CLEVELAND – On the road, with a good-sized lead. then going cold and letting their opponents take the lead sounds like a recipe for disaster for the Wright State Raiders.
In the Raiders’ minds they must have been thinking about the 15 point second half lead they had at Marshall that got away for a 79-72 loss.
Or the seven point lead that Wright State (12-7, 5-1) had over Bowling Green late in the second half that they lost for a 59-56 loss.
With 14:26 left in the game Cleveland State’s Bahaader Russell strips the ball from Wright State’s Drew Burleson, then he passes it to Joe Davis who lays it in to give Cleveland State their first lead in the game 47-46 and to pile it on the Raiders, Burleson fouls Davis as he made the lay up.
He sinks the foul shot and it is the Vikings by two.
It looks like Cleveland State was going to continue to over-power the Raiders, but the Raiders got some big stops and hold on to win 78-67
Nightmare over for the Raiders and the this season’s nightmare continues for Cleveland State as they drop to 1-6 in the Horizon League .
When asked what he said during half time to set his team on fire Cleveland State Coach Gary Waters said, “We told them in the locker room we have five minutes left to play this game. If we didn’t play hard in the first five minutes this game is over.”
Cleveland State (7-13, 1-6 HL) trailed the Raiders by 37-27 at the half.
Coming out of the half the Vikings went on a 7-0 run with baskets by four different players that cut their deficit to just three at 37-33.
Wright State’s DeShaun Wood sunk a 3-pointer to slow the bleeding.
At the 12:22 mark Wright State’s Jordan Pleiman made a lay up to tie the game at 48-48 on a nice pass from Vaughn Duggins.
At the 11:47 mark Todd Brown missed a lay up and Pleiman was there to tip it back in to put the Raiders back in the lead to stay at 50-48.
When the dust settled Wood led all scorers with 26 points and six assists. Just another day’s work for the Horizon League’s leading scorer.
In the first half both teams traded baskets for the first 10 minutes. Finally at the 9:07 mark Wood stole the ball form Breyohn Watson and drove to the basket for a lay up. Watson fouled him and Wood made the foul shot to put Wright State up by 10 for the first time in the game.
With 2:23 left in the first half Burleson hit a jumper to give the Raiders their biggest at 14 points at 34-20.
Russell scored five points on a 3-pointer and a lay up to get the Vikings deficit down to 10 points at the half.
Wright State shot a sizzling 61.5 percent (16-26) in the second half and a strong 54.4 percent (31-57) for the game while holding the Vikings to 42.1 percent (24-57).
Three point shooting was a helped the Raiders to victory as they hit 7-10 while holding Cleveland State to 7-22.
“We are just excited to get a road win,” explained a relieved Brad Brownell the Wright State Coach. “I was pleased our guys found a way to win.
“We are clearly not the top team in the League right now. If we had the same schedule some of the other teams had I am not so sure we would be 5-1.”
J’Nathan Bullock led the Vikings with 21 points. Davis and Russell each scored 17 points.
Aside from Wood, Todd Brown and Pleiman scored 14 points, while
Burleson chipped in 11 points, with out taking a shot in the second half.
*DeShaun Wood who likes to carry on conversations during the game with the officials got his first technical foul tonight. According to Wood it wasn’t anything he said, it was for making a face at the referee on a call he thought was questionable.
*Wood who may be the best player in the Horizon League got pulled out after the technical foul and sat for 3:19 seconds. During that time the Raiders with their best player benched went from a three point lead to a two point lead. Go figure?
*Wolstein Center is not exactly a house of horrors for Cleveland State opponents. The Viking are 108-90 (.545) since it opened in 1991.
* CSU played the game without guard Carlos English and forward Kevin Francis who were declared academically ineligible on January 13th.
*Cleveland State’s team is playing in their 75th season. From 1929 to 1965 they were known as Fenn College before becoming Cleveland State. Remember that next time you are playing sports trivial.
*Wright State leads that all-time series 23-22.
*Cleveland State’s next game is at Youngstown State on January 20th at 7:05 p.m.
*Wright State’s next game is January 21st at Milwaukee at 2 p. m.