Wright State vs Cleveland State Preview and Prediction
Wright State vs Cleveland State Preview
With a 17-6, 9-1 record and sitting in first place, the Wright State men’s basketball team will head to northeast Ohio to play at Cleveland State (5-18, 2-8) Thursday night.
The Raiders are coming off a pair of home wins over Detroit Mercy 87-55 and preseason favorite Oakland 64-51 last weekend. WSU holds a game lead over second place Northern Kentucky in the Horizon League race. Grant Benzinger leads the Raiders at 14.3 points per game while five-time Horizon League Freshman of the Week Loudon Love has averages of 11.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Wright State is currently 20th in the mid-major poll and 75th in the NCAA RPI rankings.
Wright State started the season at 0-3 and has gone 17-3 since, including winning 10 of the last 11 games. The Raiders won 11 league games a year ago, and the WSU record for conference wins is 13 set by the 2007 and 2016 teams.
For Cleveland State, the struggle is real. The Vikings have only managed two wins in their last 14 games and are coming off a pair of losses to Green Bay and Milwaukee. This will be the first meeting of the year between the teams though WSU has played Cleveland State more than any other team. WSU leads the series 35-33 overall. The Raiders have won the last four meetings, including both games last season.
Take your heart meds before watching Cleveland State
- The Vikings have played in eight one possession games this year, posting a 3-5 mark in those games.
- Four of CSU’s Horizon League games have come down to the final possession as the Vikings fell to Youngstown State (80-77), defeated Green Bay (80-79), lost at Detroit Mercy (85-84) and defeated IUPUI (70-67).
- CSU played in three straight one possession games from Nov. 20 through Nov. 29, falling at ECU, 72-69 (Nov. 20), losing to Central Conn., 74-73, (Nov. 24), and topping Arkansas State, 75-72 (Nov. 29).
- It was the first time CSU played three straight one possession games since the 1999-2000 season when CSU fell at St. Bonaventure, 71-69, (12/30/99), and won at Loyola, 70-68 (1/6/00) and at UIC, 91-89 (1/8/00).
- The Vikings also played a one possession game at Niagara (L, 79-77 on Dec. 19).
Kenny Carpenter the Vikings only hope?
Senior Kenny Carpenter is one of the only reliable weapons on this Cleveland State team. He ranks 17th in the Horizon League in scoring (12.7) and 14th in rebounding (5.3), while adding 2.3 assists. Carpenter is also 11th in the League in field goal percentage (.477). He has three, 20-point games this year and has 16 double figure scoring games. He scored 24 points in the first half vs. Coppin State and finished the game 10-of-17 from the field, including 6-of-11 from three-point. The six three-pointers are tied for the fourth most in a game in program history and the 17th time a CSU player made six three’s. Carpenter has posted two double-doubles this year, the first two of his career.
This is a bad Cleveland State squad who have only won two games since Dec.10. Not good. Wright State is number one in the conference for a reason and I expect a blowout victory to maintain that lead.
LINE: -10 Wright State
Wright State 83 Cleveland State 60