Detroit (12-8) at Loyola Chicago (12-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gentile Arena (4,486) -- Chicago, Illinois. Television: CSN-CHI. Home Record: Detroit 10-2, Loyola 5-2. Away Record: Detroit 2-6, Loyola 6-4. Neutral Record: Detroit 0-0, Loyola 1-1. Conference Record: Detroit 4-3, Loyola 2-4. Series Record: Loyola-Chicago leads, 67-54.
GAME NOTES: The Loyola Chicago Ramblers return to Gentile Arena to host the Detroit Titans this afternoon in a Horizon League matchup.
Detroit has lost three of its last four games and is coming off Monday's 64-62 setback to Wright State. It marked the second time in the last three games the Titans had the final shot at the buzzer, only to come up short. Beginning today, they'll play four of their next five on the road.
Meanwhile, Loyola is back on campus after playing seven of its previous nine outings on the road. The Ramblers went 5-4 in that stretch and are coming off back-to-back road wins over Chicago State (66-63, OT) and Cleveland State (67-55). Today's contest kicks off a key three-game homestand.
Loyola holds a 67-54 edge in the all-time series, although Detroit swept last year's season series, including an 80-71 win in the first round of the Horizon League Championship.
Detroit shot just 37.5 percent from the floor on Monday night, while Wright State shot 50 percent, yet the Titans still had a chance to win it at the end. Actually, junior guard Ray McCallum had two chances in the final seconds, but both of his shot attempts were off the mark. Doug Anderson led all scorers with 20 points in the loss, while Nick Minnerath scored 12, and Jason Calliste and Juwan Howard, Jr. finished with 10 apiece. McCallum had a rather quiet night, as he was held to eight points on 2-of-7 shooting. The junior guard leads the team in scoring (18.2 ppg), assists (4.8 apg), and steals (1.7 spg). Also averaging double figures are Calliste (14.0 ppg), Minnerath (13.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Anderson (11.8 ppg). As a team, Detroit ranks fifth in the nation in turnover margin (+5.9) and ninth in scoring (78.6). The Titans top the Horizon League in 3-pointers made (157), steals (171), scoring margin (+9.2) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3).
The Titans' proficient offense will face a stiff test against the Ramblers, who are allowing just 58.9 ppg. They have also made it a focal point to attack the boards of late, as they boast a +13.0 rebounding margin during their current two-game win streak. In addition, the team has taken care of business at the foul line, ranking 30th nationally with a 75.1-percent team free-throw percentage. Over their last six games, the Ramblers have made an impressive 83.3 percent of their free throws (75-of-90). On Wednesday night, Loyola overcame a 13-point second-half deficit against Cleveland State to win by 12. The Ramblers scored the final 16 points of the game. Christian Thomas led the way with a career-best 21 points, marking his eighth double-digit scoring performance over his last 10 outings. Ben Averkamp finished with 18 points, while Devon Turk scored 13 in the win.
The Ramblers have done a good job of executing the finer details like defensive rotations and free-throw shooting. They have a chance to make up some ground in the HL standings during this upcoming stretch of home games, but in order to start that stretch on the right foot they'll need to find a way to slow down the Titans and their high-octane offense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola Chicago 77, Detroit 74
01/26 11:38:27 ET