Strong finish for both men’s and women’s basketball

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MEN’S BASKETBALL

With the Horizon League title on the line, the Oakland men’s basketball team secured two wins to finish up the regular season.

Oakland vs. Green Bay

Up first on the team’s road trip was University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Feb. 24. The Phoenix had defeated the Golden Grizzlies pretty handily when the two teams met on the Blacktop earlier in the season on Jan. 27, but weren’t as fortunate this time around.

Behind high-quality performances from the upperclassmen, Oakland earned an 85-72 victory over UWGB.

After heading to the locker room down 4 at halftime, the Golden Grizzlies got to work in the second half, shooting 58 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three. Freshman Brailen Neely hit a 3-pointer to start the half, and the teams battled closely until the Golden Grizzlies were able to separate in the last five minutes of the game.

Jalen Hayes was the leading scorer with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Additionally, Sherron Dorsey-Walker added 19 points, going 6-for-11 from the field and 3-for-7 from three.

Rounding out the upperclassmen efforts was Martez Walker, who garnered 17 points and six rebounds, shooting 5-for-12 from the field.

Oakland vs. Milwaukee

After Valparaiso went down to Northern Kentucky, the league title came down to Oakland’s final regular season game against the Milwaukee Panthers. The Black and Gold capitalized on that opportunity and executed an 86-75 win to bring its final Horizon League record to 14-4 and lock in the top seed in the Horizon League tournament.

Dorsey-Walker clearly came ready to play, draining three 3-pointers in a row to give Oakland its first 9 points of the day. He followed that effort by totaling a career-high eight 3-pointers and adding a career-best 28 points toward the team’s total.

Walker added 21 points for Oakland, sinking four 3-pointers. Altogether, the team hit a season-high 13 3-pointers, shooting 50 percent from behind the arc.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The women’s basketball team finished up its Horizon League regular season with a pair of games in Ohio. Oakland took home both wins, polishing off the regular season with a five-game win streak heading into Motor City Madness.

Oakland vs. Youngstown State

On Feb. 23, the Golden Grizzlies took on the Penguins, soaring to an 80-58 victory on Youngstown State’s home court. The 22-point margin marks Oakland’s fourth consecutive win by 20 points or more.

Taylor Jones led the floor with 26 points for Oakland, shooting 9-for-17. Senior Nola Anderson contributed 14 points and a season-high eight rebounds. Leah Somerfield closely followed with 13 points and six rebounds.

The Golden Grizzlies established their lead early, finishing the first quarter up 22-8. From there, Oakland never looked back and came out victorious.

Oakland vs. Cleveland State

Though they couldn’t keep the 20-point margin win streak alive, Oakland finished up the regular season by taking care of Cleveland State University with a final score of 93-79 on Feb. 25. The win put them at 12-6 in the Horizon League to complete the regular season.

Oakland had three players light up offensively, scoring more than 20 points apiece toward the team’s total. Jones finished with 26 for herself, closely followed by Somerfield’s 25, and Taylor Gleason rounded out the trio, adding 21 points.

The victory secured the No. 4 seed for Motor City Madness, which begins March 3.