Wright State (6-3) at Hofstra (3-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 15, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mack Sports Complex (5,023) -- Hempstead, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Wright St. 3-0, Hofstra 3-2. Away Record: Wright St. 3-2, Hofstra 0-5. Neutral Record: Wright St. 0-1, Hofstra 0-0. Conference Record: Wright St. 0-0, Hofstra 0-0. Series Record: Wright State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Hofstra Pride and the Wright State Raiders will clash in a non-conference matchup at the Mack Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Billy Donlon's Raiders opened the 2012-13 campaign with three straight wins, but have struggled with consistency since then, splitting their last six games. However, the team does enter this contest on a bit of a high, routing VMI last weekend, in the team's most explosive scoring display of the season, 92-59.
Mo Cassara's Pride also had a three-game win streak early on this season, but the team has struggled a lot since, coming into this contest with a five-game losing streak in tow. The Pride dropped a decision in a shootout last weekend at Long Island, 88-84.
This is just the second time these two teams are meeting on the hardwood. Wright State won the only other matchup, an 82-56 rout during the 2010-11 campaign as part of the BracketBuster event.
The offensive performance by Wright State against the Keydets was certainly not the norm this year, as the team posted 92 points, its most since scoring 94 against Green Bay in 2005. Reggie Arceneaux led the way with a career-high 22 points in the win. Miles Dixon checked in with 15 points, while Matt Vest and Kendall Griffin chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Putting points up on the scoreboard hasn't come as easy this season with Wright State averaging a modest 62.2 ppg, The team has held the opposition in check for the most part though, with foes netting just 55.3 ppg on only .403 shooting, including a meager .273 from behind the arc. The team did not have Cole Darling in the lineup in the win over VMI, but the junior forward still leads the team in scoring at 11.8 ppg. Darling is currently nursing a shoulder injury and is questionable for this contest. Others that need to step up in Darling's possible absence include Dixon (10.0 ppg), Arceneaux (9.9 ppg), JT Yoho (8.8 ppg) and Vest (8.3 ppg).
The Pride put on a strong offensive showing at Long Island last weekend, but .574 shooting simply wasn't enough, as LIU outscored Hofstra 29-19 at the free-throw line and forced the Pride into 19 turnovers. The loss spoiled a terrific performance by Taran Buie, who erupted for a game-high 29 points. Stevie Mejia added 13 points in support, while Stephen Nwaukoni finished with 12 points off the bench.
Hofstra's inability to play shutdown defense against LIU has actually been a problem all year long for the Pride. Opponents are averaging a generous 75.6 ppg, as the Pride are stuck with a -11.0 scoring margin at this time. Part of that has come from a lack of personnel, as key performers like Jimmy Hall (12.7 ppg, 9.4 rpg) and Shaquille Stokes (10.0 ppg) are currently suspended indefinitely, along with others. Buie has done his best to assuage the losses, averaging a team-best 15.9 ppg. Mejia does what he can in the scoring column (10.3 ppg), while doubling as the team's top distributor (3.6 apg).
The Pride are at a disadvantage as the team tries to navigate this season at way less than full strength. Wright State should be able to take advantage and earn the win here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wright State 61, Hofstra 55
12/15 10:38:13 ET