DALLAS, TX - MARCH 15: Everett Winchester #2 of the Wright State Raiders drives on Admiral Schofield #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers in the first half in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at American Airlines Center on March 15, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Wright State notes: Winchester sparks otherwise dark day

The freshman forward attacked the Tennessee defense the instant he came off the bench 2 minutes and 21 seconds into the game and was the extent of the Raiders offense for the first 14 minutes of their 73-47 loss in an NCAA tournament first-round game in Dallas.

“It felt good, of course, because if it wasn’t for my teammates and my coaches believing in me, none of that would have happened,” said Winchester, who scored eight of the Raiders’ first 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting.

›› Ryan Custer-inspired mantra fits Wright State to a T

“He should’ve been doing that all year,” WSU senior Grant Benzinger said with a smirk and a nod toward the freshman, who was getting dressed a few feet away.

“Unless coach was telling him something that we didn’t hear, I think he just took it in his own hands,” Benzinger added. “He took responsibility and he made plays. We needed those plays to be made, and he did.”

Winchester finished with 11 points and three rebounds in just 21 minutes.

›› PHOTO GALLERY: See pictures from Wright State-Tennessee game

Asked if a performance like that against an opponent like that can be a springboard to big sophomore season for Winchester, Nagy said he thinks the prospects are raised for every returning player.

“The expectations for our whole team should change in terms of how we prepare for next year and what they think,” he said. “We primarily lose one guy (Benzinger) that has played for us, and we’re added six — six good players.

“So our depth is going to change a lot,” he continued. “It’s going to be very competitive. The guys coming back understand what it takes, understand the culture that’s needed, and they’ll be able to teach the new guys. So we’re obviously very excited about the future. It’s just hard to think about those things today.”

Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

Losing Love: The trouble WSU had scoring in the first half was compounded by the fact that Horizon League Freshman of the Year Loudon Love watched most of it from the bench with foul trouble.

Love picked up his first foul three minutes into the game and his third with 5:26 left in the half as he played just 10 minutes.

“It’s tough from a personal standpoint, not just because I’m sitting there, but because I can’t help contribute for the team for at least those 10 minutes,” Love said. “I’ve got to be smarter. We knew they were physical, and you just can’t make stupid fouls.”

›› ARCHDEACON: Losing seasons at SDSU helped Nagy be a better coach, dancer

Nagy echoed that sentiment.

“The first two fouls Loudon got were not good fouls for him,” he said. “Early in the game, he just wasn’t in a good spot.”

Board beatdown: The Raiders had only been outrebounded once in their last 15 games, but Tennessee dominated them for a 44-32 advantage that was the worst differential of the season for WSU.

The Volunteers had four players with at least seven rebounds, led by Admiral Schofield’s 12.

›› RELATED: WSU women ready for WNIT game at Toledo

“Our post defense was important,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “With Love, he does such a great job of creating angles. And if you let him catch it with a foot in the lane, it’s hard to guard. We thought we had to rebound, and we thought we could get to the offensive boards.”

Thirteen of the Volunteers’ 44 rebounds came on offense and resulted in 16 second-chance points.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X