Canisius (9-3) at Detroit (7-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 30, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Calihan Hall (14,493) -- Detroit, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Canisius 5-0, Detroit 6-0. Away Record: Canisius 4-3, Detroit 1-5. Neutral Record: Canisius 0-0, Detroit 0-0. Conference Record: Canisius 2-0, Detroit 0-0. Series Record: Detroit leads, 16-14.
GAMES NOTES: In the final game of the Gotham Classic the Canisius Golden Griffins will travel to Calihan Hall to tangle with the Detroit Titans in non- conference action Sunday afternoon.
The Golden Griffins have won three of their last four games after an 87-74 victory over Alcorn State on Thursday. That game was not part of the Gotham Classic though where the Golden Griffins have gone 1-2. All three of those games came on the road for Canisius which is 4-3 away from home. The Golden Griffins get back to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play next when they battle Fairfield this Thursday.
Detroit was scheduled to face Temple on Friday in its third game of the Gotham Classic but the game was postponed due to inclement weather conditions. The Titans had been rolling before that with wins in five of the last six games. Detroit has been very tough to beat at home of late with a perfect 6-0 mark this year and wins in 15 straight games at Calihan Hall. Detroit will play its Horizon League opener next against Milwaukee in the second contest of a three- game homestand.
Despite wins in four of the last six meetings, Canisius trails the all-time series with Detroit by a 16-14 margin.
Canisius outscored Alcorn State by a 24-14 margin from the free throw line on Thursday and it was that discrepancy that proved to be the difference. The Golden Griffins shot 48.2 percent in the game and had a 41-25 edge in rebounds as well. Isaac Sosa dropped in a game-high 21 points in the win.
Under first-year head coach Jim Baron the Golden Griffins have been a prolific offensive squad. The golden Griffins are scoring 76.8 points and assisting on 14.1 field goals per game. Both of those marks are ranked second in the MAAC. Defense has been another story for Canisius which is letting up 71.3 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting. Bill Baron (17.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.3 apg) has been scoring in bunches, while also managing to set up his teammates for easy scoring chances. Baron is second in the MAAC in assists and fourth in scoring. Harold Washington (14.3 ppg) is the second option on the roster, while Sosa (11.2 ppg) has also managed to score in double figures consistently. Chris Manhertz (6.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg) anchors the team in the paint.
Before the postponed game with Temple, Detroit had also defeated Alcorn State, 74-58, last Wednesday. All five starters scored in double figures in the game for the Titans led by Ray McCallum's 19 points.
The Titans have relied almost exclusively on their starters this season. All five are averaging in double figures while no reserve is scoring more than five points per game. An All-American candidate, McCallum (18.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.8 apg) is accustomed to pacing Detroit while also contributing in other areas at a high level. Jason Calliste (12.6 ppg), Doug Anderson (11.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg), Nick Minnerath (11.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Juwan Howard Jr. (10.7 ppg) fill out the starting lineup. Detroit is netting a Horizon League leading 76.6 points per game despite shooting just 43.2 percent from the field. Like Canisius the Titans don't put up as much defensive resistance allowing 70.1 points per game on 46.6 percent shooting.
This game should feature no shortage of scoring with each team off to strong starts offensively. Detroit has been dominant at home recently and that type of advantage will prove pivotal on Sunday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Detroit 79, Canisius 72
12/30 11:05:24 ET