Oakland wins at UIC, closes in on No.2 League Tournament seed

Sam Schlenner

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By the time Martez Walker made a layup to put Oakland up three with 5:17 left in the game, the Golden Grizzlies hadn’t scored for nearly six minutes. The lead they had taken before the half had almost completely deteriorated on the prompt of an 8-0 run. Nick Daniels had something to say about that, as well.

He hit a three with 4:18 left. Six-point Oakland lead. The Golden Grizzlies finished with their largest advantage of the contest, 11.

Oakland men’s basketball (20-10, 12-5) managed a 74-63 road victory at the Flames of the University of Illinois at Chicago (5-22, 3-13) the evening of Sunday, Feb. 21 in the UIC Pavilion.

The win came after a close loss at Valparaiso on Friday night.

“We played for the championship on Friday night,” Oakland head coach Greg Kampe said in the postgame GrizzVision interview with Neal Ruhl. “Our hearts and our minds were in it [today]. Our bodies just weren’t.”

Oakland won eight road games during Horizon League play and only lost one. They collected 20 total wins for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.

The Golden Grizzlies outshot the Flames from the field, making 28 of 66 in place of 24 of 67. Oakland shot 7-for-18 from behind the arc (38.9%) while UIC shot 3-for-10 (30%), all of the Flames’ threes coming in the first half.

Both teams had trouble from the line, each shooting 21, Oakland making 11, the Flames making 12.

Kay Felder led the Golden Grizzlies with 20 points, seven rebounds and ten assists, shooting 8-for-14 from the field and 3-for-6 from 3-point range. He fouled out with two and a half minutes left in the game.

Nick Daniels showed up with 18 points, six boards and 3 assists, making all four of his 3-point attempts and all four of his free throws. He shot 5-for-8 from the field; those three misses were the only ones that didn’t go in for the redshirt sophomore. He got two steals.

Jalen Hayes scored 15, grabbing 13 rebounds and three steals 

Martez walker scored 13 and got five rebounds.

Percy Gibson only scored two, shooting 1-for-8 from the field, but he blocked six shots (a career high) and snatched six rebounds.

For UIC, Dikembe Dixson scored 24 and took seven rebounds, dishing three assists.

Julian Torres got ten points, five rebounds and a technical foul, shooting 5-for-9 from the field.

Michael Kolawole scored ten points and got three assists and boards. He turned the ball over five times.

Najeal Young scored seven, got three steals and grabbed ten rebounds, four of them offensive.

Tai Odiase blocked five shots and got ten boards, three of them offensive.

Oakland plays their final game of the regular season (with their potential No.2 seed at the Horizon League Tournament on the line) against Detroit Mercy at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 26 in the O’rena. It’s a Gold Out with free gold poms and shirts, and also senior night for the basketball players. Watch on ESPNU and listen on WDFN-AM (1130).

“Should be a game for the ages,” Kampe said.