Detroit Mercy men's, women's hoops cancel next two games due to COVID

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Detroit Mercy men's basketball team navigated last season without a COVID-19 outbreak. The Titans weren't so fortunate this season.

Detroit Mercy has canceled its next two games because of positive COVID cases on the roster. Called-off games include Thursday's against Youngstown State and Saturday's against Robert Morris. Both games were to be played at Calihan Hall.

The Titans' next scheduled game is Jan. 3 at home against rival Oakland.

Detroit Mercy coach Mike Davis.

Detroit Mercy (4-7, 2-0 Horizon League) confirmed the news Wednesday morning, and the games won't be made up. The games will be considered no-contests, so there won't be a penalty in the league standings.

The league announced Tuesday that games that are canceled would be considered forfeits, but that commissioner Julie Roe Lach has authority to consider waivers from schools to designate games as no-contests. Roe Lach granted the no-contest waivers to UIC and IUPUI for upcoming games those schools had to cancel, saying they didn't have enough players to field a team because of breakthrough COVID cases.

The Horizon League gave Detroit Mercy the no-contest designation Wednesday afternoon, after reviewing information sent in by the school, including positive tests (at least one starting player has tested positive), and team vaccination status. 

Most college basketball conferences are requiring at least seven active players and one available coach.

The Horizon League continues to require 10 days of quarantining for an athlete who tests positive, though asymptomatic players can return to practice after five days (with a mask) in the wake of the CDC's recommendation this week that five days is enough, with masks in social settings for days six through 10.

Detroit Mercy's scheduled opponents will play their games at Oakland, with Robert Morris playing at the O'Rena on Thursday and Youngstown State on Saturday. Oakland, which has a roster that is entirely boosted, has avoided a major COVID outbreak, after playing last week against Michigan State, which will have four players out for Wednesday's game. The Golden Grizzlies have one player out with COVID; university officials aren't publicly naming the player, who will miss both games this week.

Meanwhile, Titans star senior guard Antoine Davis' quest to set the program's scoring record will be put on pause. He is 35 points from matching Rashad Phillips' record of 2,319.

Also, the Detroit Mercy women's team has canceled its weekend road trip, which was to include a Thursday game at Green Bay and a Saturday game at Milwaukee. Those games are forfeits, so the Titans are 0-13. League officials weren't immediately available for comment to explain that decision, but said in a release "circumstances did not meet the extraordinary threshold."

Detroit Mercy joins Eastern Michigan as the two Division I schools in the state to have COVID-19 outbreaks this season. The Eastern Michigan men and women both have postponed multiple games this month with positive tests among players.

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Twitter: @tonypaul1984