Wright State Raiders (14-5 SU, 9-7-1 ATS, 6-11 O/U) vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix (8-13 SU, 8-8 ATS, 9-7 O/U)
NCAAB: Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. EST
The Line: OFF. Wright State Raiders -5.5: 144
The Wright State Raiders have won seven games in a row heading into a road date with the Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix at the Resch Center on Thursday night. Wright State most recently continued its winning ways with a victory over Youngstown State earlier this week. The Phoenix halted a five-game skid by outlasting Wisconsin-Milwaukee in overtime on Monday.
Wright State got off to a slow start in its home game against Youngstown State on Monday but it eventually righted the ship and prevailed over the Penguins 77-67. That kept the Raiders undefeated in the Horizon League so far this season at 6-0. Five Wright State players scored in double-figure, led by freshmen Loudon Love and Jaylon Hall with 16 points apiece. Cole Gentry added 14 points as Mark Hughes and Grant Benzinger both chipped in. The home team limited Youngstown State to a 37.5 percent shooting performance in the second half, a stretch that included a 1-for-9 clip from the long range. In the game as a whole, the Penguins went just 7-for-23 from the land of plenty. The Raiders are now 14-5 overall and have won seven straight contests.
“Sometimes you win games, and you don’t feel like you won, but that’s when you know you have a pretty good team,” head coach Scott Nagy explained. “I have been in that situation before. If you win games when you didn’t play very well, then you are doing things right.”
The solid defensive performance against Youngstown State was nothing new for the Raiders, who are second in the Horizon League behind Northern Kentucky in scoring defense (66.5 points allowed per game).
Carrying the load
Khalil Small and Sandy Cohen III are leading the way for Wisconsin-Green Bay so far this season. Both players rank in the top seven of the Horizon League in the scoring department, with Small sitting second at 19.6 points per game and Cohen seventh at 17.4 ppg. Together, they account for more than 47 percent of the team’s scoring through eight conference contests. They also rank first and second on the team in rebounding, the same in minutes per game, and both are shooting at least 46 percent from the floor. Cohen (29 points) and Kameron Hankerson (24 points) each scored career-highs on Monday night against in-state rival Wisconsin-Milwaukee, while Small went for 22 in a dramatic 99-92 overtime victory. Cohen scored 17 of his career-high 29 points in the first half, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 6-for-6 at the free-throw line. The redshirt junior also recorded his second career double-double the season (10 rebounds, as well).
Cohen has scored double-figures in eight of his 10 games this season. Small, meanwhile, has now scored at least 21 points in four of his last five games and he is averaging 21.4 ppg during this stretch. The senior has reached double-figures in 20 of 21 games.
The Wright State Raiders are:
- 11-5 Under in their last 16 overall
- 4-0 Under in their last four games against teams with winning records
- 5-2 Under in their last seven games following a win
The Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix are:
- 5-2 Under in their last seven home games
- 4-1 Under in their last five games against teams with winning percentages over .600
- 7-1 Under in their last eight home games against teams with winning road records
For Wisconsin-Green Bay, Small was named to the Horizon League All-Defensive Team last season as the team’s lockdown defender. He averaged 5.2 rebounds per game and more than a steal per contest. Wright State is fourth in the conference in shooting percentage defense, fourth in three-point defense, fourth in defensive rebounding, and second in turnover margin. The under is 11-5 in the Raiders’ last 16 overall, 5-2 in their last seven following a win, and 4-0 in their last four against winning opponents. It is also 5-2 in the Phoenix’s last seven at home, 4-1 in their last five against opponents with winning percentages over .600, 7-1 in their last eight at home against opponents with winning road records, and 6-1 in their last seven following a win. Additionally, the under is 9-3 in Wright State’s last 12 trips to Wisconsin-Green Bay. Look for this one to stay under the total.