Raiders pay back Oakland with dominating performance

January 23, 2017

By Mike Klingshirn

DAYTON, Ohio – The Wright State Raiders avenged an earlier 19-point loss to the Oakland Grizzlies, with a lopsided 88-67 victory Sunday afternoon at the Nutter Center.

Wright State (14-7, 5-3 HL) opened the game by building a 29-12 lead, eight minutes before the end of the half, with one of their best 12-minute performances of basketball in a very long time.

“I was pleased with our players’ effort,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “Defensively, we were good. We did a way better job of not turning the ball over. We had thirteen turnovers for the game, and at Oakland, we had thirteen turnovers at halftime.”

“It’s hard to be a great offensive rebounding team and get back in transition. And we did both today. We shot 45-percent, get fourteen offensive rebounds, and we did a great job of getting back and keeping them out of transition.”

“When you out-rebound somebody by fourteen (44-30), you’re almost always going to win.”

It didn’t appear that things would start out that way, however. Steven Davis was sent to the bench after picking up his second personal foul, just two minutes into the contest and his team trailing 4-3.

A supporting cast of Raiders were up to the task of keeping their team close with Davis out of the lineup. Not only did they keep it close, they went on a 13-5 run over the next seven minutes before he returned. Mark Alstork contributed with 18 first half points and Parker Ernsthausen had already tied his career high in scoring with ten points by halftime. Ryan Custer also came off of the bench and gave his team some great minutes.

Oakland (15-6, 5-3 HL) battled to within 35-26 at the 1:53 mark, before both teams headed into the half with the score Wright State 42 Oakland 30.

The Grizzlies came out of the locker room with a lot of energy and Wright State was a little flat. The Grizzlies grabbed five quick offensive rebounds in about two minutes, while cutting the WSU lead to 45-39 with 16:21 left. That’s when Custer hit a big three-pointer to push the margin to 48-39. His shot sparked another great 12-minute stretch of basketball — a 34-12 Raider run – to put WSU on top 79-51 with 5:14 to play.

The Raiders picked up their tenth team foul with thirteen minutes left in the game, and it appeared that Oakland might work their way back into the game from the free throw line. But after the Grizzlies got into the double-bonus, Wright State quit fouling and kept them off of the line.

A great no-look pass from Justin Mitchell to Ernsthausen, for a basket under the hoop, in the final minutes, put an exclamation point on the 88-67 victory.

Alstork and Ernsthausen finished the game with 24 points each. Davis added 17.

The 24 points by Ernsthausen was a career-high, shattering his previous career-high of 10 against Ohio Dominican earlier this season.

“I try to judge how well I’m playing by my defense,” Ernsthausen said. “They kind of had a game plan of ‘Let’s make Parker beat us.’ They were sitting in the paint. That’s how Oakland guards. It was good to see the ball go in the basket, but I don’t want to lose track of my defense because that’s why I play.”

“He’s such a great teammate. He does whatever we need him to do,” Nagy said. “We also need him to be a little more offensive-minded, and this will give him the confidence to do that without trying to get 20 every game. When he’s going to get 20, it’s going to come to him like that.”

Justin Mitchell played an outstanding game at point guard, grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds, while handing out six assists and committing just one turnover in 36 minutes of action.

“Some of that, you just can’t teach,” Nagy said. “There are some guys that you think would be unbelievable rebounders but they are not, because they don’t have a great feel for it. But Justin has a great feel for where the ball is going, and he gets it at the height of where it is coming off.”

Miscellaneous

Oakland’s worst margin of defeat prior to today’s 21-point loss to Wright State was against the Michigan State Spartans by the score of 77-65 on December 21. They never trailed by more than 13 in that contest, or at any other time in the season.

Series History

With the victory Wright State leads the all-time series record with Oakland 9-7.

Up Next

The Raiders hit the road for a pair of games against Valparaiso (Fri. Jan. 27) and Illinois-Chicago (Sun. Jan. 29), before returning to the Nutter Center to open a three-game home stand beginning with Northern Kentucky on Saturday February 4. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 pm.

Post game audio

Coach:

Alstork and Ernsthausen

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