The clangs turned to swishes for Wright State on Wednesday. A team that had shot 20 percent from 3-point range in its last three games shot 45 percent in a 69-53 victory over Cleveland State at the Nutter Center.
The Raiders may never be a great 3-point shooting team, but with their defense, even a decent effort will suffice. They beat Mount St. Joseph, Green Bay and Milwaukee despite making 10-of-50 3-pointers in those games. They routed the Vikings by making 9-of-20.
Coach Billy Donlon said Cleveland State left the Raiders wide open all night. Jerran Young made 3-of-4. Cole Darling made 2-of-3. Kendall Griffin was 2-of-5. Reggie Arceneaux and Matt Vest were each 1-of-2.
Vest opened the game by draining a 3-pointer, and he was fouled on the play. He made the free throw to give the Raiders a 4-0 lead.
“A big thing when you miss 3-point shots that I think gets missed is the passing is so important,” Donlon said. “Sometimes when the shooter is running to the spot and you throw it to him while he’s running, he’s not going to make that shot. When he’s running to the spot, you’ve got to let him turn and get set and then throw it to him.
“Some of our missed shots (in past games) I felt our passing wasn’t where it needed to be. Tonight it was better, and we made a few more. Jerran made two big 3s in each half. Kendall’s left-corner 3 in the second half was really important.”
Transfer joins team: Butler transfer Chrishawn Hopkins was on the bench for the first time Wednesday. He won’t be eligible to play until next season, but he has begun practicing with the team after enrolling in classes this month.
Hopkins was dismissed from Butler’s team in September and announced his decision to transfer to Wright State in October. He averaged 9.1 points in 37 games last season.
“He got cleared to practice yesterday,” Donlon said. “He had class, so he got there for the last 15 minutes. He made four plays that nobody on our team can make. That’s not to put pressure on him. This is probably going to get me in trouble, but he’s been really well coached. It’s not going to be easy for him either.
“He knows how good the league is. He’s got things he needs to work on, too. He’s got to work. He’s got to get better. He’s got to take the other end of the floor really seriously to become a really, really solid player.”
Next game: The Raiders travel to Chicago to play Loyola at 9 p.m. (EST) on Friday. Wright State has swept Loyola the last two seasons and has won five games in a row in the series. It has won five of the last six games at Loyola.
Going into Wednesday’s game at Green Bay, Loyola was 10-4 with a 1-1 record in the Horizon League. The Ramblers won 63-54 at preseason favorite Valparaiso and lost 68-66 at home to Youngstown State.