Wright State puts win streak on the line at Green Bay


Even though Wright State makes a trip to Green Bay every year, there will be an unfamiliar feel Thursday night when the Raiders step into the Resch Center.

“We’ve been hunting for so long and all of a sudden we’ve become the hunted,” said WSU coach Scott Nagy, whose Raiders (14-5) are riding a seven-game winning streak that has them standing alone atop the Horizon League at 6-0.

“There’s a different feel to it,” Nagy added. “There’s a pressure that goes along with that, and being able to accept that pressure and have the maturity to deal with it.”

›› Wright State vs. Green Bay preview box

The Raiders haven’t ended a regular season in first place since 2006-07, when they finished tied with Butler, and they’ve never won a regular-season title outright.

But there’s a long way to go before the 2018 standings are finalized, beginning with the longest conference road trip of the year beginning Thursday night against Wisconsin-Green Bay (8-13, 3-5).

The Phoenix have struggled of late, losing five of their last six. But Green Bay always has been a tough place for Wright State. The Raiders have lost four in a row and five of six at the Resch Center, including a 78-61 blowout last season.

›› WSU transfer Cole Gentry: ‘I bet on myself’

“We were awful last year on the road at Green Bay,” Nagy said. “In terms of league games, it was probably the worst we played all year.”

It’s almost a completely new Green Bay team after the Phoenix lost eight of their top nine scorers from a year ago. But it’s still the same frenetic offense coach Linc Darner used to lead Green Bay to a league championship and NCAA Tournament berth in his first season in 2016.

“They play fast,” Nagy said. “Their length of possession is the fifth shortest in the country, so that tells you they play fast and shoot the ball quickly. With us only playing seven guys in double-figure minutes, that will be a challenge because they play nine. So their depth will be a problem for us.”

Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

Guard Khalil Small leads Green Bay at 17.3 points per game, while Sandy Cohen averages 16.8 after scoring a career-high 29 Monday in a 99-92 overtime win against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The responsibility for slowing down the Phoenix will fall as much on the Wright State offense as its defense, Nagy said.

“The most important thing is to shoot a high percentage, which means take good shots,” he said. “If you take bad shots and rushed shots, or fast possessions without really making them guard, then you just give them opportunities. Because if you don’t make them, they’re just going to run out and you’re going to have a hard time getting matchups.”

›› WSU beats Youngstown State for sixth straight win

While the Raiders have built confidence with a seven-game winning streak, they know any one of those games could have gone the other way. Their average margin of victory over that stretch is 5.9 points, and even Monday’s 77-67 victory against Youngstown State was a battle with the Penguins leading by as many as five midway through the second half.

“Almost every game we play is a close game because we don’t have the kind of team with the kind of talent to just blow people out,” Nagy said. “So we have to do a lot of things right. The details are important. Our guys are working hard. They pay attention and do what we ask them to do and trust the coaching staff.

“The best thing we’ve done overall is when games have gotten tight in the second half, we’ve been really good in the last four or five minutes, whether it be on the defensive end or taking good shots, getting to the foul line,” he continued. “In close game situations, our guys have really executed well.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Outdoors: Budget cuts would impact Great Lakes

Protecting and improving one of this nation’s greatest natural resources is a complex task, one that involves plenty of people and organizations. It also requires a boatload of bucks. With the new White House budget proposal under consideration, there is concern being voiced from Great Lakes conservation groups about cuts that could impact programs...
Five takeaways from Dayton’s loss at Rhode Island
Five takeaways from Dayton’s loss at Rhode Island

A single piece of confetti fell from the roof of the Ryan Center during the national anthem Friday. A few more fell during the game. Someone on Rhode Island’s staff had to be holding their breath, hoping it all didn’t fall too soon. No. 18 Rhode Island wouldn’t have prepared a confetti shower if it didn’t feel confident in beating...
Second Thoughts: College basketball updates March Madness definition

Took Jill to The Neon to see “I, Tonya” (expanding my horizons). It was my first visit to the small downtown theater. I was impressed (they sell beer). Now she wants to go to their Oscars party. Isn’t there some basketball on that night? Another shoe dropped Friday in the college basketball scandal that promises to alter the landscape...
Bowling: Miamisburg girls win first sectional title

Competing against the best brings out the best in the Miamisburg High School girls bowling team. “This team really performs to the level of the competition,” Vikings coach Tony Ross said. Just 10 pins separated the top three teams after the first three games at the Division I sectional tournament. Troy had the lead with 2,862 while Miamisburg...
HS Scores 2/23: Wayne, Dunbar win big in boys sectionals opener

PREP RESULTS Boys Basketball Friday’s Results Regular Season Fort Recovery 55, New Knoxville 41: Knapke 19 (FR) 19; Lageman (NK) 14. Marion Local 57, Coldwater 43: Frilling (C) 16. Minster 69, Parkway 63: Schulze (M) 19; Kinney (P) 17. St. Henry 51, New Bremen 39: Schlarman (SH) 12; Bornhorst (NB) 14. Sectional Tournament Division I Thursday&rsquo...
More Stories