Guard Brandon Cotton topped the 20-point mark for the second time in four games with a game-high 21, but it wasn't enough to keep the Titans from being edged by Western Michigan, 69-67, on Tuesday night in Kalamazoo. Western won for the first time in three starts this season, while Detroit dropped its third straight contest to fall to 1-3. Cotton was joined in double figures by Brandon Bell, the former Marquette guard who reached twin digits for the first time as a Titan with 14 points, and Ryvon Covile. Covile registered his fourth straight double-double with 19 points, matching his career-high, and a personal-best 14 rebounds. Joe Reitz, a 6-7 junior center, led the way for Western with 19 points.
WMU never trailed, opening up a quick 9-2 advantage after just 4:13 had elapsed in the contest. The Broncos' first two buckets came from three-point territory, and they maintained their edge through halftime, leading 34-27. By intermission, the Titans had already been charged with 12 of their 16 turnovers - vs. just two by Western in the first 20 minutes - as they were forced to play from behind. Three Cotton jumpers right out of the locker room got the Titans to within 36-33, but Western responded with a 4-0 run to push its advantage back up to seven points. The lead reached double figures for the first time as a Reitz free throw made it 46-36 in Western's favor with 13:05 left.
After UDM trailed by as many as 13, Covile's jumper with 1:05 remaining pulled Detroit to within 67-63. As Western missed four straight free throw attempts - it shot only 17-for-30 from the foul line for the night - the Titans then got to within a point with 5.6 seconds to go when Zach Everingham buried a triple. Reitz responded with a free throw for Western with 4.4 seconds left, and Cotton's desperation attempt missed the mark at the buzzer, ending UDM's comeback effort. After four games away from home, the Titans will now make their regular-season debut in Calihan Hall, hosting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday afternoon. Game time is 4:05 p.m.
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