Intrastate rivals collide, as Titans visit Wolverines

Nov 20, 2014 - 3:37 PM Ann Arbor, MI ( - Facing their second straight opponent from a power conference, the Detroit Titans settle into Crisler Arena to do battle with the 24th-ranked Michigan Wolverines as part of the Legends Classic.

Detroit opened the 2014-15 campaign with a 77-54 win over Rochester College at home, but then took on the Oregon Ducks in Eugene on Monday, falling in that contest in an 83-66 final. Following this clash, the Titans will host South Alabama on Saturday, and the team will begin Horizon League play at Wright State on Jan. 2, 2015.

Michigan is one of five teams from the Big Ten Conference to be ranked in the AP Top-25 to start the season, and coach John Beilein's squad has rolled over a couple of inferior foes in its first two games, both at home. First, the Wolverines knocked off Hillsdale College (92-68) last Saturday, and then dropped Bucknell (77-53) two days later. UM will have a tougher time of its for sure in its next two games, both of which will take place in Brooklyn, New York, as it will tangle with Oregon next Monday, and either VCU or Villanova the following day.

Michigan has a commanding 25-3 lead in the all-time series with Detroit, which includes victories in each of the last 13 meetings. The Titans' last victory in this intrastate rivalry was a 55-51 decision in Ann Arbor on Dec. 19, 1981.

Juwan Howard, Jr. scored 16 points, Jarod Williams added 15 and Anton Wilson pitched in with 14 to lead Detroit, but those efforts went for naught as Oregon put four players in double figures and won the rebounding battle (47-37) en route to the double-digit win. The Titans made good on only 35.8 percent of their field goal attempts, but actually shot a better percentage from long range (7-of-17, .412). In contrast, the team shot a rock-solid 53.7 percent from the floor in the season-opening win over Rochester, with Wilson scoring a team-high 20 points. Howard, Jr. added 16 to help in the winning effort, which saw the Titans dominate interior, outscoring the Warriors in the paint, 40-18, while tallying 29 points on 20 turnovers.

Zak Irvin was high man for Michigan in its recent win over Bucknell, as he drained 4-of-5 3-point attempts in netting 23 points. Max Bielfeldt came off the bench to contribute 18 points, and Derrick Walton, Jr. tacked on 15 for the Wolverines, who hit the mark on 46 percent of their field goal attempts, which included an 8-of-18 showing from beyond the arc. The team's rebounding effort resulted in a 37-29 advantage, and it was guilty of only six turnovers, compared to 17 for the Bison. Caris LeVert, who scored 20 points in the opener against Hillsdale, was off target on Monday, going just 2-of-11 from the floor (0-of-3 from distance) in tallying a mere six points. He did however, dish out six assists, as did teammate Spike Albrecht. Walton, Jr. paced the Maize and Blue in the opener with 22 points, while Irvin was right there with 21.

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