Black and Gold hits the road

A historically long road trip will begin with a huge rematch for the Milwaukee Panthers tomorrow as they take on the Wright State Raiders at 6 p.m. from the Nutter Center in Fairborn, Ohio. The Panthers begin their longest in conference road trip since joining the Horizon League. The road trip will cover five opponents over a 12 day period that will see the Panthers conclude their conference road schedule. 
The Panthers lost the first match-up of the season with the Raiders and it will be essential that they find a way to win the second one. Wright State currently has a 7-3 conference record. The conference tournament will set up that the top two seeds will get byes into the semi-finals. Currently there are three teams in contention for the second bye who are all currently separated by a half game, the Panthers and Raiders being two of them. Secondly, this game takes on increased importance due to the Panthers earlier loss. If a tie were to occur in the standings, the first tie breaker is head-to-head competition. The Panthers cannot afford to lose this game because it will also assure that the Panthers would also lose the tiebreaker to Wright State. The Panthers, by winning would ensure that the head-to-head tie breaker cannot be activated even if the Panthers and Raiders were to end the season tied.
Wright State continues to be led by JT Yoho who can score from anywhere on the floor. He scored from inside in Wright States victory over conference leading Valpo and then went for a career high 31 against Detroit in the Raiders most recent outing so the Panthers need to be aware of him having confidence in his shot right now. Yoho puts up an average of four long balls per game. He has gone between starting and reserve roles several times over the season, but the Panthers did a good job of defending him the first match-up holding him to nine points on 3 of 10 shooting The Panthers had greater issues in that game defending Joe Thomasson who averages ten points per game. Thomasson has scored 21 points on two occasions, the first match-up with the Panthers and their defeat of Valpo.
In the first meeting the Panthers got into a first half double digit hole. This was caused by a reliance on three point attempts. The Panthers got back into the game and ultimately forced overtime by attacking the Raiders inside. This was accomplished by drawing Wright State’s Michael Karena out away from the basket by making him guard outside of the paint. The Panthers were then able to get their guards into the paint. The Panthers are hopefully catching the Raiders at a good time as they have lost back-to-back road games to Oakland and Detroit. Then again, maybe the Raiders are spoiling for a fight.

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