Detroit makes its first Horizon League championship game since the 2004-05 season after a thrilling 63-58 win over Cleveland State in the semifinals Saturday night. The Titans are gunning for their first NCAA appearance since 1999.

Host Valparaiso dispatched defending HL champion and two-time national finalist Butler with a 65-46 win in its semifinal win Saturday. The Crusaders are hosting the HL tourney for the first time since joining the league. Valpo is led by HL Player of the Year junior Ryan Broekhoff, who poured-in 19 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the win over Butler– his 12th double-double of the season.

The Crusaders hold an 11-7 lead in the all-time series and have taken the last five games over the past two seasons. Last season, Valpo defeated Detroit three times, including a season-ending 88-78 win in the HL quarterfinals.

Sophomore Ray McCallum etched a game-high 26 points and added six rebounds, five assists and two steals to lead Detroit to a 63-58 victory over Cleveland State Saturday night in the Horizon League Semifinals. McCallum went 11-13 from the free-throw line and were captained by the HL First Teamer, who scored nine of the first 10 Detroit points in a key 17-1 run in the first half. Junior Jason Calliste added 13 points and seven rebounds while senior Chase Simon had eight points and eight boards.

The last time Detroit earned the three seed in the league tournament, the Titans raced all the way to the championship game before falling by a point at Milwaukee in 2005. Historically, the three seed has performed well in the tournament, advancing to the championship game 15 times (since 1979-80) and winning the whole business six times (last time: Cleveland State in 2009).

Sophomore Ray McCallum has played four games the Valpo’s ARC and is averaging 19.3 ppg in those contests. His three games this season have produced 20.7 ppg including two of his nine 20+ point games.

*McCallum is 23-of-25 from the free throw line in this season’s HL tourney, just two makes shy of the league record (25- Jermaine Jackson, Detroit; Byron Larkin, Xavier). The sophomore’s 11 FT makes in Saturday’s semifinal win tied a career high.
*Detroit’s 93-point outburst Friday puts them within 56 points of breaking the team HL tourney record for points (292- Wright State, 1995)
*The Titans are 68-of-84 from the FT line, both within reach of tourney marks: (FTs- 81, FTA- 106 both Xavier, 1987)

The Titans have advanced to the league’s title game for the eighth time (2 titles, 5 runner-up). The last appearance was a 2005 one-point loss at Milwaukee. UDM’s last title came in 1999 when Rashad Phillips led the Titans past Butler in Chicago, Ill.
2005- #1 Milwaukee 59, #3 Detroit 58
2001- #1 Butler 53, #2 Detroit 38
2000- #1 Butler 62, #3 Detroit 43
1999- #1 Detroit 72, #2 Butler 65
1996- #3 No. Illinois 84, #5 Detroit 63
1994- #4 Detroit 72, #2 Evansville 63
1988- #1 Xavier 122, #6 Detroit 96

Sophomore Ray McCallum was named to the All-Horizon League First Team and senior Eli Holman was named the Sixth Man of the Year when the league announced its postseason awards Monday. The sophomore leads the team in points, assists and steals for the second straight season. McCallum becomes the 16th Detroit first team honoree and first since current NBA’er Willie Green was the Player of the Year in 2002-03. Through the regular season, Holman played in 21 games, 19 off-the-bench as Detroit’s key bench member. He averaged 11 points and seven rebounds per game and has three double-doubles to give him 27 for his career. Holman became the first Titan to win the top reserve, an honor that has been awarded since the 2007-08 season.

The Titans are 32-29 all-time in the Horizon League (formerly MCC) tournament. Detroit won the 1994 and 1999 postseason titles. Last season, the Titans beat Loyola in the first round, then fell to Valparaiso in the quarterfinal round.

Senior Eli Holman became the second Titan this season to reach the 1,000-point plateau, eclipsing the mark in Friday’s win. He joins fellow senior Chase Simon, who turned the trick back on Nov. 23. The duo are the 35th and 36th Detroit players to achieve the four-digit mark at the school. Ray McCallum is also closing in on the mark, needing just 28 points to get there.

Detroit shot well in Friday’s win, shooting 60 percent from the floor (33-55) for the first time this season. It marked the first time Detroit has reached that mark in a game since the 2009-10 season (Dec. 3, 2009). The Titans made 10 of their first 12 shots to roll-up a 29-10 lead in a game that they led throughout.

The Titans scored 50 points in the opening half of Friday’s quarterfinal win, the fourth time UDM has done that this season. A peek at the highest scoring halves for Detroit this season:
64- vs. Concordia- 11/18/11
61- vs. Western Mich.- 12/8/11
50- vs. Austin Peay- 11/23/11
50- vs. Youngstown St.- 3/2/12

Detroit has won its last 46 games when it scores 90 points in a game after Friday’s 93-76 victory. UDM’s last loss with 90+ points was a 96-91 loss to Michigan State way back in the 1988 season.

The Titans recorded win No. 20 on the season Friday, marking the 12th time in the school’s history to achieve that mark. Detroit’s 21 wins this season ranks seventh all-time for most wins in one campaign. It is the fourth 20-win slate in head coach Ray McCallum’s career (2 Ball State, 2 Detroit).

Detroit 20-win seasons (12)
2012- 21-13
2010- 20-14
2001- 25-12 (NIT)
2000- 20-12 (NIT)
1999- 25-6 (NCAA)
1998- 25-6 (NCAA)
1979- 22-6 (NCAA)
1978- 25-4 (NIT)
1977- 25-4 (NCAA)
1965- 20-8 (NIT)
1960- 20-7 (NIT)
1950- 20-6

Coach McCallum is perfect through four rounds of the CollegeInsider.com “Shots from the Heart” head coach’s bracket to benefit the Skip Prosser Foundation. Coach made all 25 shots in each of the first four rounds and has advanced all the way to the “Final Four”, where he will match-up against Buzz Peterson of UNC-Wilmington. He ousted defending champion, Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State, who was 23-25 in their matchup. The tournament concludes in the coming weeks with the finals at the end of February. The Free Throw Champions of both the head and assistant coach’s brackets will be recognized as part of the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet in New Orleans, site of the 2012 Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship. Follow detroittitans.com for updates on Coach Ray’s progress in the tourney. For more on the “Shots from the Heart”, got to http://collegeinsider.com/shots.

The newest edition of the “Detroit Titan Court Report” is out and you can catch it during a number of different re-airs on FOX Sports Detroit. The fourth installment of the 30-minute show gives fans an inside look to the Detroit Titans men’s basketball team, including interviews with players and coaches, highlights, features and behind-the-scenes access like no other show can provide. The show, in its second season on FSD, was nominated for a Michigan Emmy in its first season and has been met with rave reviews in season two.

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