Wright State (9-8) at Valparaiso (9-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 10, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) -- Valparaiso, Indiana. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: WSU 8-0, Valpo 7-2. Away Record: WSU 0-8, Valpo 1-6. Neutral Record: WSU 1-0, Valpo 1-0. Conference Record: WSU 1-1, Valpo 1-1. Series Record: Series is tied, 11-11.
GAME NOTES: A pair of Horizon League squads with identical records get together on Friday night, as the Wright State Raiders pay a visit to the Valparaiso Crusaders.
While Wright State may be a game over .500 at the moment, the Raiders have been two drastically different teams when at home and on the road. In their own building the Raiders are undefeated at 8-0, but in eight true road tests the team has yet to register even a single victory. Last weekend, Wright State bowed to Detroit on the road in a 58-53 final, snapping a four-game win streak and dropping the team to 1-1 in conference play.
As for the Crusaders, they too have been dominant at home (7-2) and less-than- forceful on the road (1-6) to this point in the campaign. Like WSU, Valpo is also coming off a league loss last Saturday, slipping up against Oakland at the O'rena by a score of 75-70. The defeat was the third in four games for the program.
With respect to the all-time series, the teams have been facing each other since the 1991-92 campaign and are currently knotted at 11-11.
The Wright State defense was all over the Titans in the second half of their meeting, limiting the hosts to a mere six field goals, but at the same time the Raiders converted a mere 1-of-11 behind the 3-point line and 5-of-11 at the charity stripe, preventing the visitors from making a real run at the win. The only double-digit scorers for WSU were AJ Pacher and Chrishawn Hopkins with 11 points apiece, the team finishing with just 35.8 percent shooting from the field and 4-of-22 out on the perimeter.
As one of only two players to have started every game for the Raiders, it only makes sense that someone like Pacher would be leading the squad in scoring, even though he tops out at 10.5 ppg. A 68.3 percent shooter from the floor, who is just 60.7 percent accurate at the charity stripe, Pacher is also first on the glass with close to five boards per game. WSU comes up short on the boards by an average of two per contest, but makes up for it by outscoring foes by 6.6 ppg.
The Crusaders put five players in double figures against Oakland, shot an even 50 percent from the field and 43.5 percent behind the 3-point line, and still that wasn't good enough as the visitors suffered the five-point setback. LaVonte Dority led the way with 20 points and five assists, followed by Alex Peters and Jordan Coleman with 12 points apiece. Lexus Williams drove for 11 points and Keith Carter another 10 off the bench, while fellow reserve Moussa Gueye accounted for a game-high 11 rebounds.
The leading scorer in four of the last five outings for Valpo, Dority is responsible for 15.6 ppg as he shoots 41.7 percent beyond the arc and 83.8 percent at the free-throw line. In addition to being the best scoring option, Dority is also first when it comes to assists (50). Peters (13.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg) has proven to be a valuable inside-outside threat who has also made good on 43.2 percent of his 3-point tries.
Shooting close to 40 percent beyond the arc heading into the week, the Crusaders are keenly aware that they have the ability to beat opponents both outside the 3-point line and in the key as they maintain a rebounding edge of almost seven per game, both of which will come in handy tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Valparaiso 75, Wright State 62
01/10 10:15:34 ET