Tuscaloosa, AL – The 16th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide hope to conference action.
Members of the Horizon League, the Titans are testing their mettle with back- to-back games against tough SEC opponents, as they will battle Mississippi State next. The Titans are a mediocre 5-6 overall, but the last two games have resulted in wins. On Thursday, they knocked off Western Michigan to move to 4-2 at home, but all three true road games to date have ended in defeat.
As for 'Bama, it has dropped two straight decisions after jumping out to a 7-0 start to the season, and the team had its 24-game home winning streak snapped in a 57-55 loss to Georgetown on Dec. 1. On Wednesday, the Tide suffered a 74-62 setback at Dayton and needs to get back on track before the start of SEC play, which promises to be bring significant challenges every time out.
Alabama won its only previous meeting with Detroit by a 74-63 final back in 2001.
After missing the first 10 games of the season for Detroit, Eli Holman made his return to the lineup against Western Michigan on Thursday and was immediately the best player on the court. Holman exploded for 21 points in just 19 minutes of action, as he shot 10-of-14 from the field while also ripping down seven rebounds. Chase Simon was tremendous as well with 20 points, while Ray McCallum added 14 points and six assists. The Titans connected on 53.2 percent of their field goal attempts and scored 24 points from the foul line. They only committed eight turnovers as well, key to the triumph. Simon is scoring 16.8 ppg for Detroit, which is generating 75.9 ppg while allowing 71.4 ppg to opponents. The Titans are getting 14.7 ppg from McCallum, but they need to shoot better than their 29.4 percent from three- point range.
Alabama relies heavily on the frontcourt duo of Tony Mitchell and JaMaychal Green to lead the way in both scoring and rebounding every time out. Mitchell is tops on the roster with 15.4 ppg on 50.9 percent shooting from the field, and he is pulling down 7.3 rpg. As for Green, he provides 14.8 ppg and 6.9 rpg while shooting 53.7 percent from the floor. Trevor Releford rounds out a trio of double-digit scorers with 11.4 ppg for the Tide, who are generating 67.3 ppg while holding foes to 55.4 ppg on 36 percent field goal efficiency. Mitchell netted 18 points against Dayton last time out, while Releford had 13 points and Green added 12 points. The Crimson Tide actually shot 50 percent from the floor in that affair and finished with seven more assists than turnovers, but they only scored four points from the foul line and permitted the Flyers to hit a staggering 60.9 percent of their shots from the field.