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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 21, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) -- Salt Lake City, Utah. Television: None. Home Record: CMU 1-0, WSU 1-0. Away Record: CMU 0-1, WSU 0-2. Neutral Record: CMU 0-0, WSU 0-0. Conference Record: CMU 0-0, WSU 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 6-6.
GAME NOTES: The Utah Thanksgiving Tournament will tip off on Wednesday night when the Central Michigan Chippewas take on the Wright State Raiders at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.
Also participating in this round-robin style tournament is Idaho State and the host team Utah. Each squad will play the others.
CMU faced a difficult challenge in its opener by heading out on the road to take on Iowa, losing 73-61. The Chippewas were able to bounce back in their latest game however, moving to .500 on the young season following a 76-62 defeat of Olivet.
Wright State has yet to encounter a stumbling block in its schedule. It opened with a pair of games on the road and it earned respectable wins over Idaho (80-70) and Eastern Illinois (56-44). The Raiders then played their home opener on Nov. 16, beating North Carolina A&T, 56-44.
These two teams have met five years in a row, with Wright State sporting a three-game series win streak to pull the series even at 6-6.
The Chippewas didn't exactly set the gym on fire against Olivet with their .424 field goal percentage, but thanks to a defensive effort that forced its opponent to shoot just 37.3 percent while making 20 turnovers, they claimed a double-digit win. Zach Saylor led the way with 14 points while also tallying six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Chris Fowler only attempted three field goals but he made all three en route to 12 points and he dished out seven assists. Kyle Randall and Blake Hibbitts each put up 11 points while combining to make five three-pointers. On the season, Randall is the team's leading scorer (14.0 ppg), but he's turned the ball over 10 times in two games. Derrick Richardson, Jr. has put up 11 ppg on greater than 58 percent shooting, and Saylor scores 9.0 ppg and is the team's leading rebounder (5.0 rpg).
Wright State has improved to 3-0 thanks in large part to a dominating start at the defensive end of the court. The team allows its opponents to score just 52.7 ppg on 41.2 percent shooting from the field, which has masked its relatively slow start in terms of its own field goal percentage (.448). The Raiders played a slow-tempo game in its last win over NC A&T, which allowed them to score just 56 points despite shooting a respectable 46.5 percent from the floor. J.T. Yoho tallied 15 points to lead the team, which is right around his average after three games (15.3 ppg). Miles Dixon came off the best to put up 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Wright State nearly blew the game at the foul line, as it managed to connect on just 9-of-20 free throws, which was a major departure from the 31-of-40 effort from the line in its first two games.
CMU's win over Olivet was hardly a sign of things to come, as it still needs to prove it can keep pace with a Division I opponents. Wright State appears to be in midseason form at the defensive end, and it will wear down the Chippewas tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wright State 64, Central Michigan 51
11/21 10:36:36 ET
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