- By Marc Pendleton Staff Writer
The Wright State University men’s basketball team will play Indiana State and Northwestern Ohio for the first time, area rivals Cedarville and Miami, and will visit Mississippi State of the Southeastern Conference in the 2018-19 season.
WSU announced its remaining 13-game, non-league schedule on Tuesday. The Raiders’ four-game Cancun Challenge to begin the season was released last month.
“Our non-conference schedule will be competitive and entertaining for our fans,” WSU coach Scott Nagy said. “We play multiple high-level games both at home and on the road, including the Cancun Challenge. All of this will enable our fans to watch us prepare for a tough Horizon League slate in January and February.”
Wright State will visit Indiana State (13-18 last season) at Terra Haute on Dec. 1. It’ll be the first meeting between the Raiders and the Missouri Valley Conference member.
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Located at Lima, Northwestern (14-16) is an NAIA program that competes in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. Carroll High School graduate Xander Smart averaged 10.4 points for the Racers last season.
Cedarville (13-14) will visit WSU’s Ervin J. Nutter Center on Nov. 27. The teams last played to open the 2003-04 season at WSU. Cedarville edged Wright State, led by then-coach Paul Biancardi, 68-66.
Miami (16-18) will visit WSU on Dec. 5. The RedHawks defeated the Raiders 73-67 in overtime last season at Oxford, Jack Owens’ first season as Miami’s coach.
WSU will make a return trip to Ohio Valley Conference regular-season and tourney champ Murray State (26-6) on Nov. 10. Murray defeated WSU 80-61 last season, one of only two home losses for the Raiders.
Wright State’s final non-league contest is at Mississippi State (25-12) in Starkville on Dec. 22. MSU is expected to return all five starters from a team that lost to NIT champion Penn State in those semifinals. Mississippi State defeated visiting Wright State 80-69 in their only previous contest during the 2009-10 season.
WSU (25-10) will play an 18-game Horizon League regular-season schedule following the MSU game. The Raiders were 14-4 in the league last season, Scott Nagy’s second as coach after succeeding Billy Donlon. Wright State defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Cleveland State in the final to win the Horizon League Tournament at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
Nagy was named the Horizon League coach of the year, senior guard Grant Benzinger the league tourney MVP and Loudon Love the league’s freshman of the year.
That earned WSU a rare spot in the NCAA Tournament. Tennessee defeated Wright State 73-47 in a first-round game at Dallas.
It was only the third time the Raiders played in the D-I NCAA Tournament, joining the 1993 and 2007 WSU teams. The program was an NCAA D-II postseason regular until bumping up to D-I and won a D-II national championship in 1983 with Ralph Underhill as coach.
WSU will open the 2018-19 season by hosting Notre Dame College (Ohio) in an exhibition on Oct. 31. The Raiders’ first regular-season game is against visiting Western Carolina in the Cancun Challenge on Nov. 7. That’s a four-game event that is spread over two weeks and includes a visit by North Florida on Nov. 17.
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WSU drew Penn State at Cancun on Nov. 20 and will play the Bradley/SMU winner on Nov. 21 in the last of the four Challenge games.
The Horizon League has not released its men’s basketball schedule for this coming season. The 2018-19 schedule for the WSU women (23-11, 12-6) has not been announced. WSU lost in the final of the Horizon League tournament and at Toledo in the first round of the NIT.
WSU MEN’S BASKETBALL
Non-league 2018-19 schedule
Home games at Ervin J. Nutter Center
Oct. 31: NOTRE DAME (Ohio), exhibition
Nov. 7: WESTERN CAROLINA*
Nov. 10: at Murray State
Nov. 14: TOLEDO
Nov. 17: NORTH FLORIDA*
Nov. 20: vs. Penn State*
Nov. 21: vs. Bradley/SMU winner*
Nov. 27: CEDARVILLE
Dec. 1: at Indiana State
Dec. 5: MIAMI
Dec. 8: at Kent State
Dec. 13: NORTHWESTERN (Ohio)
Dec. 18: MOREHEAD STATE
Dec. 22: at Mississippi State
* Cancun Challenge