Wright State (14-13) at Oakland (10-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 16, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Athletics Center O'rena (4,005) -- Rochester, Michigan. Television: HLN. Home Record: Wright State 11-2, Oakland 9-3. Away Record: Wright State 2-11, Oakland 1-11. Neutral Record: Wright State 1-0, Oakland 0-3. Conference Record: Wright State 6-6, Oakland 5-7. Series Record: Wright State leads, 5-2.
GAME NOTES: The Oakland Golden Grizzlies will close out a two-game homestand at Athletics Center O'rena on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Wright State Raiders in Horizon League action.
Wright State has been up-and-down this season at 14-13 overall and 6-6 in the league, and it has a vast disparity between success at home (11-2) compared on the road (2-11). The Raiders are on the downswing of late with losses in four of their last five, most recently dropping a 72-68 decision versus Cleveland State on Feb. 8, 72-68.
Oakland was also trending in the wrong direction prior to its latest contest with three straight setbacks before it found itself on the winning side of an 83-82 final versus Detroit on Friday night to improve to 9-3 at the O'rena. Despite their strong home record, the Grizzlies are just 10-17 this season and 5-7 in league play.
The teams played earlier this season, with Wright State winning at home on Jan. 2, 76-64, to improve to 5-2 in the all-time series.
The Raiders battled through eight ties and 14 lead changes in their latest outing but couldn't hold off Cleveland State in the four-point setback. Although they shot a solid 45.8 percent from the field, they allowed CSU to make a lofty 53.3 percent of its field goal tries, and they were also outrebounded by a 31-22 margin. Jerran Young paced the losing effort with 15 points off the bench, JT Yoho netted 14 points and Cole Darling and Miles Dixon put up 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Most of Wright State's success this season has come thanks to its defense, which allows a mere 62.2 ppg. Its offensive output has been lackluster (67.3 ppg), but it still boasts stellar percentages from the field (.450) and the free-throw line (.749). AJ Pacher shoots a lofty 60.5 percent from the field for 10.0 ppg, and while he's the only player in double figures, Yoho (9.2 ppg), Miles Dixon (8.8 ppg), Young (8.5 ppg, 1.7 spg, 1.1 bpg) and Darling (8.0 ppg) have all been solid in their own right.
Trailing by three in the final minute of regulation, Oakland tied the score and sent the game to overtime on a Travis Bader 3-pointer, and it drew up the heroics again late in the extra session when Duke Mondy's jumper with 11 seconds left gave it the dramatic victory. Bader, the NCAA's all-time leader in 3-pointers, knocked down 8-of-13 from beyond the arc on his way to 30 points, while Kahlil Felder logged 15 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, one of just eight triple-doubles in the country this season. Ralph Hill added 11 points in the triumph and Corey Petros and Dante Williams combined for 20 points and 17 rebounds.
The Grizzlies rarely have an issue putting points on the board this season (73.9 ppg), but their downfall has come on the other end of the floor in yielding 77.6 ppg. Bader pours in 20.2 ppg thanks mostly to his nation-leading 126 3-pointers drained at a 41.6 percent clip. Petros mans the paint with 13.5 ppg and 8.2 rpg, Mondy nets 11.2 ppg and is an elite perimeter defender with 3.1 spg, and Felder (9.9 ppg) ranks 11th in the nation in handing out 6.1 apg.
Neither of these teams have been a model of consistency this season, but with Oakland playing well on its home floor and Wright State struggling mightily on the road, figure for the Grizzlies' potent offense to get the best of the Raiders' stout defense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oakland 70, Wright State 67
02/16 10:33:38 ET