Loyola-Chicago (14-14) at Detroit (18-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 26, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Calihan Hall (8,295) -- Detroit, Michigan. Television: FSN-DET. Home Record: Loyola-Chicago 7-6, Detroit 12-2. Away Record: Loyola-Chicago 6-7, Detroit 6-8. Neutral Record: Loyola-Chicago 1-1, Detroit 0-0. Conference Record: Loyola-Chicago 4-10, Detroit 10-4. Series Record: Loyola-Chicago leads, 67-55.
GAMES NOTES: After a humbling loss during BracketBusters weekend, the Detroit Titans return to Horizon League action for a bout with the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers at Calihan Hall.
Loyola was also involved in a BracketBusters matchup on Saturday and like the Titans was defeated in a 70-63 decision by Kent State. The loss was the second straight and sixth in the last seven games for the Ramblers who have seen their overall record fall to an even 14-14. In conference action the Ramblers are 4-10 which has them near the bottom of the league standings with just one game to play on the season after this matchup. The regular-season finale will be a home tilt against Cleveland State.
Detroit didn't really do the Horizon League proud on Saturday in a 94-79 blowout loss to Wichita State on Saturday. The loss ended a brief two-game winning streak for the Titans who have been one of the better teams in the conference with a record of 10-4 against league foes. The Titans are also 18-10 overall which makes them one of just three teams in the conference with at least 18 wins on the campaign.
All five starters scored in double figures and the Titans shot an even 50 percent from the field to take a 75-63 victory over Loyola when the teams met up earlier this season. With the win Detroit has earned victories in nine straight meetings. Loyola still leads the all-time series though, 67-55.
Christian Thomas poured in a career-high 31 points and ripped down 11 rebounds but it wasn't enough for Loyola against Kent State. The Ramblers allowed the Golden Flashes to shoot 49.1 percent from the floor in the contest, while totaling only nine field goals in the final 20 minutes.
Thomas (11.6 ppg 6.5 rpg) has really had to take on a bit more scoring responsibility with leading scorer Ben Averkamp (15.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg) missing the last five games after suffering a concussion. Thomas has scored in double figures in 13 straight games while posting six double-doubles overall this season. The Ramblers' injury woes don't end at Averkamp, as Cully Payne (7.9 ppg) is also listed as out with a thumb injury. Devon Turk (8.8 ppg) is the only other player on the team scoring more than eight points per game. The Ramblers do own a positive scoring margin this season but net just 63.3 points per game, while shooting less than 44 percent from the floor.
Ray McCallum (29 points) and Nick Minnerath (25 points ) each had explosive offensive performances but Detroit's weak showing on defense derailed it against Wichita State. The Titans allowed the Shockers to shoot at a 55-percent clip in the contest, while being outscored 38-34 in the paint.
Led by four different players averaging in double figures, Detroit has been one of the best offensive teams in the Horizon League. The Titans rank seventh in the nation in points per game (79), while ranking second in assists (14.6 ppg) and field-goal percentage (.457) among Horizon League teams. McCallum (19.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.6 apg) shoots 49.7 percent from the field as the leading scorer in the conference. Minnerath (15.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg) is another potent scorer, as well as the team's top rebounder. Jason Calliste (14.1 ppg) shoots just 38.3 percent from the field but has found a way to be a productive scorer, while Doug Anderson (11.6 ppg) is capable as well, shooting 54.1 percent from the floor.
Getting back to Horizon League action is just what Detroit needs. Expect McCallum and company to light up the scoreboard early and often on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Detroit 80, Loyola-Chicago 68
02/26 10:34:25 ET