Detroit Frustrates Green Bay
INDIANAPOLIS – For Detroit it was part big man in the middle, part penetrating guards and part taking Green Bay’s leading scorer out of his game. All of this added up to a 62-53 win for the Titans in the Horizon League Championship quarter-final game.
The big man part for Detroit was 6’ 10” Eli Holman. He muscled in 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Detroit’s penetrating guards were Woody Payne and Chase Simon. Payne scored seven points and registered five assists. For Simon it was five points and three assists.
Part III, holding Rahmon Fletcher’s scoring down was what Detroit coach Ray McCallum thought was the key to their win. Fletcher came in averaging 17.1 ppg and when the buzzer sounded he had just three points going 1-10 from the field.
“Or focus was on him. Paying attention to Fletcher and slowing him down.”
The scoring started for Detroit (20-13) when Holman slammed home a dunk at the 18:37 mark and from that 2-0 lead the Titans never trailed in the game.
“One thing our coach preached to us, was going to the glass and I know I’m good at that, going to the glass,” said Holman.
The Phoenix got the score down to one point twice in the first half the last time on a 3-pointer by Troy Cotton with 13:52 left.
The Titans did get the lead up as high as eight points at 24-16 with 6:30 left, but Green Bay (21-12) kept fighting and when Seth Evans hit a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left they briefly got it two within two points at 28-26 before Thomas Kennedy hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left to push their halftime to five at 31-26.
In the second half Green Bay never got closer than five points.
“Without a question, a disappointing and frustrating loss. The key word is frustrating. Give Detroit credit for that, they took us out of what we wanted to do offensively and we got frustrated,” said Kowalczyk.
Milwaukee Takes Down Cleveland State
INDIANAPOLIS – The nightcap was similar to the first game only this time it was Milwaukee scoring the first basketball and going wire-to-wire to win 82-75 over Cleveland State.
The Panthers spread their scoring around with six players scoring in double digits.
It did get a little exciting in the second half. With Milwaukee leading by 20 points at 62-42, Cleveland State’s Norris Cole drove down the lane and made a layup. That led to 13 straight points by the Vikings to make it 64-55 with 5:58 left in the game.
Finally a layup by Milwaukee’s Anthony Hill at the 4:46 mark got the score back up to double figures at 66-55. Cleveland State (16-17) spent the rest of the game whittling the score down to the final deficit of seven.
“We responded, our guys responded with layups to break the pressure,” said Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter.
Panther player Ja’Rob McCallum also pointed out that they also kicked the ball out when pressured.
“We usually have a guy on the baseline and our bigs are in and out flashing high post.”
Cleveland State’s coach Gary Water agreed that going inside was the difference in this game.
“They could go inside anytime they wanted and get a basket,” Waters explained. “Anytime we made a run and went at them, they would go right to the heart of our defense.”
The first half saw Milwaukee (20-13) go up by as many as 11 points before ending the half up by eight points at 32-24.
Milwaukee’s balanced scoring was led by Hill and McCallum with 14 points. Ricky Franklin had 13 points, Ryan Haggerty had 12 points, James Eayers had 11 points, with seven rebounds and Jason Everkamp pitched in 10 points.
Cleveland State’s Tim Kamczyc led all scorers with 20 points, Cole had 16 points, Jeremy Montgomery had 15 points and Lance James had 13 points.
- Wright State coach Brad Brownell had his team practice on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday was an off day, then they practiced Thursday in Dayton and Friday for 90 minutes at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Brownell wasn’t sure if having a week off was a good thing or not. No games for a week, is good for his team, which is down two players due to injuries, so his team will be well rested. But playing either Detroit or Green Bay after they played two games might have them in a flow and his team a little rusty. The Raiders worked on things for each team. Today Wright State spent the bulk of their practice today working on their half court offense.
- Butler coach Brad Stevens had the same practice schedule as Wright State going on Monday and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday off. Stevens spent this week watching game films against his possible opponents, Milwaukee and Cleveland State. He also watched some film of them playing teams that he thought might be similar to Butler’s style of play. Stevens didn’t reveal anything different his team was doing before their semi-final game.
- This is Detroit’s first winning season in six years (18-13, 2003-04) and they reached 20 wins for the first time since going 25-12 in2000-01.
- Detroit leads the overall series with Green Bay 20-19.
- UWM-holds a 20-14 lead in the overall series with Cleveland State.
- Milwaukee advanced to the league championship game the last four times it reached the semifinals.
- Big Quote: “I can tell you we’re going to be in a post-season tournament. We are going to play in the post-season and we’re excited to play in the post-season.” Ted Kowalczyk
- Detroit plays Wright State Saturday at 5:15 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPNU on tape-delay at 10 p.m. EST that night.
- Milwaukee plays Butler at 8:00 p.m. The game is live on ESPNU.