Wright State rolls at Green Bay with defense, Noel’s 32 points

Wright State men’s basketball coach Scott Nagy emphasized defense this week in practice. That’s nothing new. But in Thursday’s pregame shootaround, he proved to his team he meant it.

The Raiders went full-speed, intra-squad scrimmage and defense was the focus.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever done that,” Nagy said in a postgame radio interview. “But I feel like with this team, we’ve got to help them get more locked in. We haven’t been good defensively.”

Wright State was good defensively, extremely good offensively and redshirt freshman Brandon Noel scored 32 points to lead the Raiders to a 99-67 Horizon League victory at Green Bay.

Because of the defensive struggles the Raiders (10-8, 3-4) have had, Nagy slowed the offense down a little and ran more sets to help the defense. That meant 67 possessions apiece and the Raiders almost achieved Nagy’s every-game goal of holding the opponent to under a point per possession.

The change for the defense’s sake turned out to help the offense. The Raiders shot 71.9% from the field and made four of seven 3-point shots.

“We just took our time, got great shots,” Nagy said. “When we move the ball, really when we kept it off the floor, just passed it and cut, we almost got anything we wanted. That’s maybe the third time ever in all the games I’ve coached in which we shot 70%. I mean, it’s hard to shoot 70%.”

Green Bay (2-16, 1-6) never double-teamed the Raiders inside and Noel scored a career high on 14 of 17 shooting. Noel, a 6-foot-8 forward from Chillicothe, also had 12 rebounds and recorded his fourth straight double-double and sixth of the season. In his three double-doubles last week, Noel averaged 15.3 points and 15.7 rebounds to win Horizon League freshman of the week honors for the second time.

“I’m sure as we get going here he’s going to see a lot more double-teams,” Nagy said.

Noel had plenty of scoring help. Trey Calvin scored 16, Amari Davis 15, Tim Finke 13 and Alex Huibregtse had nine off the bench.

The game was a homecoming for Davis and Huibregtse. Davis, a senior from Trotwood, played his first two college seasons at Green Bay. He set the school freshman scoring record and was the Horizon freshman of the year. Huibregtse is from Grafton, Wisc.

The Raiders continue their Wisconsin trip Saturday with a 7 p.m. game at league-leading Milwaukee (8-1, 6-1).

“If we’re not in a desperate situation right now, then we got problems,” Nagy said of trying to climb back into the league race. “And we played like we were desperate.”


Wright State at Milwaukee, 7 p.m., ESPN+, 980

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