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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 4, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Savage Arena (7.300) -- Toledo, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Detroit 2-2, Toledo 2-0. Away Record: Detroit 2-2, Toledo 2-0. Neutral Record: Detroit 0-0, Toledo 2-0. Conference Record: Detroit 0-0, Toledo 0-0. Series Record: Toledo leads, 27-24.
GAME NOTES: An early season rematch is on tap at Savage Arena as the streaking Toledo Rockets battle the Detroit Titans in non-conference action on Wednesday night.
This marks the second matchup of the season between these foes, who also tangled during the 2K Sports Classic subregional at Calihan Hall. Even with the homecourt advantage Detroit fell short against Toledo, 80-78. The Rockets own a 28-24 edge in the all-time series.
The Titans are in the midst of a quick two-game road swing that ends on Wednesday. In the first half of the stretch the Titans were able to earn a road victory over South Florida (65-60). The win halted a two-game slump for the Titans, with the first of those losses coming against the Rockets. The 4-4 Titans will be back home to host Rhode Island on Sunday.
Toledo has had a bit of time off since its last outing, which came in its 2K Sports Classic finale against Florida Atlantic on Nov. 24. The Rockets ran away with that decision (94-74) to improve to 6-0 on the year. The six straight victories to start the year are the most for the Rockets in more than a decade. Toledo takes a trip to face Robert Morris next.
After losing its previous two games by a combined four points, Detroit was able to rally in the second half to defeat South Florida. The Titans trailed, 31-23, at the break and even though they only shot at a 38.5 percent clip in the final 20 minutes, enjoyed a 21-of-24 effort from the free-throw line in the closing period. Detroit also held the Bulls to only eight field goals in the frame.
Detroit has been struggling to find its shot consistently all season, netting just under 40 percent of its attempts from the floor. However, the Titans are still managing a respectable 76.5 points per game thanks to the pace at which they play. Juwan Howard Jr. (17.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg) is the leading scorer on the roster and one of the team's more reliable contributors on the glass. Howard finished with just 12 points against South Florida and is sinking only 37 percent from the floor. Carlton Brundidge (10.9 ppg) and Evan Bruinsma (10.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg) are the next best options in terms of scoring.
Forced turnovers and efficient shooting carried Toledo to its rout of Florida Atlantic. The Rockets connected on 51.8 percent of their shots from the floor and scored 21 points off of 15 turnovers. The Rockets also had twice as many attempts at the free-throw line as the Owls (36-18), while outscoring from that area by a 34-8 count.
The Rockets have been scorching on offense. Toledo ranks among the top 10 teams in the country in both points (92.2 ppg) and field-goal percentage (.524). There is still room for improvement on the defensive end where the Rockets are allowing 77.8 points per game on 47.4 percent shooting. Five different players are averaging in double figures for the Rockets and all five shoot at least 50 percent from the field. Julius Brown (16.5 ppg, 7.7 apg) is the top playmaker, as the leading scorer and best distributor. Rian Pearson (15.7 ppg) and Justin Drummond (15.2 ppg) are also potent scoring threats.
Toledo rallied from a 19-point deficit to top Detroit last time these squads faced off. Expect the Rockets to have an easier go of things on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Toledo 83, Detroit 74
12/04 10:34:25 ET