Detroit (2-3) at Pittsburgh (6-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Petersen Events Center (12,508) -- Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Detroit 2-0, Pitt 5-0. Away
Record: Detroit 0-3, Pitt 0-0. Neutral Record: Detroit 0-0, Pitt 1-1.
Conference Record: Detroit 0-0, Pitt 0-0. Series Record: Detroit leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Pittsburgh Panthers will try for their third straight win
while the Detroit Titans attempt to avoid their third straight loss when the
teams meet at the Petersen Events Center on Saturday night.
It has been a tale of two seasons for Detroit in the early going, as it is
unbeaten at home yet it has lost all three of its games on the road. The
Titans have dropped their last two tilts at Miami-Florda (77-62) and Bowling
Pittsburgh has taken care of business on the young season with wins in six of
its first seven bouts, its only loss coming on a neutral floor in the NIT
Season-Tip Off against No. 4 Michigan on Nov. 21, 67-62. Since then, the
Panthers have responded with convincing wins over Delaware (85-59) and Howard
(70-46) to extend their record at home to 5-0.
These two teams have met just once before, with Detroit winning, 86-60, in the
1969 Motor City Classic.
Detroit is averaging an impressive 74.8 ppg, but it is doing so on just over
40 percent field goal shooting. It tends to live and die by the three-pointer,
as it drains eight long-range buckets per game, but at only a 31 percent clip.
The last time out against Bowling Green was an example of the Titans' three-
point tendencies coming back to bite them, as they made just 3-of-17 from
beyond the arc in the five-point loss. Despite the shooting struggles, Ray
McCallum was able to rise up and keep his team in the game, scoring a season-
high 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field, while also adding seven
rebounds and two blocked shots. Nick Minnerath scored 17 points and Doug
Anderson chipped in 10 points, but the duo combined to make just 1-of-8 from
three-point range. On the season, McCallum has been one of the best scorers in
the nation with 20.6 ppg on 50 percent from the field, and he also pitches in
elsewhere with 4.2 rpg, 3.8 apg, and 2.0 spg. Doug Anderson (14.8 ppg, 8.2
rpg) and Minnerath (13.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg) are off to strong starts in the
frontcourt, and although Jason Calliste shoots a low 31.4 percent from the
field, he still nets 10.8 ppg.
Pitt has achieved the rare task of making more field goals than it has missed
through seven games, sporting a lofty shooting percentage of .513. Things
didn't quite go as smoothly in the matchup with Howard, making 44.1 percent of
its shots overall, but it managed to drill eight three-pointers and force
Howard into 17 turnovers as it cruised to an easy 24-point victory. Lamar
Patterson drained five of those treys on eight attempts for 15 points, and
Tray Woodall also tallied 15 points, although his night from beyond the arc
wasn't nearly as efficient (1-of-6). James Robinson logged 11 points and
dished out eight assists. Talib Zanna scored 12 points, and he's the Panthers'
leading scorer on the season with 13.3 ppg (on greater than 68 percent from
the field), and his 6.0 rpg is also a team-high. Tray Woodall has ran the
point very well with 12.7 ppg and 6.0 apg while turning the ball over just
over two times per contest. J.J. Moore (11.3 ppg) has knocked down his share
of open jumpers thus far, and the multi-dimensional Patterson records 7.9 ppg,
3.9 rpg, 4.0 apg, and 1.3 spg.
Detroit has the potential to explode offensively any day now, but with the
inconsistency it has shown, that isn't likely to happen on the road against a
formidable opponent. Pitt will continue its sound play of late in what's bound
to be another double-digit victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pittsburgh 81, Detroit 70
12/01 10:35:43 ET
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