Day one of the inaugural Motor City Madness at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit is in the books. All of the top seeds marched on into the second round of play. Here is a look at how each contest played out:
Game 1: (4) Green Bay 65 - (9) Cleveland Sate 53
Green Bay's defensive pressure was too much for Cleveland State to handle in the opening contest of the day. Cleveland State found themselves down for most of the game as a result of 27 turnovers. Green Bay was able to open up a 14 point lead with a little over 13 minutes to play in the game. However, CSU was able to chip away at that lead thanks to some cold shooting by the Phoenix, cutting the deficit to just three with three minutes to play. Green Bay would finish the game on a 9-0 run though, locking up a first round win. Carrington Love set a new Horizon League tournament record for steals in a game with seven and Jordan Fouse led the Phoenix in scoring with 18 points. Demonte Flannigan paced the Vikings with 15 points.
Game 2: (5) Milwaukee 86 - (8) Northern Kentucky 69
Milwaukee shot their way past Northern Kentucky in the second game of the day. While both teams started the game hot from three, Milwaukee ultimately ended the game shooting 54.9% from the field including 47.8% from three. Add in the fact that the Panthers knocked down 10 more free throws than the Norse and you can see how the score ended the way it did. Milwaukee was led by Matt Tiby, who recorded a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Tyler White led NKU with 23 points as the Norse's first season in the Horizon League came to a close.
Game 3: (3) Wright State 74 - (10) Illinois-Chicago 43
This game was tied at four with 16:33 to go in the first half. That was the last time UIC caught a whiff of the lead. Wright State dominated the remainder of the game to finish off a decisive, 31-point win. Wright State's defense gets much of the credit in this win, limiting UIC to just 12 made field goals for the entire game and forcing 20 Flames turnovers. The Raiders were led in scoring by J.T. Yoho's 15 points and also enjoyed a surprising performance from Daniel Mortensen off the bench. Mortensen scored 14, including four three-pointers. Dikembe Dixson was the lone bright spot for UIC, finishing his season with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Game 4: (6) Detroit 92 - (7) Youngstown State 79
Despite star Paris Bass not playing in the first half of the game and only playing 11 minutes total, Detroit was able to outpace Youngstown State in the nightcap of the first round. Offensive rebounding leading to second chance points allowed Detroit to hold off Youngstown State. Both teams shot well, but Detroit's work on the offensive glass and solid free throw shooting made the difference. Two Titans scored in the 20's: Carlton Brundidge with 28 and Anton Wilson with 23. Cameron Morse capped off a great season with 26 points to lead the Penguins.
Up Next: Sunday's Games
The wins by the top seeds on Saturday set up Sunday's second round contests. (4) Green Bay will meet (5) Milwaukee at 1 PM Eastern. There will be no love lost between these two rivals. Expect a physical contest for the right to meet top-seeded Valparaiso on Monday evening.
(3) Wright State will finish off the afternoon against (6) Detroit at approximately 3:30 PM Eastern. Wright State's scrappy defense will try to contain Detroit's fast paced, high-scoring offense. Detroit will have the benefit of a rested Paris Bass while Wright State had the fortune of being able to empty their bench on Saturday to conserve energy. The winner of this contest goes on to meet Oakland in the other semifinal game on Monday.