Oakland (13-19) vs. Wright State (18-13)
GAME NOTES: The sixth-seeded Oakland Golden Grizzlies and third-seeded Wright State Raiders will clash in the first of two Horizon League second-round contests Friday at the Resch Center.
The winner of this game will take on second-seeded Cleveland State in the semifinal round on Saturday.
Oakland played in the first round, and escaped Youngstown State, 96-92, in a thrilling overtime contest in Rochester. It was the second straight win over Youngstown State for the Grizzlies, who have won three of their past four contests going back into the regular season.
Wright State, which received a first-round bye with the third overall seed in the Horizon league after the regular season, enters this game against the Grizzlies having won four in a row to cap off the regular-season slate. The Raiders took down Illinois-Chicago in their regular-season finale, 68-61.
Wright State leads Oakland in the brief all-time series, 6-2. The Grizzlies and the Raiders met twice during the season, and in both contests Wright State came away victorious.
Oakland trailed by 10 points to Youngstown State with three minutes left to play in regulation on Tuesday in first-round Horizon League Tournament action, but the Golden Grizzlies made a furious comeback to keep their season alive. With .6 seconds to play in regulation, Travis Bader drilled a pair of free throws for Oakland to knot the game up and send it to overtime, where the Grizzlies caught fire and pulled ahead for good. Bader dominated, netting 39 points in the contest, going a tournament and school-record 18-of-18 from the free-throw line and hitting 7-of-18 from 3-point range. Corey Petros scored 17 points with nine rebounds, Duke Mondy chipped in 16 and Dante Williams contributed 12 points with six rebounds. Kahlil Felder dished out a team-best 11 assists.
Bader's spectacular scoring streak continues, as the NCAA's new all-time leader in 3-point field goals made averages 20.7 ppg entering the matchup with Wright State. His 40.9 percent mark from 3-point range leads the Grizzlies, and 94.6 percent from the free-throw line is by far best on the team. Petros chips in 13.5 ppg with a team-high 8.2 rpg, and Mondy is scoring 11.9 ppg. Felder (9.6 ppg) has dished out a team-high 204 assists on the year. The Grizzlies are averaging a healthy 74.9 ppg, but giving up 77.5 ppg.
Wright State actually trailed Illinois-Chicago, the team with the worst record in the Horizon League, by one point at the end of the first half in the Raiders' season finale. But Wright State was able to pick it up in the second half, while the Flames seemed to dwindle and disappear. A.J. Pacher netted 16 points to pace the Raiders in the contest, adding eight rebounds to his stat line. Matt Vest chipped in 11 points of his own, while as a unit the Raiders hit 50 percent of their shot attempts in the game.
Scoring was a bit of an issue for the Raiders this season, as the team averaged just 67.4 ppg and had one player record a double-digit point average through 31 games played. Pacher netted 10.9 ppg for Wright State, with Jerran Young the next closest scorer at 8.3 ppg. Pacher led the team with 4.9 rpg, and Reggie Arceneaux dished out a team-best 72 assists. The Raiders pride themselves on defense, allowing just 62.3 ppg to opponents, but are second to last in the Horizon League in defensive rebounding, grabbing just 21.9 defensive rpg.
Oakland has a lineup built for scoring, which could come in handy against a defensive-driven Wright State team. Although the Grizzlies lost both regular- season contests to the Raiders, this matchup could be very different based on Oakland's strong play down the stretch. However, the Golden Grizzlies may find they can't rely on a late run to always get them through.
GAME NOTES: The sixth-seeded Oakland Golden Grizzlies and third-seeded Wright
State Raiders will clash in the first of two Horizon League second-round
contests Friday at the Resch Center.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Resch Center (9,877) -- Green Bay, Wisconsin. Television:
Horizon League Network. Home Record: Oakland 10-5, Wright State 13-2. Away
Record: Oakland 3-11, Wright State 4-11. Neutral Record: Oakland 0-3, Wright
State 1-0. Conference Record: Oakland 7-9, Wright State 10-6. Series Record:
Wright State leads, 6-2.Game Date and Time
Friday, March 7, 7 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Wright State 74, Oakland 70