DAYTON – The Wright State men’s basketball team tips off its Horizon League slate this weekend with a pair of home contests, beginning Thursday night as the Raiders welcome Robert Morris to the Nutter Center for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Raiders are 5-2 after the opening month of the season, while RMU comes to town 2-5 overall.
Fans can follow the action several ways – via live stats, by watching on ESPN+ or by tuning in on WONE 980 AM. Chris Collins and Jim Brown will have all the play-by-play on the radio and ESPN feeds.
LAST TIME OUT
Wright State went 2-1 at the Vegas 4 tournament out in Las Vegas, sandwiching wins over Abilene Christian (77-61) and Weber State (87-65) with a five-point loss to UC Riverside (70-65) in the middle game of the trip. As a group, the Raiders shot 55 percent over the three days, with a week-best 65 percent clip in the finale against Weber State, while they passed out 60 total assists on a combined 91 made baskets. Trey Calvin averaged a team-leading 15.7 points/game in Vegas while collecting his first career double-double with a 14 point, 10 assist effort against Weber State, while Brandon Noel averages 15.0 points on the trip behind a pair of double-digit scoring nights, including a career-best 23 against Weber State. Amari Davis also finished the trip with a double-digit scoring average (12.7), while Alex Huibregtse (9.3 ppg) and Tim Finke (8.0 ppg) were just off double-digit averages on the trip.
A WIN WOULD. . .
A Thursday win would give the Raiders a victory in their Horizon League opener for the fourth straight season and would be the fifth time in seven seasons under head coach Scott Nagy that Wright State has opened League action with a win.
(ROBERT) MORRIS TO COME
-Robert Morris is 2-5 entering December as it begins its third season in the Horizon League. The Colonials have lost their last four contests and are winless against Division I opponents so far this season, with home victories over D3 Pittsburgh Greensburg and D2 West Virginia Wesleyan.
-Wright State and Robert Morris have met just six times in the Raiders’ 53 seasons of basketball, with Wright State taking all four meetings as Horizon League foes. The first meeting came Jan. 24, 1977 inside the old Physical Education Building on the Wright State campus – an 80-76 Raider victory. The following season, the Raiders made the return trip to Robert Morris and came back home with a 90-81 victory on Jan. 26, 1978.
-Robert Morris is coming off an 8-24 overall record last year, with a 5-16 conference mark.
-Robert Morris has two non-Division I wins, both at home, but the Colonials are a combined 0-5 away from metro Pittsburgh after the first month of action.
-The Colonials are coming off an 0-3 trip to Savannah, Ga. for the Hostilo Hoops Community Classic, losing to Mercer, Evansville and South Alabama.
-This is RMU’s second trip to Dayton in as many weeks, as the Colonials fell at UD 60-51 back on Nov. 19. RMU has been logging hours on I-70 in Ohio, with its lone other contest a 91-53 defeat in the season opener at Ohio State on Nov. 7.
-Robert Morris is in the middle of a seven-game road trip, continuing the trip at Northern Kentucky on Saturday before a midweek tilt at Central Michigan closes the stretch Dec. 7.
Wright State is shooting a combined 53.9 percent from the floor as a group over the first month of action. The Raiders flirted with the program-best shooting percentage in the Nov. 17 win over Defiance, ending the night shooting 74.1 percent from the floor, just shy of the program record of 76.6 percent set December 16, 1978 against Otterbein. Wright State followed that effort up with a 60.0 percent mark against Abilene Christian (68.4 percent in the first half) and a 64.9 percent effort against Weber State (73.3 percent in the first half). The 53.9 percent field goal shooting percentage is currently third in the nation behind Arizona (60.3) and Indiana (55.9).
The hot team shooting percentage is thanks to hot individual shooting numbers throughout the lineup. Eight Raiders have shooting percentages of 50 percent or better, with three – Brandon Noel (68.6), A.J. Braun (65.2) and Andrew Welage (60.0) – at 60 percent or better. Alex Huibregtse (59.5), Keaton Norris (57.1), Amari Davis (52.2), Blake Sisley (52.0) and Trey Calvin (50.5) are also above 50 percent through the first month, while Tim Finke shot 39 percent over three games in Las Vegas after a slow shooting start.
Brandon Noel was named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week on Nov. 28 after finishing in double figures in two of Wright State’s three contests as part of the Vegas 4 tournament. He capped the trip with a career-high 23 points in the win over Weber State. Noel opened the Vegas trip with eight points and six rebounds on 4-of-5 shooting before a 14-point effort against UC Riverside as he connected on his first two collegiate three-pointers and pulled down a career-best 11 rebounds. Against Weber State, Noel was 10-of-11 from the floor with two more three-pointers, adding seven rebounds as he finished the week shooting 72 percent overall with 24 total rebounds, including 20 on the defensive glass, while chipping in six steals, three blocks and three assists. Through seven games, Noel is averaging 11.9 points per game, recording double digits scoring in five of his first seven collegiate contests, while his 68.6 percent shooting mark is the best in the Horizon League to date. Averaging 25.7 minutes per contest, Noel has played 25 or more minutes in five games and has logged over 20 minutes in all but the season-opener, when he recorded 19 minutes against Davidson.
Following Thursday’s matchup against Robert Morris, the Raiders remain at home to welcome Youngstown State to the Nutter Center for a Sunday afternoon 1 p.m. tipoff. Tickets for Sunday’s contest can be purchased in advance by clicking here.