DAYTON – When someone not named Wood leads the Raiders in scoring, it usually means that Raider fans are going home sad.
But tonight Todd Brown led the Raiders who had four players in double figures in scoring with 21 points and the crowd of 6792 Raider fans at the Nutter Center went home happy as Wright State (11-7, 4-1 HL) defeated the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay 78-67.
For the record Wright State’s DeShaun Wood the leading scorer in the HL at 19.2 ppg led all players in assists tonight with seven as the Raiders got an amazing 19 assists on 25 baskets.
The Raiders came out on fire as they went on an 8-0 run. By the 13:32 mark the Raiders lead was 18-3 as they held Green Bay (10-8, 2-3 HL) to 12.5 percent shooting (1-8) while shooting 63.6 percent (7-11).
“We got off to a great start. Our focus was outstanding, our preparation was good,” explained a happy Wright State Coach Brad Brownell. “Obviously our defense at the beginning of the game energized us and our kids were excited to play in front of a really nice crowd.
The Raiders lead got up to 23 points when Todd Brown tipped in a missed jump shot by Jordan Pleiman to make it 31-8 with 4:46 left in the half.
During the last four minutes of the first half the lifeless Phoenix started to come alive. A jumper by Josh Lawrence and Troy Cotton got the score to 31-19.
Then after Wright State’s Scottie Wilson hit a 3-pointer, Green Bays Mike Schachtner hit a 3-pointer followed by Cotton who also hit a 3-pointer to close it to 43-18 Wright State lead at half time..
“What happened with us in the first half is that we were playing so well and making so many shots that we kind of settled for a few things late in the first half,” said Brownell. “Maybe we settled for a few jump shots when we could of moved it and done a few things better.”
The Phoenix came out in the second half and scored a quick six points. Wright State got back on track when Vaughn Duggins hit a 3-pointer at the 17:38 mark to make it 37-24.
Wright State’s biggest lead in the second half was 19 points when Duggins was fouled by Ryan Tillema and sunk both free throws to make it 49-30.
But as Wright State backed off a little with the lead the Phoenix kept fighting and hitting 3-pointers including three from Ryan Evanochko until they finally got the lead down to single digits on one of those Evanochko 3-pointers to cut the lead to nine at 71-62.
The Phoenix were trapping a lot late and upsetting Wright State’s offense, but that nine points was as close as Green Bay would get.
“The first 10 minutes is the story of the game. After that I think our guys
had a lot of heart and a lot of courage,” said a tired Green Bay Coach Todd Kowalczk. “We are still a young a immature team that has to get better.”
For the Raiders Wood had 14 points, Drew Burleson had 11 points and Duggins had 11 points. Both Brown and Pleiman has nine rebounds as Wright State out-rebounded the Phoenix 38-25.
Evanochko scored a game-high 27 points and Schachtner had 10 points for Green Bay.
*Tonight was military night and in honor of that two ROTC students jumped out of the rafters, high above the court and rappelled down with the game ball. I am happy to report that both of them lived to tell about it.
*Green Bay is ranked 31st in field goal percentage (73.7 percent) and Wright State is ranked 32nd in field goal percentage (73.6 percent).
*Green Bay leads the all-time series 19-14.
*Green Bay’s next game is January 20th at 1 p.m.
*Wright State’s next game is at Cleveland State on Thursday at 7 p.m.