Sweet revenge: Men’s basketball enjoys victory over the Titans, 89-80
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The Oakland men’s basketball team entered Calihan Hall on Friday, Feb. 10 on a mission. With fans and the Oakland University community still bitter from its last meeting with University of Detroit Mercy, Oakland came looking for one thing: revenge.
In their last matchup, the Titans gave the Golden Grizzlies their first loss in conference play. The loss on Oakland’s home court sent the Golden Grizzlies into a tailspin from which the team is only now finding its footing.
The Golden Grizzlies got what they were looking for, taking home a victory over the Titans 89-80, moving to 9-4 in the Horizon League and sending the Titans to 4-9.
“We knew it was a bad taste in our mouths from last game,” said redshirt junior Jalen Hayes. “It’s always good to pick up a conference win, but it makes it that much better with it being Detroit.”
The Titans struck first with a layup from Gerald Blackshear to bring the score to 2-0 — the largest and only lead the Titans would see all night.
In the first five minutes of the game, the teams traded baskets, and the score stayed close. However, with a dunk from Jalen Hayes at 15:25, the Golden Grizzlies began to separate and never looked back.
Kampe felt good about the team’s level of play in the postgame press conference.
“I loved how we played tonight,” Kampe said. “That was the team that was 14-3.”
Oakland looked like a completely different team than it had since the last time they met Detroit Mercy. The Golden Grizzlies went an uncharacteristic 57 percent from the 3-point line in the first half.
They finished 6-for-15 from the 3, good for 40 percent for the game. This percentage marks the best the Golden Grizzlies have shot from beyond the arc since their season-high performance against Georgia on Dec. 23.
Sherron Dorsey-Walker and Hayes led the way for the Golden Grizzlies with 23 points each. Martez Walker followed behind with 20.
For the Titans, Jaleel Hogan was effective again against the Golden Grizzlies, scoring 23 points toward UDM’s 80-point total. In the first matchup, Oakland had no answer for Hogan, and he scored his career-best 39 points. Hayes felt his team was better equipped to take on Hogan this time around.
“I think our game plan was a lot better coming into today,” Hayes said. “Isaiah [Brock] did a much better job guarding him.”
Brock suffered a hip injury in the last game against Detroit and played a majority of the game visibly in pain. He has just started to find his stride again, earning Horizon League Freshman of the Week and Horizon League Player of the Week after his performances last weekend. He made three dunks against UDM, making up his total of 6 points in addition to his eight rebounds.
Kampe noted that Hogan might be one of the best post players in the league.
“He’s probably the second-best post player in the league, because I think Jalen Hayes is the best post player in the league,” Kampe said. “He’s an all-league player, and we mixed up what we did on him tonight . . . and he still had 20-some points because he’s a hell of a player.”
The win marks the fourth win in a row for the Golden Grizzlies. The team has seven days until it matches up against the league-leading Valparaiso Crusaders on the Blacktop, where the Golden Grizzlies haven’t seen as much success as they have on the road.
Kampe emphasized the significance of next Friday’s game.
“We’ve got a chance to win the league still,” he said. “If we can win next Friday, we’re one game back, and we have the tie-breakers. So it’s a huge game for us.”
The Golden Grizzlies will take on Valparaiso at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 in the O’rena.