Wright State’s Cole Gentry had a glittering stat line against Cedarville: a game-high 15 points, a career-best eight rebounds, five assists and no turnovers in 34 minutes Tuesday.
The junior point guard also showed he’s good at following orders.
»RELATED: Wright State pulls away from Cedarville
“Colton Linkous is a really good shooter for them, and we told Cole, ‘We don’t want him shooting any 3s.’ And Cole stuck to him,” Raiders coach Scott Nagy said.
“He got three of them off, but he didn’t score. You see what Cole did offensively, but what he did defensively — and getting eight rebounds on top of it — I’m really pleased with him.”
An upbeat Nagy found plenty to like about the 58-39 win beyond Gentry, even though the Raiders (4-3) had trouble putting their Division-II foe away.
They shot 28.6 percent from the field in the first half and 31.8 for the game. They trailed 30-27 early in the second half, causing some squirming among the 3,317 fans, but they went on a 17-0 run and held Cedarville to nine points over the final 18:30.
“I talked to the players after the game about how pleased we were with them, quite honestly. Their defense and effort — those are the things we continue to preach, and there’s no reason for me to be frustrated about anything else,” Nagy said.
Here are five takeaways from the game:
ALL-AROUND EFFORT: Mark Hughes scored 14 points, and Louden Love had his third straight double-double and fourth of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Bill Wampler chipped in 11 points.
No one reached double figures for Cedarville, which made only 12 of 52 shots (23.1 percent).
NO HANGOVER: Coming off high-intensity games against Penn State and SMU in Cancun, the Raiders may have had trouble get riled up for such an undermanned opponent. But Nagy saw no signs of a let-up, and neither did his players.
“We lost two games. We should’ve played and had the energy like we were coming off two L’s. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing,” Nagy said. “I think our guys practiced well and took Cedarville seriously. I think our warmups were good. We made sure there was no screwing around. You just have nights when you don’t shoot well. That’s why you’d better be good defensively.”
“It probably looked like that because of the way we shot the ball,” Gentry said. “But we had a good few days of practice. You don’t make shots sometimes — that’s the game of basketball. But I think for the most part we were pretty locked in. We treat everybody the same.”
UP-AND-DOWN: Freshman guard Skyelar Potter had a freshman-like game but still showed his immense potential. He went 0-of-9 from the field and didn’t score, but he had a game-high 12 rebounds, including five on the offensive end.
“We tell our players they can still have great value to us with how much they rebound and how hard they play, not just how many points they scored. He was a good example of that tonight,” Nagy said.
3-point problems: Wright State entered the game shooting 40.6 percent beyond the arc, meeting Nagy’s goal of at least a 40-percent clip this season. After starting 3-for-17, they finished 10-of-34 overall (29.4 percent).
Gentry was 5-for-9 and Hughes 4-for-8, but the rest of the team was 1-for-17.
Against better competition, that could have been costly. They went 3-for-18 at Murray State in a 73-54 loss Nov. 10.
Coming up: The Raiders have a challenging stretch awaiting them, playing at Indiana State at 2 p.m. Saturday and then facing MAC foes in back-to-back games, hosting Miami at 7 p.m. Wednesday and visiting Kent State at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8.
Wright State at Indiana State, 2 p.m., ESPN+, 106.5