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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 20, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Wolstein Center (8,500) -- Cleveland, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: WSU 9-3, CSU 9-4. Away Record: WSU 7-5, CSU 2-11. Neutral Record: WSU 1-1, CSU 0-0. Conference Record: WSU 8-5, CSU 5-9. Series Record: Cleveland State leads, 30-28.
GAME NOTES: Hoping to stay in the hunt for the Horizon League regular-season title, the Wright State Raiders invade the Wolstein Center for a pivotal clash with the Cleveland State Vikings.
The Raiders have not played since suffering a 68-61 loss at Valparaiso on Feb. 12, which snapped a three-game win streak. Wright State is in fourth place in the league, but just two games out of the top spot.
Cleveland State snapped a three-game losing streak with an 88-67 win over Milwaukee on Sunday at home. The Vikings are in seventh place in the Horizon League at 5-9, one-and-a-half games behind sixth-place UIC and two games back of fifth-place Youngstown State.
Wright State won this year?s first meeting, 69-53, on Jan. 9, which snapped a six-game skid to CSU. The Vikings leads the all-time series, 30-28, and they have won seven of the last nine encounters.
The Raiders fell to Valparaiso, 68-61, despite a game-high 23 points from AJ Pacher in just 24 minutes off the bench. Miles Dixon contributed 13 points in a reserve role as well, as the team had a three-game win streak come to an end. Valpo scored the first points of the night and never looked back, leading by as many as 13 in the opening half before claiming a 34-28 advantage at the break.
The Raiders have been a very strong defensive squad, surrendering just 58.5 points per game, tops in the conference. Cole Darling paces the offense with 11.3 ppg on 45.6 percent shooting from the floor, but he is the only player on the squad with a double-digit scoring average.
Behind a career-high-tying 24 points from Bryn Forbes, the Vikings used a second-half surge to dismiss the Milwaukee Panthers by double digits. The game was knotted at 37-37 at halftime before the Vikings exploded for 51 points in the second half. The Vikings shot 52.5 percent for the game, including 12- of-25 from beyond the arc. CSU dominated the rebounding battle, 36-23, and it committed just eight turnovers compared to 13 for Milwaukee.
As a team, the Vikings are scoring 65.4 ppg but giving up 69.8 ppg, second- worst in the Horizon League. They are also allowing opponents to shoot 45.6 percent from the field, also second from the bottom. Bryn Forbes lead the team with 13.7 ppg, followed closely by Charlie Lee with 11.2 ppg.
The Raiders lack of scoring depth should offset the Vikings lackluster defense. Expect Wright State to dial up the defensive pressure and get back on the winning track.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wright State 67, Cleveland State 60
02/20 11:09:43 ET
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