For the final match of Wright State’s four game homestead, they welcomed in the Green Bay Phoenix (2-20, 1-10 HL). Wright State (12-10, 5-6 HL) took the other Wisconsin team to task on Thursday, going up by 21 points against first place Milwaukee before ending the contest in close fashion. Looking to return to an even record, Wright State wants to build on the defense they had against Milwaukee and use those same tactics to bring down a Green Bay team in turmoil.
Green Bay entered the Nutter Center without their former head coach Will Ryan, as he was shown the door last week by administration. Instead, interim head coach Freddie Owens is at the reins of a Green Bay squad that shares the basement of NCAA basketball with IUPUI. They are not without threat though; Cade Meyer is still a stalwart forward that has given Wright State trouble in the past, and along with a couple other players that can shoot from the 3 point range, they could look to shock Wright State. They hung on against Northern Kentucky, were keeping the game close a majority of the time, and might have a new lease on life with the interim head coach at the helm.
The first two points made by Randy Tucker would be the closest thing to a lead the Phoenix would sniff the whole game. The Raiders exploded early, grabbing a double digit 15-4 lead in four minutes of play mostly comprised of points from Trey Calvin. After both teams stalled out the next few minutes, the Raiders went back to putting the brakes on the Green Bay offense, choking the life out of the team and allowing only five points over the final ten minutes of the half. Wright State steadily put spread their offensive production around and took a healthy 41-16 lead by halftime.
Trey Calvin scored just about as much as the Phoenix with 14 points at halftime. Even with limited playing time due to the early foul trouble, Brandon Noel had 8 rebounds and was a key part of keeping Cade Meyer locked down alongside AJ Braun. As a team, the Raiders had only three turnovers. The half was about as close to perfect as Coach Nagy could’ve asked for.
“This weekend we’ve been playing better defensively,” Nagy replied when asked about the 16-point defensive stand.
The Phoenix came out of the locker room and scored five points early in the second half, then went right into a ten minute drought where the Phoenix scored a whopping two points. The Raiders put the lead into the thirties as a result through some players off the bench, including AJ Braun and Andrew Welage. With eight minutes left, the game was 64-28 in favor of the Raiders. After a more active back and forth by Green Bay, one that did eventually see the lead dip to 40 off of an Andy Neff layup, some last minute threes ended the contest 77-46, a dominating win for Wright State.
Trey Calvin lead all scorers with 18 points, followed closely by AJ Braun and Andrew Welage with 13 and 12 respectively. Tim Finke and Brandon Noel, the latter of whom fouled out with nine minutes remaining, collected just shy of double digit rebounds in the contest. For Green Bay, Cade Meyer and Randy Johnson put up 10 points each.
Wright State now hits the road for the next six of its eight contests in February, something that Nagy remarked could be the spark to keep the team going as he’s noticed as well that the Raiders have played with fire in opposing stadiums. They take on Youngstown State on Thursday, who now shares the first place nod with three other teams after Milwaukee knocked Northern Kentucky off their perch, and Robert Morris on Saturday, a key game to even up the head-to-head record and pull ahead of RMU in the tie for sixth.