Wright State (20-11) vs. Detroit (20-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000)-- Valparaiso, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: Wright State 10-4, Detroit 13-2. Away Record: Wright State 9-6, Detroit 7-9. Neutral Record: Wright State 0-0, Detroit 7-9. Conference Record: Wright State 13-3, Detroit 12-4. Series Record: Detroit leads, 24-21.
GAME NOTES: After recently being named the Horizon League Player of the Year, Ray McCallum looks to lead the Detroit Titans to consecutive conference tournament titles as they take on the No. 3-seeded Wright State Raiders in the semifinal round at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
McCallum was deemed the top player in the league after pacing the Titans in scoring (19.2 ppg), assists (4.7 apg) and steals (1.8 spg). Detroit finished second in the league standings, behind Valparaiso, and registered some impressive victories over Akron, Canisius and the top-seeded Crusaders. With their star point guard leading the way, the Titans average 78.9 ppg, the sixth most among Division I programs.
Detroit closed out its regular season with a 79-67 victory over Illinois- Chicago in the Windy City. Doug Anderson had 22 points and nine rebounds, McCallum scored 20 points and Jason Calliste contributed 18 points and 10 assists in the decision. This squad has what it takes to repeat not only because of McCallum, but also due to its senior leadership. Anderson and Nick Minnerath have combined to average 27.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Together the two Titan seniors are responsible for 34 percent of the scoring and 32 percent of the rebounding for the team.
The Titans and Raiders have met 45 times with Detroit owning a 24-21 lead in the all-time series. These teams split their regular season series, by winning other on each other's home courts. The Raiders won the first game this season, 64-62, at Calihan Hall, before the Titans responded with an 83-76 decision at the Nutter Center. Detroit and Wright State have met seven times in the Horizon League Tournament with the Titans owning a 4-3 edge.
Wright State was picked to finish last in the HL preseason polls, but Billy Donlon's squad took offense to those predictions, as they enter Saturday with a 20-11 overall record, which included a solid 10-6 mark in-conference. Wright State punched its ticket to the semifinals on Friday with a 66-59 win over Youngstown State, marking its second-straight victory.
Miles Dixon came off the bench to pace four teammates in double figures with 14 points in the second round. Also getting into the mix, A.J. Pacher and Jerran Young scored 13 points apiece while A.J. Pacher tallied 11 points. Wright State came out victorious despite getting outscored in the paint, 32-24, and outrebounded, 33-31. A championship run is going to be difficult for the Raiders to accomplish considering their leading scorer Cole Darling is still unavailable due to a foot injury.
All signs point to a rematch between Detroit and Valpo for the title. McCallum is too good of a floor general to allow his team to be upset in such a crucial game. Although the Raiders have had a very impressive season, this is the end of the road for their NCAA Tournament dreams.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Detroit 70, Wright State 62
03/09 10:38:56 ET