Valparaiso (9-9) at Detroit (8-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 15, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Calihan Hall (8,295) -- Detroit, Michigan. Television: Comcast TV 900. Home Record: Valpo 7-3, Detroit 6-3. Away Record: Valpo 1-6, Detroit 2-7. Neutral Record: Valpo 1-0, Detroit 0-0. Conference Record: Valpo 1-2, Detroit 1-2. Series Record: Valparaiso leads, 12-9.
GAME NOTES: The Crusaders of Valparaiso try to avoid a third straight setback tonight, as they tangle with the Detroit Titans in Horizon League action at Calihan Hall.
Losers of two in a row, the Crusaders have actually bowed in four of their last five outings, the lone victory coming against Illinois-Chicago (87-72) in the league opener. Last Friday night, the program was bounced by Wright State at home, 62-45, in the lowest-scoring game of the season.
As for the Titans, they too are dealing with a two-game slide at the moment, after winning three in a row. The squad was taken down by Oakland over the weekend at home, 77-69.
Valpo owns a 12-9 advantage in the all-time series with Detroit, posting four wins in six opportunities at Calihan Hall since joining the Horizon League.
The Crusaders converted a total of just seven field goals in the first half versus Wright State on Friday night and then managed only eight baskets over the final 20 minutes of action. Jordan Coleman was the lone double-digit scorer for the hosts as he tallied 10 points, while Alec Peters pitched in with nine, but he shot just 4-of-14 from the field as the team finished at a meager 31.9 percent.
Despite converting just a single field goal and coming up with six points, LaVonte Dority is still the overall scoring leader for Valparaiso with his 15.1 ppg, and he is also tops with 52 assists. Peters checks in with 13.6 ppg and is one of the better rebounders with 5.1 rpg, not to mention hitting a team-best 36 3-point baskets as he converts those attempts at a 41.9 percent clip.
It is not often that a team shoots 50.9 percent from the field and comes out on the wrong side of a decision, but the Titans saw that happen over the weekend when they made only 4-of-15 tries from beyond the arc and were outscored at the free-throw line, 18-7, by Oakland. Juwan Howard Jr. tallied 15 points, Evan Bruinsma added 14 points and six rebounds, followed by Matthew Grant with 12 points off the bench, while the team was being beaten on the glass by a 40-29 margin.
Scoring a solid 73.0 ppg this season, the Titans are paced by Howard and his 16.7 ppg stemming from just 39.2 percent accuracy from the floor. He makes up for some of that deficiency by converting 89.8 percent at the free-throw line. Bruinsma accounts for 12.1 ppg and is tops with 8.3 rpg, all the more reason for him to give up his efforts to be a 3-point threat when he has converted just 5-of-25 out on the perimeter.
After scoring a season low in points last week, the Crusaders need to prove that the effort was more a fluke than anything else. As long as Dority can come out and assert himself the visitors should be good to go.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Valparaiso 67, Detroit 63
01/15 10:33:57 ET