Men’s Basketball Notebook: Raiders not bothered by fast turnaround

Justin Boggs, Sports Writer
January 3, 2014
Filed under Men's Basketball, Top Stories

It has been nearly three weeks since Billy Donlon has led his road-weary squad back on the road. After losing its first seven road contests this season, Wright State is looking to break its misfortunes at Detroit Saturday.

The Raiders have lost five of their seven road games this season in the last few minutes. Donlon said he is not be worried about things he cannot control such as where Saturday’s game is being played.

“You have to play everybody twice,” Donlon said. “Five of our losses have come in the last possession. I don’t think we have played horrific on the road. I take full responsibility for the games that we have lost in the last minute.”

The last time the Raiders were on the road was Dec. 15 at Miami University. The Raiders led for much of the second half in that contest only to have the lead slip away from them in the final two minutes of the game.

“If our players play the way they played in 38 or 39 minutes in those losses, we’ll win some games on the road,” Donlon said.

The way WSU guard Miles Dixon looks at it, the Raiders started a new season Thursday with conference play underway.

“We start the season 0-0 with the start of conference play,” Dixon said. “We have our first win but we have to move on to the next game and get ready for Detroit.”

Saturday’s 2 p.m. contest is 41 hours removed from the completion of Thursday’s win over Oakland in the Nutter Center. Quick turnarounds do not bother the Raiders, according to Donlon.

“I think it is all in the head,” Donlon said. “They’re 18-22 (years old), they’re in the prime of their life like ‘come on, let’s eat breakfast and get on a bus to play the game.’ I think everyone has jobs and things to discuss but ultimately, we’re not going to practice physical (Friday) and we’ll put our plan in (for Saturday).”

Dixon’s strong performance

If Donlon has his wish, Dixon’s father would be at every home game. With his dad in attendance, Dixon scored 13 in the Raiders’ 76-64 win versus Oakland Thursday.

“His dad needs to come to the rest of the games,” Donlon said. “If it were NCAA legal, I would fly him up to Detroit.”

Thursday was Dixon’s second consecutive game in double figures. Along with his 13 points, he added four assists in just 18 minutes of action. His average of 9.8 per game is more than a point higher than his average last year.

“He’s had a good year,” Donlon said. “He had a rough patch on that road trip like we all did. But he’s aggressive offensively, he makes hard shots, I was really proud of the way he defended.”

Dixon, a senior from Missouri City, Texas, did much of his damage from the line as he went 6-for-8.

Raiders able to drain some 3s

After a dismal 0-for-13 performance from outside the arc Sunday versus Bowling Green, the Raiders shot 8-for-23 on 3-point attempts on Thursday.

Point guard Reggie Arceneaux led the way with three successful 3-pointers, one of which came 23 seconds into the game. Arceneaux’s early 3-pointer set the tone for the Raiders for the rest of the contest.

“It definitely (gave us confidence) especially with Oakland being really good on offense with their inside game,” WSU forward Cole Darling said about making early 3-pointers. “Getting out to an early start like that… and shooting the ball like that does give you more confidence.”

In total, six Raiders made a 3-pointer.

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