Cleveland State (16-9) at Wright State (14-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Nutter Center (10,400) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Cleveland State 9-2, Wright State 11-1. Away Record: Cleveland State 7-7, Wright State 2-11. Neutral Record: Cleveland State 0-0, Wright State 1-0. Conference Record: Cleveland State 7-3, Wright State 6-5. Series Record: Series is tied, 30-30.
GAME NOTES: The Cleveland State Vikings will try to avenge their most recent loss as they square off with the Wright State Raiders in a Horizon League tilt at the Nutter Center.
Since falling, 49-46, at home to Wright State on Jan. 19, the Vikings have won five games in a row with four of the contests taking place on the road. Cleveland State's recent surge has lifted it to a 16-9 overall record. Every outing is important for coach Gary Waters and his team as they are only two games behind the first place Green Bay Phoenix in the Horizon League race. The Vikings extended their winning streak on Wednesday with a 92-85 victory at Oakland. Cleveland State has been on fire over its last three games, netting 86.7 ppg during that span.
The Raiders pulled away after halftime for a 77-67 victory over the Youngstown State Penguins on Wednesday to improve to a 14-12, including a 6-5 conference mark. The win snapped a three-game losing streak and gave the team its 11th win in 12 games at the Nutter Center. Coach Billy Donlon's squad is pacing the Horizon League in scoring defense with an allowance of only 61.8 ppg, but it is also last in the conference in points per game (67.2). Wright State is fifth in the league in field-goal percentage (.450), which indicates the lack of scoring is in large part due to its slower pace not inefficiency.
This will be the 61st meeting in history between CSU and WSU. The Raiders' three-point win over the Vikings last month tied the all-time series at 30 wins apiece. CSU had a chance to tie the score in the closing seconds, but Charlie Lee missed a 3-point field-goal attempt at the buzzer.
Lee scored a career-high 31 points and CSU tied a school single-game record with 14 makes from beyond the arc at Oakland. Lee also dealt out six assists while Jon Harris came off the bench to score 19 points and grab six rebounds. Trey Lewis added 16 points with five assists for the Vikings, who finished the contest with a 30-21 edge in total rebounds. Harris has scored in double figures 13 times this season, which ties the program record for a reserve. Harris has converted 12-of-13 shots from the floor over the last three games. Bryn Forbes poured in 52 total points in two games before being held to 11 by the Golden Grizzlies. Forbes is pacing the team in the scoring column with 16.4 ppg.
WSU received a strong showing from Cole Darling in its 10-point victory over Youngstown State. The 6-foot-8 senior forward came off the bench to post 20 points, leading five Raiders in double figures. Also contributing in reserve roles were Chrishawn Hopkins with 11 points and both Jerran Young and AJ Pacher with 10. The only starter to score in double figures for WSU was J.T. Yoho with 11 points. The Raiders outscored the Penguins, 27-17, at the free- throw line in the contest. Pacher is the only player on WSU averaging double- figures in the scoring column at 10.2 ppg, but the team has the deepest rotation in the conference which makes it hard for any individual Raider to stand out as the top scoring threat.
The first installment of this home-and-home series indicated that these teams are extremely close in talent this season. The Vikings allowed WSU to slow down the tempo in Cleveland, so they will need to make an even greater effort to get out and run at the Nutter Center, where the Raiders are extremely tough.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wright State 64, Cleveland State 59
02/08 10:24:45 ET