Wright State (13-17) at Cleveland State (21-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 25th, 2:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: CSU Convocation Center (13,610) -- Cleveland, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Wright State 9-7, Cleveland State 9-4. Away Record: Wright State 4-9, Cleveland State 11-4. Neutral Record: Wright State 0-1, Cleveland State 1-1. Conference Record: Wright State 7-10, Cleveland State 11-6. Series Record: Cleveland State leads 29-27.
GAMES NOTES: The Wright State Raiders and the Cleveland State Vikings will meet up in a regular season finale in Horizon League play this afternoon.
Wright State has been trading wins and losses over its last four games and is coming off a 61-54 defeat to Youngstown State on Thursday. With a just this game left on the schedule the Raiders are 13-17 overall and are currently in eighth place in the Horizon League standings at 7-10 against conference competition.
Cleveland State finally got back into the win column on Thursday after an otherwise stellar season began to slip away, as the Vikings had lost five straight previously. The Vikings enter this final game of the regular season with a solid 21-9 overall record and an 11-6 mark in conference play which is tied with Butler for second in the league.
This is the second meeting of the season between these squads with the first matchup occurring back on December 1st. The game was a low scoring affair that came down to the last second as Cleveland State took a 45-43 decision on a D'Aundray Brown tip-in with 0.3 seconds left on the clock. The win gives the Vikings a slim 29-27 lead in the all time series.
Wright State managed to shoot at just a 32.1 percent clip on Thursday against Youngstown State en route to its most recent loss. The Raiders also turned the ball over a game-high 15 times and fell on the short end of a 29-24 rebounding margin.
The Raiders' inability to score at a high rate has been well documented this season as they are averaging only 58.3 points per game while shooting 39.9 percent from the floor which are both the second worst marks in the Horizon League. On defense the Raiders have been able to keep themselves in games by allowing only 60.7 points per contests despite the conferences worst rebounding output (28.6 rpg). Sophomore guard Vance Hall (4.5 ppg) was the only player in double figures for Wright State on Thursday as he tied a season-high with 13 point after being held to just three total points in the previous two games. Julius Mays (14.2 ppg) has been the team's only consistent scorer this season but managed only seven points on 2-of-10 shooting in Thursday's loss. The effort ended a three-game streak in double figures for the junior guard.
Cleveland State looked like it might lose yet again as the Vikings entered the half trailing 38-32 on Thursday against Detroit. The team came out in the second half and shot at a 53.6 percent clip in the final twenty minutes to capture the 13-point victory. The Vikings locked up on defense as well, holding the Titans to just 29.6 percent shooting in the game.
In terms of overall team production, Cleveland State has been solid, albeit not overwhelming, scoring 65.9 points per game on 44.8 percent shooting. Where the Vikings have really excelled is on defense where they allow only 59.6 points per game which is 20th best in the nation. The defense may be less potent in this matchup without D'Aundray Brown, the conference's leading thief (2.6 spg) who will most likely miss his second straight game with a groin injury. Senior guard Trevon Harmon (12.9 ppg) leads the team on the offensive end and after a team-high 16 points on Thursday, has been in double figures in five straight games. Jeremy Montgomery (10.6 ppg) has also been able to score solidly this season, but the Vikings will also be hurt without Brown, who is the team's second leading scorer (10.8 ppg).
Even without Brown, Cleveland State has a roster that has more depth than Wright State. With the Vikings penchant for defense matched against the Raiders' poor offense, this should be another win for Cleveland State with the conference tournament looming.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cleveland State 71, Wright State 61
02/25 10:41:53 ET