Oakland moves into second place with road victory over Northern Kentucky


Since its loss against Northern Kentucky at home on Jan.19, the Oakland men’s basketball team looked to retaliate and won the game 85-74 Monday night in Highland Heights, Ky. 

Sam Schlenner

The lead jumped into Northern Kentucky’s arms for 44 seconds in the first minute of the game but evaded any further capture on the way to an 85-74 Oakland men’s basketball revenge win Monday night in Highland Heights, Ky.

If plotted on a graph, Oakland’s 13-point margin after a three by Jaevin Cumberland with 7:05 in the first half descends, rolls around and then ascends in the very rough shape of a W, which is exactly what they got after a late, not-so-rough 11-0 run tucked the shaky win away.

Jalen Hayes grabbed an eye-popping 14 rebounds in 37 minutes of play, managing a double-double with 13 points.

Kay Felder got 10 assists and rounded out his double double with 24 points and a couple of steals. 

Martez Walker posted another double-digit performance with 16 and played over half of the match, draining 6 of 8 free throws.

Max Hooper shot 50 percent from three-point range and went perfect from the line on the way to getting 15 points. His four-point play with 2:14 left in the game helped cement a crucial 11-0 late run.

Percy Gibson and Nick Daniels both scored six and bagged four rebounds.

The Golden Grizzlies made 90 percent of their free throws for the second time on the season, snagging 27 to Northern Kentucky’s 14, useful because the Norse out shot Oakland from the field.

Oakland suffered from eight Norse threes in the first half, but shut the enterprise down in the second, allowing only one three attempt, which they missed.

“When we guard the three, we win,” Oakland head coach Greg Kampe said in the post-game GrizzVision interview with Neal Ruhl. “When we don’t guard the three, we struggle.”

Drew McDonald scored 23 and grabbed eight rebounds for Northern Kentucky. Dean Danos and Tyler White scored in double digits.

Jalen Billups, normally the Norse’s leading scorer with 13.3 even while averaging just over 20 minutes a game, only played 14 and managed six points. He got six rebounds.

The Golden Grizzlies (15-8, 7-3) are tied for second in the Horizon League and surf a four-game win streak. Northern Kentucky (8-13, 4-6), who trounced Oakland by 17 in the O’rena on Jan. 19, is tied for sixth.

Monday’s victory marks the start of the tail half of league play for Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies play two more on the road and return home for a Feb. 11 match against Milwaukee.

“This is the gut time,” Kampe said.

Next game is at Youngstown State at 7:45 p.m. on Feb. 4. You can watch on ESPN3 and listen on WDFN-AM 1130.