Men’s Basketball vs. Youngstown State Jan. 9, 2021 | Photos by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian
The Wright State Raiders and the Youngstown State Penguins faced off in back to back basketball games on Jan. 8 and 9 due to the Horizon League new Covid-19 format for this season.
Wright State came into the weekend 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the Horizon League, where Youngstown State came into the games 6-4 overall, but 2-4 in the Horizon League. With Wright State 48-13 overall against the Penguins, they were the clear favorites for the two games.
The Teams split 1-1, with Youngstown taking game one 74-72, off of a last-second layup from Garrett Covington assisted by Naz Bohannon. Game two was Wright State’s revenge, smashing the Penguins 93-55, with the Raiders dominating in the paint and from range.
The players to watch this weekend were YSU’s Naz Bohannon, whose 28 points on Friday Night and a last-second assist to Covington led the Penguins to their win, WSU’s Loudon Love, who earned his 1000th career rebound during Saturday’s game, and WSU’s Tanner Holden, who scored 41 total points over both games.
WSU started fast with center Loudon Love winning the tip, and the offense of Tim Finke and Trey Calvin scoring early 3-pointers. WSU scored five from range in the first 10 minutes to give themselves an early 21-15 lead.
But the Penguins fought hard and played harder, with Bohannon’s drives in the paint leading to a Halftime lead of 39-31.
The second half started even, with Youngstown denying the raiders any ground in the beginning. The Raiders were able to rally, regaining a slim 56-55 lead with nine minutes on the clock.
The game was extremely close, with both teams trying to gain an edge over the other. Off of a set play, Finke was able to get open and hit a corner 3, tying the game 72-72 with 13 seconds left to play.
Bohannon led the play for the last shot of the game, and it looked like he was going to try for a fade-away basket to end it. He was able to find Covington on a run towards the basket and sneak the pass by Wright State’s defense to secure the layup and the first game of the weekend.
The Raiders were angry after Friday night’s close loss, and it showed in how they warmed up and played the game. Just like the night before, Loudon Love won the tip, and Wright State jumped to the first basket. This time, though, they showed no sign of stopping.
“Today we just jumped on them early, and just kept our foot on the pedal.” Holden said. “We were definitely more hungry this game, and I think it really showed.”
In game one, they played mostly 1-on-1 defense, which allowed Bohannon to pick up 28 points in the paint. In game two, they focused on shutting him down.
“We got too spread out last night. Today, every time [Bohannon] got on the floor he had people around him… We made it a lot more difficult for him early, he couldn’t get into a rhythm.” Head coach Scott Nagy said.
With three to four players collapsing in the paint wherever Bohannon had the ball, they were able to deny him points, and pick up a dominant 23-6 start.
YSU tried to apply a defensive press, but this allowed Wright State’s offense to dominate even harder. With Tanner Holden putting in 18 points in just the first half, the Raiders were able to push to a comfortable 49-26 lead.
In the second half, The entire Raider offense was able to get in on the action with 6 of WSU’s players putting in double digit points. They were on fire from range, with Freshman Alex Huibregtse and Junior James Manns nailing seven 3-pointers in a matter of minutes.
“It was definitely fun to see those guys start hitting shots. They’re amazing shooters.” Holden said.
With YSU’s defense broken, the Raiders were able to dominate to a 93-55 final scoreline, fully taking their revenge on the Penguins.
After Saturday’s Game, Nagy commented on their playstyle.
“I just loved how hard we played and how physical we were tonight… We only shot six free throws last night… we shot 19 tonight.”