Youngstown State (13-8) at Detroit (14-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 1, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Calihan Hall (8,295) -- Detroit, Michigan. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: YSU 7-2. Detroit 10-2. Away Record: YSU 6-4, Detroit 4-6. Neutral Record: YSU 0-2, Detroit 0-0. Conference Record: YSU 5-3, Detroit 6-3. Series Record: Youngstown State leads, 24-9.
GAMES NOTES: The Youngstown State Penguins look to extend a winning streak and earn some revenge from a loss earlier this season when they take on the Detroit Titans in Horizon League action at Calihan Hall.
With an impressive 80-68 win over conference leading Valparaiso on Wednesday the Penguins have now won four straight games. The Penguins are now 13-8 overall and at 5-3 in-conference, just a half game back of Detroit for second place.
Detroit also came out on top in its last outing when it got past Wright State, 83-76 on the road. The win moved the Titans to 14-8 overall along with improving their conference record to 6-3 which has them just a half game back of Valparaiso for the top spot in the league. The Titans are returning to Calihan Hall where they are 10-2. The homecoming will be short-lived as they head to Wisconsin for bouts with Milwaukee and Green Bay next.
It wasn't a particularly competitive affair when these teams met on Jan. 10. The Titans coasted to the road victory, posting a 101-60 final. YSU now holds a 24-9 lead in the series.
Youngstown was simply the better offensive team against Valparaiso. The Penguins hit a solid 49.1 percent of their shots overall including an 8-of-19 effort from beyond the arc in the contest. Meanwhile the Crusaders hit just 41.1 percent of their shots and just 3-of-20 from 3-point range.
Lead scorer Kendrick Perry (16.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.2 apg) had a strong game, pouring in 28 points to go with 11 rebounds. It was the second double-double in the last three games for the versatile guard who ranks in the top five in scoring and assists and within the top 15 in rebounds among Horizon League players. Damian Eargle (12.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg) has provided a strong frontcourt presence to complement Perry's efforts. The 6-foot-7 forward is even more vital on the defensive end as he has blocked a league-leading 3.3 shots per game. Blake Allen (10.9 ppg) and Kamren Belin (9.4 ppg) provide additional scoring flexibility for the Penguins, who rank second in the league in points per game (71.5).
A 54.2 percent shooting effort that included a 9-of-19 showing from beyond the arc helped Detroit overcome 21 turnovers and knock off Wright State. While they coughed the ball up more often than they may have liked the Titans did limit second-chance opportunities for the Raiders by owning a 39-25 edge on the boards.
The only team in the conference scoring better than Youngstown State is Detroit. The Titans are putting up 78.6 points per game on 45.2 percent shooting. That field goal percentage is the second best in the Horizon League while their scoring average is 10th nationally. Leading the charge is Ray McCallum (18.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.6 apg), who stands alone at the top of the scoring list in the Horizon League. McCallum is just one of a number of scoring threats for the Titans. Jason Calliste (13.5 ppg) and Nick Minnerath (13.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg) have each been important contributors, as has Doug Anderson (11.9 ppg) and Juwan Howard Jr. (10.2 ppg).
Detroit already proved how much more explosive it can be as compared to Youngstown State. The venue will change this time around but the outcome won't.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Detroit 80, Youngstown State 70
02/01 10:31:03 ET