Youngstown State (13-11) at Detroit (11-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 9, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Calihan Hall (8,295) -- Detroit, Michigan. Television: Comcast Sports 900. Home Record: YSU 9-2, Detroit 7-5. Away Record: YSU 2-9, Detroit 4-9. Neutral Record: YSU 2-0, Detroit 0-0. Conference Record: YSU 4-5, Detroit 4-6. Series Record: Detroit leads, 26-9.
GAME NOTES: Coming off a thrilling win against Valparaiso, the Detroit Titans now find themselves hosting the Youngstown State Penguins in Horizon League action at Calihan Hall this afternoon.
Alternating wins and losses over the last six outings, the trend continued for the Titans on Friday thanks to Juwan Howard Jr. who knocked down the game- winning 3-pointer with less than six seconds remaining, en route to a 59-57 victory at the ARC. Detroit is now 4-6 in conference as a result.
Sporting the same number of conference wins, but with one less defeat, the Penguins last took the floor on Wednesday night at Wright State and came away with a 77-67 setback at the Nutter Center. The loss was the second in a row, and the third in four games for YSU.
While Detroit may lead the all-time series by count of 26-9, it was YSU that won the most recent meeting last month at home, 77-63.
The Penguins were paced by Ryan Weber who tallied a game-high 21 points, followed by Kendrick Perry and Bobby Hain with 16 and 12 points, respectively, the latter also clearing nine rebounds as the visitors suffered the 10-point loss versus Wright State earlier this week. The team finished the outing with just 4-of-19 shooting beyond the arc on the night and while the Penguins were nearly perfect at the free-throw line (17-of-18), they were outscored at the stripe by 10.
Youngstown State is quite aggressive at the offensive end on the average, producing 78.5 ppg, thanks to the efforts of Perry who has delivered 20.4 ppg on the strength of his 51.1 percent shooting from the field and 132-of-182 at the free-throw line. But more than just a scorer, Perry is also first on the unit with 102 assists and 63 steals, putting his quick hands to good use at both ends of the floor. DJ Cole (8.6 ppg) may not have the same numbers in the scoring column, but he is cut from the same mold with his 101 assists and 32 steals in 23 appearances.
Howard Jr. answered the bell for the Titans as he not only tallied a team-best 19 points on Friday night, he was the one who asserted himself and let fly with the game-winning 3-pointer as well. Granted, Howard Jr. did shoot just 8- of-20 from the floor, compared to the rest of the unit which combined to make 11-of-30, but the Titans will take that with a win anytime. Evan Bruinsma added 12 points and 10 rebounds, but came dangerously close to a dubious triple-double as he turned the ball over nine times too.
Not only does Howard Jr. lead Detroit in scoring with 17.8 ppg, he is also first on the team with 57 assists, so he really is not as selfish as he might appear. Bruinsma accounts for another 12.5 ppg and is first on the unit with 7.8 rpg which helps to lift the Titans to a rebounding advantage of 2.1 per contest. Unfortunately, late news has Carlton Brundidge (7.3 ppg) listed as questionable for today's tilt due to a knee injury.
After such an emotional win two nights ago it would be understandable to see the Titans have a letdown, but considering Youngstown State is not a great team on the road this season and has to make a quick turnaround for this meeting, Detroit should be safe.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Detroit 69, Youngstown State 62
02/09 10:15:59 ET