Nagy pleased as Raiders improve to 16-4 overall

Wright State coach Scott Nagy has high standards. If his players aren’t performing up to their potential, he doesn’t hesitate to let them know.

But he also can sense when they need an encouraging word, and that was the case after a ragged 75-62 win over visiting Cleveland State on Thursday.

The Raiders were so subdued in the postgame locker room that Nagy had to remind them to appreciate what they’d done.

“I walked in and said, ‘It’s like somebody shot your dog. C’mon. It’s a Division-I conference win by (13) points. Are you kidding me?’” he said.

Though the Raiders were never in danger of losing, they had trouble finishing off the pesky Vikings, who have a deliberate style and keep games close.

But while their play was far from perfect — the reason behind the dreary mood — they still improved to 16-4 overall and 6-1 in the Horizon League.

“Part of it is some of our guys didn’t play well offensively. And part of it is, when you get used to winning, you expect to win,” Nagy said. “What starts happening is, if you don’t win like you think you should win, then you don’t feel good about it.

“But that’s just ridiculous. We should celebrate every win.”

Five things we learned:

Local flavor: Cleveland State's Torrey Patton — who was named conference player of the week Jan. 6 after a 25-point, eight-rebound outing against Youngstown State — led all scorers with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting with six rebounds.

The 6-5 junior from Trotwood-Madison played one season at Akron, appearing in 32 games, before transferring to Indian Hill Community College in Iowa last season and averaging 15.0 points and 8.1 rebounds.

“I feel like I’ve finally found the right fit at Cleveland State,” said Patton, who was supported by family and friends at the Nutter Center. “Things are going well for me. I’m able to operate the way I want to.”

Another former Trotwood-Madison star, Green Bay freshman Amari Davis, had 18 points in a losing effort against the Raiders last month.

“I saw Amari did his thing. I’m proud of him for that. I still talk to him daily,” Patton said.

The Raiders knew what to expect from the agile forward.

“We recruited him,” Nagy said. “We offered him (a scholarship), but he didn’t want to come here. He’s a good player and good kid.”

Twin towers: Nagy helped shake the Raiders out of their funk by inserting the 6-9 Grant Basile at power forward with the 6-9 Loudon Love at center in the second half.

That supersized lineup turned a 41-33 lead with 14:41 to go into a 54-36 edge at 9:43.

“Very few times have we been able to play that way. But they play big, and their ‘bigs’ don’t necessarily shoot a lot of outside shots,” Nagy said. “It was a good combination for us. We got stops and got the ball.”

Love had 13 points and five rebounds, and Basile had 12 points, 10 boards and four blocks.

“That’s a lot of length out there (with that lineup),” Patton said. “It was hard to finish around the hoop.”

Free throw woes: The Raiders went into the game shooting a pedestrian 66.6% on foul shots, which puts them in the bottom fifth in the country. They started 1 of 6 and finished 13 of 24.

They actually shot almost as well on 3’s, hitting 8 of 20.

Board battle: Going into the game, Wright State had a plus-7.6 rebound margin with Love in the lineup this season, but Cleveland State (7-12, 3-3) scrapped hard enough inside to finish with a 44-41 edge.

Coming up: The Raiders will play six of their next eight games at home, hosting Youngstown State at 7 p.m. Saturday and Northern Kentucky at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, on ESPNU.

Saturday’s game

Youngstown State at Wright State, 7 p.m., ESPN+, 106.5-FM

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