There were 27 lead changes at the Athletics and Recreation Center in Valparaiso tonight, but none was bigger than the three from Juwan Howard Jr. that put the Titans up with 5.7 seconds remaining.
The dagger came after a near steal from Valparaiso's Keith Carter that would have fmore or less sealed the game for the Crusaders. A frenetic final 2 minutes only saw five points scored, but plenty of back and forth action with five missed field goals and three blocks.
The final basket lifted Detroit to a 59-57 win and gave Howard 19 points to lead all scorers. He added three rebounds and two assists in the win. The Titans also got 12 points, 10 rebounds and two assists from senior forward Evan Bruinsma.
Of their 19 made field goals tonight, the Titans had 10 threes, shooting 50 percent from behind the arc.
The Crusaders were done in by their inability to rebound, losing the offensive board battle 13-8 and getting out scored in second chance points by nine. Shooting 5-for-18 from behind the arc didn't help their cause much either.
Freshman Alec Peters led the Crusaders with 16 points and put the Crusaders up with 34 seconds remaining on a floater in the lane. The Titans defense was keyed on reigning Horizon League player of the week LaVonte Dority and he was held to 4-for-12 shooting and 13 points.
Valpo's three players over 6-10 -- Bobby Capobianco, Moussa Gueye and Vashil Fernandez -- were held to a total of three offensive rebounds.
This is the 5th straight time the road team has won in this conference rivalry.
Up next for the Titans is a game at Youngstown State on Sunday. They sit at 7th in the conference with a 4-6 record and an 11-14 record overall. The Crusaders next play at home against Oakland on Sunday. They are currently in 3rd place with a 6-4 record and a 14-11 record.