Titans seek upset of 11th-ranked Shockers

Dec 13, 2014 - 3:57 PM Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Titans put the wraps on a four- game homestand on Saturday, as they entertain the 11th-ranked Wichita State Shockers at Calihan Hall.

Wichita State brings a 6-1 record into the contest, as the team has posted back-to-back victories over Saint Louis (81-52) and previously undefeated Seton Hall (77-68) since suffering its lone setback of the season versus Utah (69-68 OT) on Dec. 3.

Detroit has also enjoyed a favorable start to the campaign, as it has won twice as many games as it has lost (6-3). The Titans have also won two straight, taking out the likes of Aquinas (109-59) and USF (67-57) since the start of December.

The Shockers leads the all-time series with their hosts, 13-7, although the teams have split 10 previous meetings in Detroit. Overall, WSU has won nine of the last 10 matchups, and this is only the fourth encounter between them since 1957.

Wichita State came out firing in its recent clash with Seton Hall, shooting 54.8 percent from the field in the opening half, while holding the Pirates to just a 36 percent success rate. As a result, the Shockers led 40-25 at the break and never looked back. Ron Baker paced the winning side with 22 points, while Fred VanVleet finished with 18 points and eight assists, Darius Carter a double-double consisting of 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Tekele Cotton 11 points. Turnovers played an important role as SHU was guilty of 18 miscues, off which WSU scored 24 points.

Baker (18.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg), VanVleet (13.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.0 apg), Carter (11.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Cotton (10.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg) are all averaging double digits in the scoring column for a Wichita State squad that is putting up 78.3 ppg thanks to shooting efforts of .474 overall and .387 from 3-point range. Defensively, the Shockers are yielding just 58.7 ppg, and they own significant advantages in both rebounding (+9.7) and turnovers (+5.3).

Juwan Howard, Jr. poured in 16 points and Anton Wilson added 15 of his own to help lead Detroit to its recent win over USF. Paris Bass pitched in 11 points off the bench for the Titans, who made good on 45.1 percent of their total shots, actually shooting better from beyond the arc (10-of-21, .476). Conversely, USF was successful on only 5-of-19 3-point tries while committing 17 turnovers, from which the home team scored 25 points.

Howard has been far-and-away the team's top performer through the first month of the season, as he is netting 18.7 ppg, while also grabbing 4.6 rpg and handing out 2.0 apg. Wilson and Bass are both averaging double digits as well, netting 12.7 and 12.3 ppg, respectively, helping the Titans muster 73.4 ppg behind a solid 3-point shooting effort (.394). Detroit is routinely losing the rebounding battle (-1.9), but goads the opposition into 17.2 turnovers per outing.

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