- By Marc Pendleton Staff Writer
The Wright State University men’s basketball team will open its Horizon League portion of the coming season against visiting UIC and end its 18-game HL schedule at Milwaukee.
The Horizon League released its men’s basketball schedules for the 2018-19 season on Wednesday. Wright State previously announced it will host Notre Dame (Ohio) College at the Ervin J. Nutter Center in an exhibition on Wednesday, Oct. 31. WSU will open the regular season against visiting Western Carolina as part of the Cancun Challenge on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
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Wright State (25-10 overall, 14-4 league) was runner-up to Northern Kentucky (22-10, 15-3) in the Horizon League last season, Scott Nagy’s second as the Raiders’ head coach. WSU won the following Horizon League tournament and earned its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2007.
WSU will already have played 13 non-league games when UIC (20-16, 12-6 last season) visits the Nutter Center in the Raiders’ HL opener on Friday, Dec. 28. WSU will host IUPUI (11-19, 8-10) two days later in its second league contest.
After that, Wright State is on the road for its next five league games, beginning Thursday, Jan. 3 at Detroit Mercy (8-24, 4-14).
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WSU’s other home-and-home Horizon League games are against Oakland (19-14, 10-8), Milwaukee (16-17, 8-10), Green Bay (13-20, 7-11), Youngstown State (8-24, 6-12) and Cleveland State (12-23, 6-12). The Raiders’ final 18 games of the regular season are all HL contests. Its final game of the regular season is Saturday, March 2 at Milwaukee.
Wright State won the men’s Motor City Madness HL tournament last season at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The Detroit News has reported the HL men’s and women’s tournaments likely will return there this coming season, but in a shortened format. WSU defeated Green Bay, Milwaukee and Cleveland State to win the league tournament and lost to Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Nagy, who left a long and successful run at South Dakota State for WSU, was the Horizon League coach of the year last season. The 25 wins was a record for WSU as an NCAA D-I program.
Senior guard Grant Benzinger was first team All-Horizon League and Loudon Love the HL freshman of the year. Junior Mark Hughes was voted to the all-league defensive team.
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• Former WSU standout and Fairmont High School grad Chelsea Welch signed with CAB Madeira (Liga Feminina) in Portugal on Wednesday. A guard, she was the 2018 Horizon League player of the year. In just two seasons and 68 games at WSU, Welch averaged 19.6 points. Her 1,333 career points ranks No. 6 among all-time WSU scorers.