Detroit (8-11) at Youngstown State (11-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday. January 18, 7:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beeghly Center (6,300) -- Youngstown, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Detroit 6-4, YSU 7-1. Away Record: Detroit 2-7, YSU 2-7. Neutral Record: Detroit 0-0, YSU 2-0. Conference Record: Detroit 1-3, YSU 2-2. Series Record: Detroit leads, 26-8.
GAME NOTES: Two teams moving in opposite directions meet at the Beeghly Center on Saturday evening, as the struggling Detroit Titans visit the surging Youngstown State Penguins in a Horizon League affair.
On Wednesday night, the Titans were downed by the Valparaiso Crusaders in a 78-70 final. That was Detroit's third straight loss, all in conference play.
The Penguins have been off since Monday night, when they outlasted the Cleveland State Vikings, 67-66. YSU has won its last two games, and last four in the friendly confines of the Beeghly Center.
This is the 35th meeting between Youngstown State and Detroit in a series that dates back to 1953. Detroit owns a 26-8 advantage and has won the last four, and nine of the last 10 contests, including both meetings last season. YSU hasn't won at home in the series since Feb. 7, 2008.
Juwan Howard, Jr. finished with a career-high 35 points on 13-of-23 shooting from the field in Detroit's loss to Valpo. Matthew Grant and Evan Bruinsma chipped in 14 and 10 points, respectively. The Titans led by seven with under four minutes to play in the first half, but saw that advantage dwindle to just one, 31-30, at halftime. Valpo took the lead early in the second and never relinquished it, putting the Titans away in the final minute by draining 7- of-8 at the foul line, capping off an impressive 36-of-44 showing on the night from the stripe.
Scoring a solid 73.0 ppg this season, the Titans are paced by Howard and his 17.6 ppg, which ranks him fourth in the Horizon League. He is also converting 86.8 percent at the free-throw line. Bruinsma accounts for 12.0 ppg and is tops with 7.9 rpg, third-best in the conference. Ugochukwu Nioku has been effective as a low post defender, pulling in 6.5 rpg per game and swatting 1.6 blocks per tilt, good for third in the league.
Kendrick Perry scored the final 12 points of the night for YSU, including a crucial free throw with 26.4 seconds remaining, as the Penguins held on to defeat the Cleveland State Vikings. Perry finished with a game-high 31 points, shooting 10-of-15 from the floor. Also scoring in double figures for YSU were Ryan Weber and Bobby Hain with 10 points apiece.
Perry is the top scorer in the Horizon League so far this season, as the guard leads Youngstown State with a strong 21.6 ppg. Perry also tops the team in assists with 84 (4.4 apg), and he is by far the club's top thief (54 steals). Belin (12.3 ppg), Hain (10.6 ppg) and Ryan Weber (10.3 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers for YSU, as Hain pulls down a team-best 6.6 rpg. The Penguins average a league-best 79.8 ppg on 46.2 percent shooting from the floor.
Despite Detroit's historic domination of this series, YSU is the better team this year and has the weapons that should net the Penguins their first win at home over the Titans in almost four years.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 78, Detroit 68
01/18 10:30:39 ET