The Wright State women’s basketball team has played two Horizon League games already. Through Wednesday, four teams had yet to play a single league game.
That’s a bit of a sore subject for Wright State coach Mike Bradbury. His team (13-4 overall) is off to a 2-0 start in the league after beating Detroit 82-57 on Sunday and Oakland 94-85 on Wednesday, but he has some issues with the way the league schedule is set up.
“It’s odd if you want to be nice,” he said. “We play five games where we play two days before and the other team has all week. How many times does that happen to Green Bay?”
For example, Wright State plays at Milwaukee on Jan. 23 and plays at Green Bay on Jan. 25. Green Bay’s previous game is a road game at Cleveland State on Jan. 18. Another example: Wright State plays at Cleveland State on Feb. 8, three days after hosting Youngstown State, and Cleveland State’s previous game is Feb. 1.
One reason this happens is there is not another Horizon League school near Wright State. Green Bay and Milwaukee are close to each other, as are Illinois-Chicago and Valparaiso, Detroit and Oakland and Cleveland State and Youngstown State. Teams typically go on the road to play both those teams in a three-day span.
“Here’s the thing, until we get a travel partner, the men and us are going to get screwed,” Bradbury said. “There’s nobody else to play. We either need to get a 10th team or play Wednesday-Saturday, or Wright State needs to find a new conference.”
Bradbury said Wright State requested to not open the conference schedule a week earlier than most teams because they had a game scheduled against Dayton on Jan. 2.
“We were trying to do good for the league playing Dayton,” he said. “We just asked to start when everyone else started.”
The Raiders lost 112-85 to the Flyers, but they bounced back to win the first two Horizon Leagues despite some tired legs.
“We’ve been a resilient bunch,” Bradbury said. “Hopefully, we can continue to be. I’ve been happy with the way we played. We kind of had to grind one out (Wednesday) and find a way to win. We built a big league and let them get back into it. It was good we finally get a day off (Thursday). It’s our first day of rest since Christmas break due to the schedule. Hopefully, we can recharge.
The Raiders host Cleveland State at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Cleveland State (5-8) played at Detroit on Thursday.
The Raiders then play three straight games on the road: Jan. 18 at Valparaiso and then the two games in Wisconsin. Only three teams in the league have winning records: Wright State, Illinois-Chicago (11-3) and Green Bay (8-5).