Panthers open final trip at WSU

College basketball is a sport built around responding to adversity and handling bad circumstances. The season is upwards of six months long from beginning to end.  Over the course of that season most teams play close to 30 games before entering post-season possibilities into the equation. Depending on the tempo of the game, those game are all going to have a minimum of 50 or possessions in them. So point being there are lots of chances to make mistakes on the floor, be them physical or mental. It is not that good players and good teams don’t make mistakes it is that they respond to them either in an individual or collective manner. Enter the Panther’s JJ Panoske into the equation. Panoske was responsible for the Panthers being put in a 55-51 hole on Sunday against Cleveland State thanks to a blown defensive assignment. Said defensive assignment was something Panoske’s Coach was sure to address with him in the following time-out. So in other words, adversity hit JJ Panoske on Sunday afternoon. How did he respond? He hit two consecutive three pointers and drew a critical late shot clock foul in order to give his team the lead for good and cap his own personal ten point scoring run. The Panthers will look for Panoske to continue his resilient play as the Panthers play their final games of the season beginning Thursday night at Wright State.
Wright State comes into this game with a overall record of 11-17 and a conference record of 3-11.The Panthers defeated the Raiders by a score of 67-41 at Panther Arena in the first match-up of the season. The 41 points represent the lowest point total the Panthers have allowed this season. In that game, the Raiders shot 27.5% from the field. The Raiders have had problems with injures this season and have lost ten of eleven games. Four of their recent losses have come by nine points or less. Wright State continues to be led by junior forward JT Yoho who is averaging 16.1 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game but he has missed the last ten games, including the first game against the Panthers, with an injury. Junior college transfer guard Joe Thomasson is averaging 10.2 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game. Also freshman guard Grant Benzinger has been a key contributor of late as he is averaging 20 points per game and is shooting 50% (36 for 72) over the last five games.
Wright State has been forced to used many different line-up combinations over the course of the season due to the injuries and they have lost six consecutive home games. Looking at this game from the Panthers perspective they are clearly the heather team and playing better then the Raiders. The Panthers need to be prepared for whoever they happen to see from Wright State but it also important for the Panthers to set the tone early in this game as they did in the first match-up. Wright State is not playing well and the last thing the Panthers want to do is allow them to believe they can win this game. The Panthers have won seven of their last eleven games and they should be able to make it eight of 12 with another solid road effort on Thursday night. 

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