Men’s basketball pounces Towson Tigers in first round of Vegas 16

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Men’s basketball pounces Towson Tigers in first round of Vegas 16

The Golden Grizzlies put up 90 and move on to the Vegas 16 semifinals. They play at 11:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 29. Photo from first home game against Eastern Michigan University.

The Golden Grizzlies put up 90 and move on to the Vegas 16 semifinals. They play at 11:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 29. Photo from first home game against Eastern Michigan University.

The Golden Grizzlies put up 90 and move on to the Vegas 16 semifinals. They play at 11:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 29. Photo from first home game against Eastern Michigan University.

The Golden Grizzlies put up 90 and move on to the Vegas 16 semifinals. They play at 11:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 29. Photo from first home game against Eastern Michigan University.

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The Towson Tigers took advantage of a temporarily lax Oakland men’s basketball offense coming back from the half and almost got the game back, at one point dragging the Golden Grizzlies’ lead down from the halftime margin of 17 to seven points with 13:35 to go.

Towson (20-13) kept it close until five minutes left, but Oakland (22-11) pushed on through to win 90-72 Monday night at a near-empty Mandalay Bay Events Center in the inaugural Vegas 16 tournament.

Only three teams have scored 90 on Towson this season.

“We got ahead,” Oakland head coach Greg Kampe said in the post-game GrizzVision interview with Neal Ruhl. “And when you get ahead, they gotta play your tempo.”

The Golden Grizzlies’ shot 26-for-56 (46.4 percent) from the field and 7-for-19 (36.8 percent) from behind the arc.

Free throws were a deciding factor, with the Tigers shooting for 16-of-30 and Oakland going 31-for-39, 11 of those coming from Martez Walker.

Kay Felder led the Oakland offense with trademark flair, scoring 27 points and getting seven assists and five rebounds. He took flight with three minutes to go in the game and threw down the alley-oop from Sherron Dorsey-Walker.

Freshman Xavier Hill-Mais exploded with a career-high 16 points. He grabbed three boards.

“I think we saw a little about our future tonight,” Kampe said, referring to the freshman. “I really like what we’ve got inside for the next few years.”

Martez Walker got himself right up there with 14 points, three rebounds and a couple of assists.

Jalen Hayes scored nine and got seven rebounds.

Percy Gibson scored seven and got five boards.

Mike Morsell led the Tigers with 22 points, followed by William Adala Moto with 14, 13 rebounds and four assists.

John Davis and Eddie Keith II scored 11. Davis picked up five rebounds.

Byron Hawkins scored seven.

Oakland moves on to the semifinals of the Vegas 16 and plays the East Tennessee State Buccaneers at 11:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 29. Watch on CBS Sports Network, stream on College Sports Live and Vegas16.com, or listen on WDFN-AM (1130).

The finals are at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 30.