Detroit 9, Marquette 14

In hindsight, I guess it’s not that surprising that Detroit didn’t really show up to play against Marquette. It was clear Wednesday evening that their first and only priority was winning the league, so the last two non-conference games would be ultimately meaningless.

Tempo Free

From the official box score, a look at the tempo-free stats:

Marquette 2013
Detroit Marquette
Faceoff Wins 14 Faceoff Wins 13
Clearing 10-13 Clearing 14-16
Possessions 29 Possessions 32
Goals 9 Goals 14
Offensive Efficiency .310 Offensive Efficiency .438(!)

This game was pretty even in terms of possessions. Despite limited attempts for the players who have taken over faceoffs, UDM actually won that metric, and the clears were close enough. It was UDM’s utter incapability to stop anyone that was the problem.

Notes

Starting with the goalkeeping. Chris Kelly started (by the sounds of things, AJ Levell didn’t even travel)… and struggled. He saved just .391 of shots faced, and only half of Marquette’s 14 goals were assisted, so it’s not like he was being dunked on after his defense totally sold him out. This was his first game action in ages, so it took him about a quarter to get into the groove, but Marquette came out on fire after halftime, and he didn’t do much to drag his team up by the bootstraps.

Speaking about the defense itself is important, because the game-long numbers are mostly terrible. The Titans ran with the normal starters for most of the contest, so it’s not like Kelly was completely set up to fail. Still, Only eight caused turnovers in 32 is not how the Titans win games. Jordan Houtby had a great evening with two CTs and eight ground balls.

I mentioned faceoffs above… and it’s odd that Detroit didn’t go with Damien Hicks a little more. If it’s a strategy to keep him (and Levell) healthy for the regular-season ender against Canisius – a do-or-die game for the playoffs – then I guess that’s fine. It’s still a little embarrassing to treat a non-conference game like a scrimmage and not roll with some of your best talent. That said, Brandon Davenport was pretty good on faceoffs, so it didn’t really kill the Titans anyway. Slightly above .500, considering the season-long success rate for UDM is well below that, is good.

So, when the defense is bad, it’s the offense’s job to bail it out, right? That’s not going to be a regular occurrence for this UDM team which – while it has an improving offense – has relied on the opposite strategy with a good defense propping up a mediocre offense. When the defense struggles uncharacteristically, it’s going to be big trouble in a game, and that cam to fruition here.

Alex Maini was (unsurprisingly) the leader of the unit. He scored three goals on seven shots. Sophomore Mike Birney is coming along, but his three goals were a product of plenty of volume shooting. He took ten shots – albeit seven of them on goal – to get those numbers. Scott Drummond had just one goal, but notched three assists. Some who were in attendance let me know that there were some missed opportunities on the doorstep, but in a five-goal game (that wasn’t even really that close for much of the second half), it would have taken converting all of those opportunities to make the difference on the scoreboard.

So, Detroit is the most-penalized team in the country, eh? How does seven penalties for 6:00 sound? Marquette’s man-up was 4/7 on the day, and that’s probably plenty enough – especially when coupled with the defense’s fatigue from killing off so many penalties – to be the difference in the game. I’ve seen a handful of Detroit games in each of the past three years, and I know they might be unfairly targeted by officials at times, but you simply can’t win that many games with that (deserved) reputation for being overly physical. There’s a chicken-and-egg problem (Wisconsin basketball has a reputation for being physical, so they get away with some things that probably should be fouls), but until you earn the benefit of the doubt with some wins on the field… the calls speak for themselves.

Unsurprisingly, this was the best offensive day in Marquette’s history as a program. Tyler Melnyk (4G, 2A), Kyle Whitlow (3G), Conor Gately (2A), and the duo of Bryan Badolato and Connor Bernal (2G apiece) all put up plenty of scoring.

Elsewhere

The official boxscore. Detroit official site recap. Official photo gallery. Marquette recap. Game highlights:

Oddly, for a team that didn’t score many assisted goals, almost every one shown in the highlight features an assist.

Up Next

Fortunately for Detroit, they’re at a point in the year where non-conference losses (even to teams that have been smoked by Michigan and Saint Joseph’s over the course of this season) don’t matter. It’s about qualifying for, and competing in, the MAAC Tournament.

The Titans’ next game is their opportunity to earn that berth, and see what they can do with the chance they give themselves. It’s senior day Saturday at Titan Field, and the opponent is a Canisius squad that Detroit should be able to dispatch. As we’ve seen this year, “should” isn’t enough. Time to put up or shut up.

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5 Responses to Detroit 9, Marquette 14

  1. ART ROUSSELL says:

    WATCHED THIS TEAM PLAY QUITE A BIT.THEY ARE IN A DOWNWARD SPIRAL.HOLTZ SEEMS NOT TO BE ABLE TO STOP IT.PLEASE REFER TO THE MATTHEWS EFFECT.THIS TEAM HAS DONE NOTHING SINCE HIS DEPARTURE.HOLTZ SHOULD CALL HIM AND RESIGN HIM,

  2. AndyD says:

    That would not have made any sense if you had not shouted it. THANKS

  3. Sir Laxalot says:

    I still maintain the refs were flag happy, and I think UDM has a reputation for being physical, but no worse than any team I have seen them play. The penalties were the un-releasable variety which killed the Titans against Marquette who has a decent man up attack. Detroit’s coaches were rightfully frustrated and voiced their displeasure with the officials and that did not help their cause either… I hope the Titans can shore up the turnovers this week, as it will go a long way in them winning the game against Canisius…It was not just offensive players guilty of the dreaded TO either… It’s the old adage of who wants it more…Detroit needs to get up on Canisius and keep their foot on the gas pedal all game…The play offs start now! Go Titans!

  4. ncaalaxnut says:

    Hey Art pound it!!!!!! Detroit went to the MAAC final without Matthews and in the last few years the only thing holding them back is injuries no other team has lost the man games to injury to key personal that Detroit has but still plays tough we will go into the game Saturday against Cansisus without our Tewaarton Award nominee Shayne Adams our top face off man Tyler Corcoran top defensive middie Nick Garrippa and still will be completive and expecting a win. There is no downward spiral in Detroit yes they lost to Marquette with their back up goalie (Marquette beat Bellermine today) but they will be ready Sat to advance to the MAAC with or without injuries. Art you should actually watch a game or two with your eyes open lol…

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