Wright State coach Billy Donlon, showing some of the quickness he displayed as a player at UNC-Wilmington, sprinted onto the court late in the second half Saturday at the Nutter Center to pick up a souvenir ball that somehow made its way out of the stands. Donlon got out of the way just in time to avoid Matt Vest, who was coming the other way for a fast-break dunk.
Neither Donlon’s dash or Vest’s dunk will make SportsCenter’s top 10 plays, as Jerran Young did with his monster slam on Thursday.
The Raiders did have some highlight-worthy plays in a 61-49 victory over Missouri-Kansas City — a sweet dish by Chrishawn Hopkins in the first half, any one of the four blocks by Young and a couple other dunks by Vest — but they also had some cringe-worthy moments.
The Kangaroos turned up the pressure in the second half after falling behind by 19. The Raiders couldn’t handle it. In one three-minute span, they committed five turnovers: three by Hopkins and two by Reggie Arceneaux.
“(Kansas City) played like an animal that was wounded,” Donlon said. “They took a lot of chances. I was trying to run clock and make them guard half-court. I probably should have let our guys attack through some of that. But some of our passes … we just have to improve on our decision making.”
Darling’s game: Wright State senior Cole Darling showed the form that made him a preseason All-Horizon League pick in the second half. He hit back-to-back shots after Kansas City had cut Wright State’s lead to 45-38 with under 10 minutes to play.
Darling finished with a team-high 15 points. He scored a total of 18 points in the previous five games.
“I’ve been in a little funk lately,” Darling said. “I’ve been working with the coaches to try to get out of it. I think I took a step in the right direction.”
Analyzing WSU: Ken Pomeroy’s website, KenPom.com, which provides “advanced analysis of college basketball,” gave the Raiders an 83 percent chance of winning Saturday and predicted a 10-point win — not too far off.
Based on results through the first 13 games, the site predicts the Raiders will finish the season 15-16 with an 8-8 mark in the Horizon League.
Looking ahead: The Raiders don’t play again until 3 p.m. Dec. 29 against Bowling Green at the Nutter Center.
The Falcons (5-5) beat Morehead State 67-61 in their last game Dec. 15 and host Detroit at 2 p.m. today. Wright State lost 74-69 at Morehead State on Dec. 2.