FACTS & STATS: Site: Klotsche Center (3,400) -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Television: Sports32. Home Record: Detroit 11-2, Milwaukee 5-5. Away Record: Detroit 4-6, Milwaukee 0-11. Neutral Record: Detroit 0-0, Milwaukee 0-2. Conference Record: Detroit 7-3, Milwaukee 1-8. Series Record: Milwaukee leads, 21-18.
GAME NOTES: A couple of Horizon League programs moving in vastly different directions get together on Thursday night, as the Detroit Titans pay a visit to the Milwaukee Panthers at the Klotsche Center.
The Titans entered play this week just one game out of first in the Horizon League standings with a record of 7-3, trailing only Valparaiso which is 8-2. Detroit last played last Friday night versus Youngstown State at home and captured an 88-77 victory. The win was the third in a row, and the fourth in five tries for the group overall.
As for the Panthers, their season continues to spiral out of control. All alone in last place in the standings with a record of 1-8, the Panthers are also the only team in the conference that is playing under .500 on the season overall. Last Friday, the squad was crushed by Valpo on the road in a 71-40 final, the team's fifth straight loss and the eighth in the last nine outings overall.
The good news for Milwaukee, if there is such a thing this season, is that the team has split its 10 home dates, so at least the Panthers can find some comfort in playing in front of their own fans. Milwaukee also still leads the all-time series with the Titans by a count of 21-18, even after losing the first meeting of the season early last month at Calihan Hall, 74-59.
Even though the Penguins were allowed to score 77 points last week on the road at Calihan Hall, the defense for Detroit was still a factor as it limited the visitors to 33.3 percent accuracy beyond the arc and forced a total of 20 turnovers, which the Titans then traded in for 23 points. Nick Minnerath produced 27 points for the hosts, followed by Ray McCallum with 23 and six assists, while Jason Calliste and Doug Anderson responded with 16 and 11 points, respectively, as well as a combined 13 rebounds. All five starters for the Titans are scoring in double figures at the moment, as the team generates a hefty 79.0 ppg. McCallum is responsible for 18.6 ppg and is also good for close to five rebounds and just as many assists per game which makes him one of the most dangerous players in the league. Minnerath (14.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg) could stand to be a bit more unselfish at times, but for now his approach is working for Detroit.
Jordan Aaron ended up with a game-high 17 points for the Panthers in their meeting against the Crusaders last week, but he shot only 5-of-16 from the field as the entire team slumped to a miserable 27.3 percent overall. Aaron did make good on 2-of-5 attempts behind the 3-point line, but that just means everyone else combined to miss seven chances on the perimeter. Milwaukee may have had a chance to make things interesting even though it made just six field goals in each half, but the team allowed Valpo to open the second half on an 11-0 run and that was all it took. Shooting under 30 percent from the field three times this season, the Panthers are hitting on only 37.5 percent at the moment as both Aaron (14.6 ppg) and Paris Gulley (14.1 ppg) come in below 37.0 percent. Having Aaron on the floor is crucial though, because he's the one who handles much of the passing duties with his 92 assists, with no one else having even 25 dishes through 23 games.
The Panthers just don't have it in them to put up a stand against a team like Detroit, which has so much to play for with only a few weeks remaining in the regular season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Detroit 78, Milwaukee 59
02/07 10:31:40 ET
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