Wright St Tops Milwaukee in HL Quarters
Indianapolis - Sometimes a team can't buy a field goal, tonight for the first 9:47 of the second half Milwaukee couldn't even rent one as Wright State's stellar defense propelled them to a 80-70 win in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Championship at Hinkle Fieldhouse on the campus of number one seed Butler.
Wright State's 80 points was a season high with four players in double figure and their biggest scorer, Todd Brown only had eight points tonight.
For Milwaukee (17-14) their two leading scorers were held way below their averages. Tone Boyle only scored eight points and Avery Smith who was slowed by an injury didn't score any points.
Before Milawukee and Wright State went even-up at the half Wright State had leads of 14 points and 12 points, before letting those leads slip way.
Wright State's Corey Cooperwood said his team didn't panic about their end of the first half letdown.
"We were confident. Sometimes we go into halftime down by five, but we don't worry about that. We have put that behind us, we need to gout and play hard the second half,' said Cooperwood.
Coming out of the half Wright State went on a 15-2 run during the first five minutes and the game was never seriously in doubt. Milwaukee got within seven points but the Raiders quickly slammed the door to put the game away.
"It was tough tonight. We just tried to stay in front of them and take those shots away from them and not let them go by us," said Milwaukee's Jason Averkamp.
Keeping Eayers to zero points was quite a feat for the Raiders. Brownell described his game plan this way.
"We worked on some rotations for when he slips ball screens and finds his open threes. We tried to give him some different looks to try to make it a little more difficult to get the ball in the post. I think the biggest thing is, he never got into a rhythm, " said Brownell
He thought that they did alright scoring but they had to keep Wright from scoring and forcing them to play behind.
He said, "We scored 70 points, that is about what we need to have a chance to win. They had us playing behind all night."
On Saturday Wright State plays Butler. This year Butler beat the Raiders by 16 point and 18 points, so Wright States task of beating Butler on their home court is daunting.
Brownell thinks that his Raiders must do something different if they have any hope of upsetting the 22nd ranked team in this week's AP Poll.
He said, "At some point here, we have to play them well early to at least put a little doubt in their mind or something to make them a little nervous. At our place, they were so comfortable that we never even made them think they were playing anyone that was at their level, so just every shot they took, they made."