad and hopefully we can make it competitive this year.”
The Raiders are 4-34 lifetime against the Flyers and have not defeated Dayton since 2006 when WSU won at home 60-59. Under Bradbury, WSU is 0-3 against UD, with an average margin of defeat of 20 points, including a 95-73 home loss last season.
But much has changed for both teams since their last meeting. After struggling with injuries and inconsistent play for most of last year, the Raiders have flourished in 2013 with the backcourt play of Kim Demmings, Ivory James and Tay’ler Mingo. All three guards are averaging double-figures, with Demmings averaging a career best 22.2 points per game.
A victory Thursday night for WSU (11-3) would equal their wins-mark from last season after only 15 games.
Alternatively, UD struggled to begin the year, losing four of its first six games, but rebounded as of late with four straight wins.
The Flyers also bring an offense that features five starters averaging double-figure scoring. Bradbury said his team will have to keep pace with UD on offense in order to win.
“They score and they score fast. [The Flyers] play faster than we do and we’ve played faster than our previous 14 opponents. The challenge for us is to make them have to earn their points and if we’re going to have any chance to win, we’re going to have to get to at least 100 [points],” Bradbury said.