Youngstown State (16-13) at Wright State (18-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 2, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Nutter Center (10,400) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: HLN, MyValleySports, SportsTime Ohio. Home Record: YSU 10-4, WSU 9-4. Away Record: YSU 6-7, WSU 9-6. Neutral Record: YSU 0-2, WSU 0-1. Conference Record: YSU 7-8, WSU 9-6. Series Record: Wright State leads, 36-9.
GAME NOTES: The Youngstown State Penguins look to end their regular season on a positive note as they visit the Nutter Center for a Horizon League bout with the Wright State Raiders.
This will be the 46th meeting between YSU and WSU on the hardwood in a series that dates back to 1977. The Penguins defeated the Raiders, 68-61, on Jan. 23 in Youngstown in the inaugural bout of this season's series as Damian Eargle scored 18 points to lead the way. Jerran Young paced Wright State with 18 points as his squad shot 39.7 percent from the floor.
Jerry Slocum's Penguins got off to a great start in their last appearance, but surrendered a seven-point halftime lead after the break to fall, 73-64, at Valparaiso. The setback put YSU at a 16-13 overall record that includes its 7-8 Horizon League mark. Kendrick Perry is having an all-conference caliber season with averages of 16.9 points, 4.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game, but he will be out of action indefinitely due to a knee injury. Damian Eargle is chiming in with 11.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest while Blake Allen (11.8) and Kamren Belin (10.5) both make significant contributions to YSU's 71.7 points per game average.
The loss of Perry is clearly hurting YSU, which shot just 39.7 percent from the field in the loss to the Crusaders. Valpo managed to hit on 46 percent of its attempts from the field and hold a 36-61 edge in the rebounding battle against the shorthanded Penguins in the contest.
Despite falling to Youngstown State earlier in the campaign, Wright State still owns a 36-9 all-time series lead.
The Raiders lost for the third time in four outings on Tuesday as they dropped a 60-55 decision at Illinois-Chicago in their final true road test of the season. The setback dropped Wright State to an 18-11 overall record and to a 9-6 Horizon League standing. Cole Darling paces the team with 11.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per tilt, while Reggie Arceneaux chips in 9.4 ppg.
In the loss at UIC, J.T. Yoho scored a game-high 16 points off the bench to lead the way for Wright State. Young and Kendall Griffin scored 13 and 10 points, respectively in the team's second straight loss. The Raiders went from shooting 45.8 percent from the field through the first 20 minutes to just 35.7 percent after the break. UIC connected on 15 of its 22 field goal tries in the second half and outscored Wright State, 20-8, at the charity stripe in the contest to seal the deal. The Raiders have the lowest scoring offense in the Horizon League at 61.6 ppg, but they counteract it with the conference's best scoring defense that allows only 60 ppg.
YSU is going to have a tough time cracking Wright State's defense without its go-to-guy. The Raiders will not overpower the Penguins offensively, but they should be able to keep them off the board enough to finish off the regular season with a triumph.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wright State 67, Youngstown State 62
03/02 10:46:29 ET