Raiders take 6th-straight with win over UIC

January 24, 2016

By Mike Klingshirn

DAYTON, Ohio – The Wright State Raiders completed the five-game sweep of their just concluded homestand with an 80-66 victory over the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames. By defeating UIC, the Flames (2-17, 0-8) remain winless against Division I competition on the season.

Wright State (13-8, 7-1 HL) got off to a sluggish start, possibly showing some signs of fatigue from playing their fifth game in just ten days. They found themselves trailing the Flames 17-11 seven minutes into the contest.

“We came out a little flat,” JT Yoho said. “Five games in ten days might have gotten into our legs.”

“My legs were dead on a couple of shots,” Mark Alstork said. “Five games in ten days are hard for any college team, so we just had to battle through.”

Yoho, however, hit a trey and a jumper to begin a 17-2 Raider run to put his team on top 28-19 with 7:23 left in the half.

UIC narrowed the margin to 33-27. But Wright State scored the next eight points to make it 41-27, before heading into the halftime locker room on top 44-32.

The Raiders maintained a comfortable advantage throughout the second half. The Flames narrowed the margin to 49-42 at the 15:58 mark, but that was as close as they would get.

Up 61-51 midway through the second half, WSU gradually built their largest lead of the afternoon at 78-59 with 3:28 to play.

At that point, Donlon cleared his bench and the Raiders went on to win 80-66.

Mark Alstork led Wright State with 19 points and a career-high 9 rebounds. Three other Raiders scored in double figures: Yoho (16), Biggie Minnis (13), and Grant Benzinger (11). Minnis also contributed with six assists.

UIC won the battle of the boards 40-27.

Today’s win was the 100th in the career of head coach Billy Donlon at Wright State. He is just the second WSU coach to reach that plateau. Donlon now stands 256 victories behind the legendary Ralph Underhill.

“I’ve played for him all four of my years,” Yoho said. “So to see him achieve that, definitely means a lot to me.”

“I’m sure everyone will say ‘it took me long enough,’” Donlon joked. “I will never include last year into my record … ever! I will argue until I am blue in the face. Have every other team in America play without their best four players and tell me how they do.”

With that said, coach Donlon now sits at 89 victories, so there is really nothing more to write about.


JT Yoho scored 16 points in today’s game, giving him 992 for his career at Wright State. With another 8 points, he will become the 30th Raider to score 1,000.

Ten of the fifteen members of the WSU men’s basketball team were recognized at halftime for making the Academic Honor Role.

With today’s victory by the Raiders, the all-time WSU/UIC series is tied at 26-26.


With today’s conclusion of the 5-game homestand, the Raiders travel to the state of Michigan for a pair of games against Oakland (Jan. 29) and Detroit (Jan. 31). They return home for a pair of games against Milwaukee (Thurs. Feb. 4) and Green Bay (Sat. Feb. 6). Both games at the Nutter Center tip off at 7:00 pm.

Men’s Basketball Stats


Alsork and Yoho


 Photos © and Courtesy of Tim G. Zechar

Red-hot Raiders ice the Penguins 81-45

January 17, 2016

By Mike Klingshirn

DAYTON, Ohio – The Wright State Raiders continued their winning ways against the Youngstown State Penguins by winning for the seventh time in their last eight outings … this time, by the convincing score of 81-45.

The Penguins (7-12, 2-4 HL) entered the game without the services of their 6-foot-10 all-conference-caliber center, Bobby Hain, who was injured a few games ago and is out for the remainder of the season. The Raiders, on the other hand, seem to have gotten healthy and have hit their stride after a slow start to the season. They look like a different team than the one we saw over the first ten games of the season.

Why the turnaround?

“We were willing to get better,” Mark Alstork said. “The coaches did a great job of keeping us going and keeping us on a positive note. We didn’t get down on each other, but helped each other instead. At the end of the day, we’re the ones one the floor. It’s got to be a player-led locker room as the coaches say.”

“Winning matters, especially with today’s kid,” Billy Donlon said. “I also think health matters. The bottom line is we’re healthy, we won some games, and we have confidence. That’s what winning does.”

Wright State (10-8, 4-1 HL) got off to a quick start and never looked back. Alstork began the night by scoring the contest’s first four points and Michael Karena hit a layup to quickly put the Raiders up 6-0.

With the Raiders on top 11-6, Todd Benzinger provided an early hot-hand by scoring nine of his team’s next eleven points on a pair of jumpers, two free throws and a 3-pointer, stretching his team’s lead to 22-11 midway into the half. Buckets by JT Yoho and Alstork made it 26-11.

The Penguins answered with a 7-0 run to pull within 26-18. But from there, Wright State increased their lead to 43-26, capped by a Benzinger 3-pointer and free throw, which followed a foul on the made basket with 3.2 seconds left before the half.

YSU’s Cameron Morse did his best to keep his team close by scoring 15 of his team’s 26 first half points. The Raiders, meanwhile, hit just 3-of-13 from behind the arc in the game’s first 20 minutes, while going 15-of-21 from the rest of the field. They also added four points from the charity stripe.

Wright State came out of the locker room with a 10-3 run before the first media time out, and continued to pull away to go up 63-35 with 11:41 to play. By then, coach Donlon had already cleared his bench, with his starting-five out of the lineup and resting for the remainder of the contest.

The new faces continued the Raider onslaught by going on a 10-0 run of their own, highlighted by four points from Justin Mitchell and back to back 3-pointers by Daniel Mortensen, giving WSU their largest lead of the night at 73-35 with 8:21 left.

Wright State went on to win by the eventual final score of 81-45.

The Penguins, who recorded just three assists in the game, were forced into 19 turnovers which resulted in 17 Green & Gold points. Wright State also outscored YSU 32-12 in the paint.

The Raiders were not especially effective from behind the arc, hitting just 7-of-26 three-point attempts. It should be noted that they are undefeated at 3-0, in games in which they have hit less than five 3-pointers in a game.

Is this an indicator that the Wright State can beat you in more ways than one?

“Offensively, we can run in transition with you. We can play with you inside and outside. It’s a good team that way.” Donlon said. “Even though we took 13 threes in the first half, the ball still got inside a lot. A lot of those threes were inside-out threes. We didn’t just throw the ball around the perimeter and jack them up.”

Four Raiders scored in double figures: Michael Karena (13), Grant Benzinger (13), Mark Alstork (13), and JT Yoho (12). Joe Thomasson led his team in rebounding by pulling down five boards.

Cameron Morse led the Penguins with 18 points.


With the victory, Wright State owns a 41-11 record in the all-time series with YSU.


The Raiders will take on the Detroit Titans in game number three of this current 5-game homestand on Monday January 18. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm.


20160116 Alstork Benzinnger


Men’s Basketball Stats

 Photos © and Courtesy of Tim G. Zechar

Raiders rout Bowling Green by 36

December 21, 2015

By Mike Klingshirn

DAYTON, Ohio – The Wright State Raiders won back-to-back games for the first time in more than a year with a good old fashioned 83-47 butt-whooping over the Bowling Green Falcons. On Thursday night, the Raiders topped Charleston Southern and then followed it up with their best all-around performance of the season on Sunday afternoon.

The last time that the men’s basketball team won back-to-back games was 367 days ago, when they beat Western Carolina on December 18, 2015. That victory, at that time, capped a four-game winning streak which included wins against Urbana, Belmont, Miami (OH), and Western Carolina.

This afternoon’s victory improves the Raiders record to 5-7. Bowling Green falls to 7-4.

With two wins in a row, the team is gaining confidence.

“When you lose games, you obviously lose confidence and kind of doubt the system and us, as a team,” JT Yoho said. “When you win it seems like everything is going well. We’ve just got to keep working. The most important thing for us is to take it one day at a time and get better at something. We are young, so we’ve got to keep grinding.”

The early minutes of the game were not an indicator of what was to come. Bowling Green’s David Joseph hit a layup and local Valley View product Zack Denny hit a trey to spot the Falcons with a 5-0 advantage less than two minutes into the game.

Wright State’s Joe Thomasson sparked a 15-1 Raiders run by scoring the game’s next seven points which put the Green & Gold on top 15-6 at the half’s 11:57 mark. The Raiders stretched their lead to 27-14 before settling into a 35-27 halftime edge.

Following a missed Grant Benzinger three point attempt to begin the second half, Bowling Green’s Rasheed Worrell hit a layup to narrow the score at 35-29.

Nobody, however, could have predicted what was to transpire from there. The Raiders went on to outscore the Falcons 48-18 over the game’s final 19 minutes, while missing just four shot attempts on 16-of-20 shooting, which included 7-of-9 from beyond the arc.

“Great half,” Billy Donlon said. “We didn’t have eight fouls in the first three minutes of the half. That’s a good start. Guys just continued to play. Anytime that you can assist 19 out of 26 baskets, you’re sharing the ball and doing the right things.”

“We took care of the defensive boards in the second half and that led to transition buckets that helped get the game going our way,” Donlon added.

Not to be overlooked was some strong defensive play by the Raiders.

“If you can hold teams under 30 in both halves, you’re going to be in almost every game that you play, and that’s a big goal of ours,” Donlon said. “To do that tonight is significant. Give our players all the credit for playing the better half away from our bench.”

The Raiders were led in scoring by JT Yoho (22) and Mark Alstork (19).

“In the last two games, we’re showing what we could become,” Donlon said. “We’re nowhere near there yet, but there were moments where you could see that we could be pretty good.”

Up Next

The Raiders close out the current three-game home stand with a contest against Murray State on Tuesday night December 22. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Men’s Basketball Stats

Post Game Audio

Alstork and Yoho

Coach Donlon



 Photos © and Courtesy of Tim G. Zechar

December 20, 2015: The NCAA Basketball game between the Bowling Green Falcons and the Wright State Raiders at the Nutter Center in Fairborn, Ohio.

December 20, 2015: The NCAA Basketball game between the Bowling Green Falcons and the Wright State Raiders at the Nutter Center in Fairborn, Ohio.

December 20, 2015: The NCAA Basketball game between the Bowling Green Falcons and the Wright State Raiders at the Nutter Center in Fairborn, Ohio.

December 20, 2015: The NCAA Basketball game between the Bowling Green Falcons and the Wright State Raiders at the Nutter Center in Fairborn, Ohio.

December 20, 2015: The NCAA Basketball game between the Bowling Green Falcons and the Wright State Raiders at the Nutter Center in Fairborn, Ohio.

December 20, 2015: The NCAA Basketball game between the Bowling Green Falcons and the Wright State Raiders at the Nutter Center in Fairborn, Ohio.

Raiders top Charleston Southern

December 18, 2015

By Mike Klingshirn

DAYTON, Ohio – The Wright State Raiders snapped a three-game losing streak tonight at the Nutter Center by defeating the Charleston Southern Buccaneers 71-65.

Wright State was led by a balanced scoring attack, with five Raiders scoring in double figures: Joe Thomasson (16), Michael Karena (15), Mark Alstork (12), JT Yoho (11) and Mark Hughes (10). Karena and Yoho led their team in rebounding, pulling down seven and six boards respectively.

The contest with the Buccaneers — a team who participated in last year’s post-season NIT tournament — was tightly contested in the early stages. Neither team was able to establish more than a 4-point lead throughout the first eleven minutes. With the score tied at 15 with 8:45 left until halftime, the Raiders proceeded to go on a 23-8 run, beginning with 8-straight points to make it 23-15, and then by closing out the half with 12-straight points to go up 38-23.

“I thought we played the best first half of the year, without question, on both sides of the ball,” said Wright State head coach Billy Donlon. “That’s a very good scoring team. To hold them to 23 was really good.”

Leading by 15 at the halftime break, many of those in attendance may have felt that the Raiders had this one safely in the bag. The Buccaneers, however, had other ideas.

Foul trouble has plagued this year’s Raiders team throughout the first ten games. And the early moments of the second half was no different. Wright State was whistled for eight personal fouls in just the first three minutes of half-number-two. It drastically hurt and changed the way that Wright State was able to play defense, and Charleston Southern took full advantage of it by scoring 25 points in about ten minutes. Most of those points came under the basket to pull the Buccaneers within 51-48 with 8:30 left to play.

“At the start of the second half of every game, we get called for five immediate fouls,” Donlon said. “We have to figure out how to correct that. It’s not me taking shots at the officials. They’re going to do their job, and it is our job to adjust to them.”

Wright State answered the Charleston Southern threat with 9-straight points on a Hughes free throw, an Alstork jumper, a Hughes dunk-plus-one, a pair of Yoho free throws, and a Thomasson free throw to stretch their lead to 60-48 with 5:08 to play.

The Buccaneers clawed their way back to within 68-65 with 15 second left, but three free throws by Hughes sealed the game for Wright State to help preserve a 71-65 victory.

Being outscored from the free throw line has been a problem in this young season for Wright State, but tonight, they made a special effort to attack the basket and get the ball inside.

“That’s one thing that we worked on,” Michael Karena said. “The coaches worked with us all week to get to the hoop, and good things happened.”

The Raiders were able to score 24 points from the charity strip and 37 attempts. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, were 14 of 21 from the line. It may have been the difference in the contest.

Up Next

The Raiders play game number two of their current there-game home stand on Sunday afternoon against the Bowling Green Falcons. Tip-off is scheduled approximately thirty minutes after the conclusion of the Lady Raiders game against Georgia at 4:30 pm.

Men’s Basketball Stats

Post Game Audio


Karena and Thomasson




Short-handed Raiders fall to Valpo 66-56

January 18, 2015

By Mike Klingshirn

DAYTON, Ohio – The Wright State Raiders, a team decimated by injuries to two of their key inside players, dropped a 66-56 decision to the Valparaiso Crusaders (17-3, 4-1 HL), in front of a near capacity crowd of 7,664 on the season’s only scheduled game on a Saturday at the Nutter Center.

The Raiders, already without the services of Steven Davis for the past three weeks, got word on Thursday that JT Yoho, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, who was having an all-conference year, would also be unavailable. He suffered a serious knee injury in the team’s previous game. Yoho’s injury — a major bone bruise of the entire knee — has the potential to sideline him for the remainder of the season.

“Long term, the injury won’t effect the future for his senior year,” head coach Billy Donlon said. “But it’s severe. It happened in the first five minutes of Cleveland State game. He was in agonizing pain and didn’t let anyone know because he wanted to play. If you look at how he played, it makes perfect sense.”

“Almost the entire knee is bruised,” Donlon added. “He doesn’t know (how it happened). It’s happened to me, where you’re playing and you go down the court twice, and you’ve lost your adrenaline. Then all of a sudden, you go, ‘God, that hurts’. And you don’t know where it happened.”

Wright State (10-9, 2-3 HL) had already entered the season with a small line-up. But the two recent injuries to 6’7” Davis and 6’6” Yoho, has transformed the Raiders into an even smaller team. It left them with just two big guys. One is a freshman (Roderick Davis) and the other is a first year player (Michael Karena).

As a result, the Raiders were forced to change their style of play in order to have any chance of beating a very physical Valpo team.

“If we don’t press, then they beat us by 30,” Donlon said. “We’re not going to beat them in the half court.”

The press forced the Crusaders into 18 turnovers, but the under-sized Raiders were out-rebounded 46-25, allowing Valpo to haul in 17 boards underneath their own basket.

“You’re asking a lot of a 6’3” guard to box out a 6’10” guy,” commented WSU’s Reggie Arceneaux.

Valpo opened the game by scoring the first two of six-straight points, on a Tevonn Walker layup off of a Wright State turnover. The Crusaders never trailed in the first half, stretching their lead to 24-13.

The Raiders closed the final seven minutes of the first half with a 14-5 run, to pull within 29-27 at the intermission.

An Arceneaux pull-up jumper in the lane, a Kendall Griffin layup, and Michael Karena free throw put the Raiders on top for the first time 32-30. After Valpo evened things at 32 all, a pair of Justin Mitchell baskets put Wright State back on top with their largest lead of the night 36-32.

Chrishawn Hopkins broke a 38-38 tie with a pair of free throws, making it 40-38 in favor of the Raiders. But a Victor Nickerson layup and 3-pointer put the Crusaders ahead to stay 43-40 with 7:43 left to play.

Joe Thomasson hit a trey to pull the Raiders to within 46-45 at the 6:20 mark, but Valpo answered by rattling off the next nine-straight points to go up 55-45 with 2:47 remaining and seal the Crusader victory.

“The game came down to the seven minute mark to the under-four minute media timeout,” Donlon said. “I thought that their guards out-toughed us. We had to play this game at about seven turnovers, because I thought that we’d get killed on the offensive glass.”

“When the size is what it is right now, you have to make up for it in other ways. We came out and we pressed. We put it in Thursday night, and the press really bothered Valpo. They shot what they shot from the floor (22-of-54) and had 18 turnovers. An 18-11 turnover margin in a normal game against Valpo will win you the game, but tonight that wasn’t going to be good enough.”

Reggie Arceneaux was the only Raider to score in double figures (10). Joe Thomasson grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Four Crusaders scored in double figures: Vashil Fernandez (14), Darien Walker (13), Alec Peters (11), and Tevonn Walker (11).

Up Next

The Raiders will need to right the ship away from the Nutter Center, as they embark upon a three game road trip — Milwaukee (Jan. 20), Detroit (Jan. 26), and Oakland (Jan. 28) — before returning home against the league-leading Green Bay Phoenix on February 2. The Monday night tip-off is scheduled an hour later than normal, at 8:00 pm.

Box Score

Men’s Basketball Stats

Post Game Audio


Coach Donlon



 Photos © and Courtesy of Tim G. Zechar

Raiders open league play with a victory over Detroit

January 3, 2015

By Mike Klingshirn

DAYTON, Ohio – After a humbling defeat to the Ohio State Buckeyes six nights ago, and a rough week of practice, the Wright State Raiders responded with a 70-57 triumph over the Detroit Titans to open Horizon League play on Friday evening at the Nutter Center.

JT Yoho led Wright State (9-6, 1-0 HL) with 18 points and 8 rebounds, despite hyper extending his knee late in the first half. Joe Thomasson also led the way with 10 points and 9 boards. Michael Karena added 14 points, and Chrishawn Hopkins contributed with 7 points and 6 assists.

Following a brief 4-2 Wright State advantage, Detroit went on an 11-point run, capped by a pair of Juwan Howard Jr. treys to put the Titans up 13-4, and force the Raiders to play catch-up for most of the first half.

“I told the team … if you want to win the game, get it in the paint,” said Billy Donlon.

His team responded by outscoring the Titans 38-18 in the paint, over the course of the game.

Wright State slowly chipped away until a Grant Benzinger 3-pointer put the Raiders on top 24-22 with three minutes left in the half. Justin Mitchell added a jumper to send the Green and Gold into the halftime locker room with a 26-24 lead.

Both teams struggled from the field in the first half. Detroit hit only 7-of-24 shot attempts. WSU, meanwhile, connected on 11-of-29, which included just 1-of-10 from beyond the arc.

“We saved our best defensive performance for the most important game of the year, because it’s a league game,” Donlon said. “I don’t care if you play fast, slow, or in between. If you don’t guard in our league, you can’t win. Our guys really bought into that, and that was good to see.”

A jumper by Detroit’s Jarrod Williams, three minutes into the second half, put the Titans in front 32-30. That’s when a JT Yoho layup ignited a 13-3 Raider run to give Wright State the lead for good at 43-35.

A Juwan Howard Jr. 3-pointer pulled Detroit to within 46-40 with 11:26 left to play, but the Raiders responded with nine straight points in less than 90 seconds to take a commanding 55-40 advantage.

The Titans scored the next eight points to get within 55-48 with 7:48 remaining, but could get no closer as Wright State pulled away for the 70-57 victory.

“We did a great job on the glass,” Donlon said. “That’s the way that they could have gotten back into the game. Missed shots and attack the glass.”

Juwan Howard Jr. led Detroit (6-9, 0-1 HL) with 15 points. Chris Jenkins added 14.

“He (Howard) is a good player,” said Joe Thomasson. “He ended up with fifteen, but we made him work for those fifteen, so we’ll live with it. We could have done better, but for the majority, I’m pleased. Justin Mitchell played a big part in defending him too.”

Up Next

Following road games against Green Bay (Jan. 5) and Youngstown State (Jan. 8), the Raiders return home for matchups against Cleveland State (Weds. Jan. 14) and Valparaiso (Sat. Jan 17). Tip off for both contests is slated for 7:00 pm.

Box Score

Men’s Basketball Stats

Post Game Audio

Coach Donlon

Thomasson and Yoho



 Photos © and Courtesy of Tim G. Zechar

Incredible comeback lifts Raiders over Belmont 73-70

November 15, 2014

By Mike Klingshirn

DAYTON, Ohio – It may have been just the first contest of a 30-plus game season, but the Wright State Raiders topped the Belmont Bruins on Friday night, in what may turn out to be one of the most exciting games of the year. After trailing 70-66 with 2:41 left to play, the Raiders scored the game’s final seven points to pull out a 73-70 “instant classic” in front of the home fans.

Afterwards, Wright State’s Reggie Arceneaux described the last two minutes as intense and tough. “It was two great teams going at it in a great atmosphere,” he said. “We found a way to get it done.”

Belmont, a traditional mid-major power, entered the contest having come off of a season in which they went 26-10, including a win against North Carolina on the Tar Heels home floor. The Bruins also put on a nice performance in the postseason NIT, advancing to the quarterfinals before falling to Clemson.

The Bruins held the upper hand early by jumping out to leads of 6-0 and 15-7. The Raiders fought their way back to claim their first lead of the night 23-21 after a Reggie Arceneaux pass found Michael Karena under the basket for two points.

The Raiders stretched the lead to 30-25 with 4:20 left in the half. It was Wright State’s largest advantage all night. The lead changed hands three more times until the halftime scoreboard read 40-37 in favor of Belmont.

Both teams battled to a 55-55 tie midway through the second half. The score was knotted at 59 all until a pair of Evan Bradds free throws put the Bruins on top 70-66 with 2:41 to play.

A nice cross-over dribble drive by Chrishawn Hopkins made it 70-68 with 2:09 to go. After a stop on the defensive end of the court, Reggie Arceneaux was fouled on a drive to the hoop. He converted both free throws at the 1:10 mark to even things at 70-70.

On Belmont’s next possession, Grant Benzinger stole an errant Belmont pass in the middle of the lane, and Arceneaux was fouled from behind. Reggie made the first of two free throws to put WSU up 71-70 with 29.5 seconds to play.

With the Bruins looking to retake the lead and possibly the victory, Belmont’s Evan Bradds received the ball and began to back down Benzinger under the basket. Benzinger hit the floor, a whistle had blown, and Bradds was called for a charging foul with 10.3 seconds remaining.

“I was just playing tough,” Benzinger said. “It just so happened that he put his shoulder down and I took it.”

WSU pushed the ball down court on the ensuing play and Arceneaux found Steven Davis under the basket. Davis went up for the lay-in, but Belmont’s Bradds was whistled for an intentional foul with 3.9 showing on the clock. Alone at the line, Stevens missed both free throw attempts.

Because of the flagrant foul, the Raiders still had possession under their own basket. Benzinger hit Hopkins under the hoop on the inbounds pass for a layup, capping an exciting 73-70 Wright State win.

“I’ve been a part of a lot of games,” Wright State head coach Billy Donlon said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been more proud of a team in a single game, than what just took place out on that floor. And I would have said that regardless of the final score. What those guys did to find a way to win was incredible.”

“You will never see a better effort on a basketball floor. And Belmont gave an incredible effort too. There were scrums everywhere, but it was the right way. The sportsmanship … there was never anything nasty. It was just two teams playing hard.”

Hopkins led the Raiders with 21 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Arceneaux (15) and Karena (11) also scored in double figures. Joe Thomasson pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Kendall Griffin scored seven points in 13 minutes before leaving the game in the first half with a concussion.

“What Kendall Griffin did in the first half gave us the opportunity to win the game,” Donlon said. His drives, his physicality, his layups at the rim, and his defense gave us a chance to win. He was as good as anybody on the floor in the first half.”

Reece Chamberlain recorded a double-double for Belmont with 18 points and 12 boards. Evan Bradds, from nearby Greenview High School, scored 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field. Bradds also had seven rebounds.

Up Next

The Raiders host the Division II Ohio Dominican Panthers on Sunday November 16. The Panthers finished last season with a record of 5-21. Tip-off is slated for 5:00 pm.

Box Score

Men’s Basketball Stats


Post-game Audio

Benzinger, Hopkins and Arceneaux

Coach Donlin


 Photos © and Courtesy of Tim G. Zechar

Raiders top Findlay in exhibition play

November 6, 2014

By Mike Klingshirn

DAYTON, Ohio – Wright State University head coach Billy Donlon got everything that a coach could want from an exhibition game, against the University of Findlay, on Wednesday night. Nearly every player who dressed played double-figure minutes. His team had a chance to handle adversity, and they eventually came away with a 68-59 victory over the Oilers at the Nutter Center.

Findlay scored the game’s first six points before the Raiders tied it at 8 all. The lead changed hands seven times until a Steven Davis jumper made it 20-20 midway through the first half. The Oilers controlled the next five minutes with a 16-4 run to go up 36-24, and eventually into the halftime locker room with a 40-32 lead.

Findlay stretched their advantage to 48-37 with 16:26 left to play. It was at that point when Wright State turned up their defensive intensity and scored the next 20-straight points, en route to a 27-3 run to go up 64-51 with 4:04 to play. Chrishawn Hopkins was phenomenal during a 90-second stretch, in which he scored six-straight points on two free throws and two layups, putting the Raiders up 52-48 at the 11:41 mark, after trailing 48-46.

Four Raiders scored in double figures: Steven Davis (14), Kendall Griffin (13), Chrishawn Hopkins (12), and Joe Thomasson (11). Davis and Griffin also led their team with six rebounds apiece.

Up Next

The Raiders open their regular season at home on Friday November 14 against the Belmont Bruins. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Box Score

Men’s Basketball Stats


Post-game Audio

Coach Donlon

Thomasson and Arceneaux


 Photos © and Courtesy of Tim G. Zechar

Men Hold Off Valparaiso on Senior Night

February 26, 2014

by WSU Athletic Communications

The Wright State men’s basketball team built a nine-point halftime lead, but had to hold off Valparaiso in the second half before defeating the Crusaders 67-58 on Senior Night Tuesday night at WSU’s Nutter Center.

Six straight points, four of those coming from JT Yoho, gave the Raiders a 14-8 advantage eight minutes into the contest and the lead grew to 30-18 on four consecutive Cole Darling points, the final two coming on foul shots at the 2:54 mark.

WSU led 32-23 at the break despite the Crusaders shooting 47 percent from the field compared to 41 percent for the Raiders. Valpo, however, attempted just 19 shots while Wright State had 27 attempts thanks in part to forcing 11 turnovers while committing only seven.

The margin was double figures at 49-39 on two AJ Pacher foul shots with 11:19 to play, only to see the Crusaders close to within four at 55-51 on an Alec Peters tip-in at the 4:07 mark.

A jumper and two foul shots by Pacher, though, push the lead back up to eight and the senior forward connected on a three from the top of the key made it 62-53 with 2:27 remaining.

Valparaiso cut the deficit to 63-58 on a three-point play from Moussa Gueye at the 18.9-second mark, but could get no closer as WSU scored the final four points of the contest on two Yoho free throws and a Miles Dixon dunk.

Both teams shot the ball well in the second half as Wright State hit 13 of 26 shots to finish at 45 percent while the Crusaders shot 46 percent the final 20 minutes to end up at 47 percent. WSU hit 15 of 18 free throws compared to 10 of 12 for Valpo.

Pacher led all scorers with 20 for the Raiders, 13 in the second half, while Darling scored all 12 of his points in the first half. Yoho added 10 off the bench.

Peters paced Valparaiso (17-13, 9-6 Horizon) with 11 points while Vashil Fernandez had 10.

Next up
Wright State (17-13, 9-6 Horizon) closes out the regular season on Saturday, March 1, at UIC at 2:00 Eastern. The Raiders will either be the #3 or #4 seed in next week’s Horizon League Tournament.

Box Score

Men’s Basketball Stats


Post-game Audio







 Photos © and Courtesy of Tim G. Zechar

Raiders top Detroit on free t-shirt night 65-61

February 22, 2014

By Mike Klingshirn

DAYTON, Ohio – The Wright State Raiders kept their hopes alive for a first round bye in the Horizon League tournament, by defeating the Detroit Titans 65-61 in a late-night battle that was a rarity of sorts. In order to accommodate an ESPNU national television audience, Friday evening’s game began with an unusual tip-off time of 10:00 pm. It may be the first time in school history that a Wright State men’s basketball game started on one day but didn’t end until the next (Saturday morning at 12:15 am).

Also, rare, is the fact that the Raiders came away victorious at home in a ballgame that was promoted by a free t-shirt giveaway. Coming into the game, Wright State was 0-2 at the Nutter Center this year in contests in which t-shirts were given away. They were undefeated in their other eleven home games.

The losing streak on t-shirt nights goes back several years. The black-out nights, for example, have become so notorious for unexplainable poor performances by the Raiders that no black t-shirts were given away this year. The black uniforms worn by the team on those nights have been in storage ever since last season’s upset at home to the UIC Flames.

Wright State head coach Billy Donlon, known to be superstitious at times, was fully aware of past history.

“Oh, I thought about it,” Donlon said. “It all started when we lost to Illinois State in a home opener. I was the assistant to coach (Brownell). We had a great crowd and we lost. We had a player just throw the ball to the other team four straight times. He was a great player, but it was like nothing I had ever seen. It was like watching Poltergeist from the early eighties.”

As was the case on most other t-shirt giveaway nights, things did not start well for Wright State (16-13, 8-6 HL).

The Raiders opened the game by going nearly nine minutes without hitting a field goal. Although their first six points came from the free throw line, it wasn’t until the 11:15 mark when Reggie Arceneaux connected on a wide open attempt from the left side, beyond the arc, to pull the Raiders to within 12-9 of the Titans.

Detroit (13-16, 6-8 HL) stretched the margin to 25-16, their largest of the game, before AJ Pacher scored the last basket of the half — a 3-pointer — to make it 30-29, still in favor of the Titans.

Chrishawn Hopkins tied the score for the first time since the opening tip, at 35 all, by hitting a trey in front of his team’s bench.

A basket by Carlton Brundidge gave Detroit their final lead of the night at 37-35.

It was then when Raider fans had an opportunity to witness one of the best individual 1-minute performances in Raider history. With the help of a Hopkins steal and assist, Matt Vest scored on a dunk to tie it again. Vest followed that up by hitting a pair of treys, lighting up the scoreboard for eight points over a 73 second span. Matt’s first 3-pointer gave his team their first lead of the game at 40-37. His second 3-pointer made it 43-37 with 14:03 left to play. He followed that with a tenth straight-point by hitting a jumper.

“Matt Vest, on both sides of the ball, for about eight minutes, was the best player in the league,” Donlon said. “He’ll be showing this video to his grandkids.”

Over the next ten minutes, when Wright State needed a bucket, they went inside to 6-foot-10 AJ Pacher. He delivered either from the field or the charity stripe by scoring eight of his team’s next 14 points, helping his team build a 59-51 lead with 3:40 left.

It was then that WSU seemingly went into a “prevent offense”. In an effort to shorten the game by reducing possessions, they began taking as much time as possible off of the shot clock before looking to shoot.

As a result of that style of play, the Raiders went scoreless over the next three minutes. It resulted in turnovers, bad looks at the basket, offensive fouls, and a shot clock violation. It also enabled Detroit to creep within 59-55 with less than a minute to play.

“We’ve got to get a little smarter, late, against the clock,” Donlon said. “I’ve got to do a better job, coaching our guys a little bit late.”

A Hopkins dunk broke the scoring drought to seal game, and Wright State held on to win 65-61.

Vest finished the contest with 16 points … a season high for him.

AJ Pacher led the Raiders with 19 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Tavares Sledge, who filled in for an injured Jerran Young, tied his career-high by pulling down 9 boards in 21 minutes of action. Reggie Arceneaux added 15 points.

Evan Bruinsma led the Detroit with a double-double by scoring 19 points and collecting 12 rebounds — 7 on the offensive end.

Detroit out-rebounded the Raiders 41-26 in the game, which resulted in an advantage of second chance points by 24-5.

After the game coach Donlon dodged the question when asked if he would have consider a ban on future t-shirt giveaways at the Nutter Center, had his team not come back to pull out the victory. “That’s way above my pay grade,” he answered.

Injury Update

Jerran Young is questionable for Tuesday’s game against Valpo. More will be known about his status over the weekend. Kendall Griffin will not play.

Next up

The Raiders return home on Tuesday February 25 for a rematch against Valparaiso on Senior Night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm. Wright State won in the first meeting between the two teams at Valpo 62-45.

Box Score

Men’s Basketball Stats


Post-game Audio

Coach Donlon

Pacher and Vest


 Photos © and Courtesy of Tim G. Zechar

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