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Archive for March 5th, 2020

Wright State alumnus Grant Benzinger named to Horizon League All-Decade Team

 

Grant Benzinger in action (courtesy Wright State)

Former Wright State men’s basketball standout Grant Benzinger was named to the Horizon League’s All-Decade team, the league office announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Benzinger, who played for the Raiders from 2014-2018, was one of 10 players named to the team, which was created to celebrate the past 10 years of men’s basketball success in the Horizon League. The team was voted on by the fans via an online ballot.

Benzinger led the Raiders in scoring his senior season, averaging 14.3 points per game, and holds Wright State records in three-pointers and three-pointers attempted (291 and 731, respectively). He scored 1,451 points and hauled down 527 rebounds with 107 starts in 132 games over his four years.

Benzinger was named to the HL All-Newcomer Team following his initial season in 2014-15, then was a first team all-conference performer as a senior in 2017-18 on the way to being named the Horizon League Tournament MVP as the Raiders won the HL Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

The Horizon League All-Decade team consists of 10 players from eight different schools who played in the Horizon League from 2010-2019. Over the last 10 years, the Horizon League has earned two NCAA Final Four appearances in addition to championship game appearances in the NCAA, NIT, and CIT postseason tournaments.

Horizon League Men’s Basketball All-Decade Team
Gordon Hayward, Butler
Matt Howard, Butler
Norris Cole, Cleveland State
Ray McCallum, Jr., Detroit Mercy
Keifer Sykes, Green Bay
Drew McDonald, Northern Kentucky
Lavone Holland II, Northern Kentucky
Kay Felder, Oakland
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Grant Benzinger, Wright State

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF WRIGHT STATE ATHLETICS

Wright State Raiders claim seven Horizon League Men’s Basketball honors

Scott Nagy

 

Coming off of capturing its first Horizon League regular season championship in program history, the Wright State men’s basketball

Loudon Love

team has received seven Horizon League honors, the league office announced Monday morning, headlined by Player of the Year selection Loudon Love and Co-Coach of the Year honors for Scott Nagy.

 

The honor is the third consecutive for Nagy, who shares the award with Cleveland State’s Dennis Gates, while Love’s Player of the Year award makes the Raider big man the first Wright State player to earn the Horizon League’s top individual honor since DeShaun Wood following the 2006-2007 season.

In addition to those honors, Love was also recognized on the Horizon League first team, while Bill Wampler earned second team honors and Cole Gentry was named to the third team. A pair of Raiders – Grant Basile and Tanner Holden – were both named to the All-Freshman Team.

The seven honorees are the most in Wright State program history, surpassing the six from last season. Nagy’s recognition is his third in four seasons at the helm of the Raiders and it is the sixth time in program history a Wright State coach has earned the league’s top coaching honor.

Love leads the Raiders with a 16.3 points per game scoring average and finished the regular season just shy of averaging a double-double with his 9.7 rebounds per game mark. He is coming off of a 20-point, 14-rebound game at Northern Kentucky on Friday night, his 11th double-double of the season and his eighth in Horizon League play. Love has turned in double digit scoring performances in 21 of the 26 regular season games he played in, 17 of which came during Horizon League play, including scoring double figures in the final 15 games of the regular season. He became the 33rd player in Wright State program history to reach the 1,000-career point mark on Nov. 9 and now has 1,387 career collegiate points heading into the postseason. His 872 career rebounds is second all-time in Wright State program history, while his 9.2 rebounds per game career average is on pace to break the Wright State career rebounds per game average record.

The first team honor was the second consecutive for Love, who began his Raider career as the Horizon League’s Freshman of the Year and as a second team all-conference player following the 2017-2018 season.

Nagy guided Wright State to 25 regular season wins and 15 Horizon League victories, setting new program bests in both categories, while the Raiders’ six HL road victories are also a new program standard. He became the 61st active NCAA head coach (28th at the Division I level) to reach the 500-win mark when he led Wright State to an overtime victory at Cleveland State on February 22.

Wampler earned his second consecutive second team All-Horizon honor after averaging 15.6 points per game and shooting 43 percent from the floor overall and at a 41 percent clip from three-point range. He tallied 22 double-digit scoring games, including a season-high 27 points against Weber State in November as he passed the 1,000-career point milestone. Wampler ends the regular season with 992 career points scored at Wright State and now has exactly 1,400 career collegiate points heading into the postseason. Wampler was also named to the Horizon League’s All-Academic team for the second straight season.

Gentry earns the first Horizon League recognition of his career with his third team honor, following a senior season that has seen him average 11 points per game while starting all 31 contests for the Raiders and leading the team with his 31.3 minutes per game average. He scored in double figures in 21 contests during the regular season, including 12 times in Horizon League play. Gentry has appeared in 101 career collegiate games and surpassed the 1,000-career point milestone against Cleveland State in late February, and he ends the regular season with 980 career points scored at Wright State. Gentry was also named to the Horizon League’s All-Academic team for his work in the classroom.

The recognition of Basile and Holden to the All-Freshman Team marks the first time in Wright State history that the Raiders have had two players earn the Horizon League’s All-Freshman honors. The Raiders previously had two players named to the league’s all-newcomer team three times prior to the Horizon League’s All-Newcomer Team changing to Horizon League All-Freshman Team prior to the 2013-14 season.

Holden started 30 of his 31 games played this season, averaging 12.1 points per game, the third-most on the Raider roster, while adding 6.5 rebounds per game, the second-most on the roster. He had 20 double-digit scoring games during his inaugural regular season, including 14 in Horizon League play, while turning in three double-doubles. His best game of the season was a 27-point, 17-rebound effort in Wright State’s win at Toledo in mid-December with both totals being his season-highs.

Basile averaged 14.4 minutes per game off the bench, averaging 6.2 points per game and 4.3 rebounds per game in his first season. In five starts from November 27 through December 17 in place of the injured Love, Basile averaged a double-double with 13.8 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game, scoring double figures in four of the five contests. He averaged 29.3 minutes per game over those five games and turned in a season-high 23 points against Southern in mid-December during that stretch.


2019-20 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Award Winners
Player of the Year: Loudon Love, Wright State
Coach of the Year: Scott Nagy, Wright State & Dennis Gates, Cleveland State
Freshman of the Year: Amari Davis, Green Bay
Defensive Player of the Year: Jalen Tate, Northern Kentucky
Sixth Player of the Year: Devin Morgan, Youngstown State

All-League First Team (alphabetical by school)
Antoine Davis, Detroit Mercy
JayQuan McCloud, Green Bay
Xavier Hill-Mais, Oakland
Loudon Love, Wright State
Darius Quisenberry, Youngstown State 

All-League Second Team (alphabetical by school)
Marcus Burk, IUPUI
Te’Jon Lucas, Milwaukee
Tyler Sharpe, Northern Kentucky
Tarkus Ferguson, UIC
Bill Wampler, Wright State

All-League Third Team (alphabetical by school)
Amari Davis, Green Bay
Jalen Tate, Northern Kentucky
Dantez Walton, Northern Kentucky
Cole Gentry, Wright State
Algevon Eichelberger, Cleveland State

All-Freshman Team (alphabetical by school)
Amari Davis, Green Bay
C.J. Wilbourn, Milwaukee
Blake Lampman, Oakland
Grant Basile, Wright State
Tanner Holden, Wright State

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF WRIGHT STATE ATHLETICS

Wright State beats Northern Kentucky in thrilling game to win Horizon League Regular Season championship

The Wright State men’s basketball team clinched its first outright Horizon League regular season championship in program history on last Friday night with a 64-62 road victory at Northern Kentucky in front of over 6,700 and a national audience on ESPNU.

The victory also locked up the Raiders (25-6, 15-3 HL) as the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Horizon League Championship. Wright State will now have a double-bye in the tournament, which begins on March 3, and will play the lowest remaining seed at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 9 on ESPNU inside the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

Friday night, three Raiders finished in double figures scoring, led by Loudon Love’s 20-point, 14-rebound double-double. Love got the Wright State scoring started early and often, tallying 13 of the Raiders’ first 16 points. Bill Wampler also ended the night with a double-double, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds – including 10 defensive boards.

Cole Gentry was the final Raider in double figures scoring, tallying 12 points – all in the second half – while his two free throws with 12 seconds remaining clinched the title.

Seven different Raiders contributed to the scoring column, while seven Wright State players recorded 13 or more minutes, including four – Wampler, Love, Gentry and Tanner Holden – with 31-plus minutes of action.

Wright State led for over 37 minutes on Friday night, including the final 34 minutes of action, as the Raiders pushed a 36-29 halftime lead up to 11 in the first two minutes of the second half. Northern Kentucky chipped away at the Raider advantage over the course of the second half and the Wright State lead was down to four points when Gentry hit back-to-back three pointers on ensuing possessions with 5:21 and then with 3:23 remaining to push the lead back to seven down the stretch.

The Raiders finished the night shooting 39 percent (22-of-56) after connecting at a 48 percent rate in the first half, while the Wright State defense held Northern Kentucky to a 34 percent shooting night (21-for-62). The two teams combined for just nine three-point baskets (Wright State: 4-16 / NKU: 5-27), while the Raiders went 16-of-28 (57 percent) from the free throw line and Northern Kentucky had a 15-for-22 mark (68 percent).

Northern Kentucky had two players finish with double-digit scoring nights, led by Jalen Tate’s game-high 24 points and also had 15 from Dantez Walton. Both finished with nine rebounds.

 

 

GAME RECAP WRITTEN BY * COURTESY OF WRIGHT STATE ATHLETICS

Raiders standouts Gentry & Wampler named to Horizon League All-Academic Team

 

Bill Wampler

Cole Gentry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Horizon League released its 2019-20 Men’s Basketball All-Academic Team on last Thursday, recognizing student-athletes for their success both in competition and in the classroom. Two Wright State men’s basketball players were among the five student-athletes who were honored in balloting by the League’s faculty athletics representatives.

Raider seniors Cole Gentry and Bill Wampler were each recognized for their successes. It was the second-straight All-Academic Team honor for Wampler.

Gentry, working on his masters in Physical Education/Sports Management, has started all 30 games this season and is averaging 31.2 minutes per game. He has appeared in 100 collegiate games over his career and reached the 1,000-point mark against Cleveland State on Feb. 22. Wampler is also working towards his masters in Physical Education/Sports Management, has started and played in 29 of the team’s 30 games this season and has appeared in 64 collegiate games over his career. Wampler has scored over 1,300 career points in his collegiate career, including 981 points in his two years at Wright State

Four Horizon League institutions are represented among the All-Academic team. Wright State garnered two selections, while IUPUI, Northern Kentucky and UIC each earned one.

The Horizon League recognizes student-athletes with seasonal Academic All-League Teams in each of its 19 championship sports. To be eligible for Horizon League All-Academic consideration, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 or higher (based on a 4.00 scale), have completed at least one year at the member institution, having earned 24 semester-hour or 36 quarter-hour credits, and participate in 50 percent of the team’s overall contests.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF WRIGHT STATE ATHLETICS

Raiders get past Cleveland State, 81-74 in overtime, as Coach Nagy notches 500th career win

It took five extra minutes, but it was a record-breaking afternoon all around as the Wright State men’s basketball team earned an 81-74 overtime victory on Saturday afternoon over Cleveland State and Raider head coach Scott Nagy earned his 500th collegiate victory.

The Raiders improved to 24-6 overall and 14-3 in the Horizon with the win, securing themselves at least a share of the Horizon League regular season title, their third in program history. Wright State is one game up in the standings with one game to play and will have an opportunity to clinch the title outright on Friday night at Northern Kentucky on ESPNU (7 p.m.).

For Nagy, his 500th career win comes in his 25th season. He won 410 games in 21 seasons at South Dakota State before tallying seasons of 20, 25, 21 and 24 (and counting) wins with the Raiders.

Scott Nagy

Saturday’s victory was the team’s 24th of the year, setting the new program standard for most wins in a regular season in the Division I Era for Wright State. The previous high of 23 was accomplished twice, 2006-07 and 2012-13. The win was also the Raiders’ 14th Horizon League victory of the year, the new standard, surpassing the 13 league games won in the 2006-07 season.

Saturday was also Wright State’s fifth Horizon League road victory, tying the program record accomplished four times previously, most recently last season. The Raiders will have a chance to set that mark next week.

As for the game itself, four Raiders finished the afternoon in double-digits scoring, led by Bill Wampler’s 23 points. Loudon Love was right behind him with 22 points while adding a team-high nine rebounds, Cole Gentry finished with 16 and Tanner Holden added 12 points of his own.

In the overtime session, the quartet was responsible for all 16 of Wright State’s scoring.

Wright State shot 52 percent (28-of-54) from the floor and held Cleveland State to a 40 percent mark (28-of-70), but the difference came at the free throw stripe, where the Raiders were 20-of-30 (67 percent) and allowed the Vikings only 17 trips to the line (12-for-17).

The Raiders lost the battle on the boards, getting outrebounded 43-32, but saw 28 of their rebounds come on the defensive glass. They did finish with six blocks (three from Love, two from Grant Basile and one from Jaylon Hall) and had a 42-36 advantage in points in the paint.

Torrey Patton finished with a team-high 21 points for Cleveland State, who also got double-digit scoring efforts from Hugo Ferreira (14 points) and Algevon Eichelberger (13 points).

 

GAME RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF WRIGHT STATE ATHLETICS

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