Oakland justifies the hype, defeats Eastern 91-81

With 3,808 people in attendance, Oakland men’s basketball hosted their home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

By Jackson Gilbert

Rochester Hills, Mi- Oakland University defeated Eastern Michigan 91-81 in the home opening men’s basketball game on Wednesday night. The first regular season game on the blacktop court was played in front of a sellout crowd of 3,808.

Kahlil Felder lead all scorers with 27 points on six of 18 shooting. He added 12 assists and four rebounds in the game.

“It’s not only my job to score the ball but to find the open guys,” Felder said. He and Percy Gibson had the inside out game going all game long.

Gibson, Oakland’s new center who transferred from Iowa State last year, put on a clinic with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Sherron Dorsey-Walker, also transferring in from Iowa Sate, added 19 points and 10 rebounds.

“The transfers both had double doubles, that’s going to be huge for us,” Oakland head coach Greg Kampe said. 

Freshman forward Brad Brechting made his first start of his career in place of the injured Jalen Hayes, who was unable to go because of a bum ankle. Brechting fouled out after only 16 minutes, recording two points and three rebounds but did throw in two blocks.

“The freshman played like freshman,” Kampe said in the postgame press conference. “It was tough because we had guys cramping up when we were already down a player.” 

Oakland forced 19 turnovers in the game with an imposing full court press defense.

Leading the way for Eastern Michigan Eagles was Ty Toney, who scored 18 points and recorded eight assists. Willie Mangum scored 16 points but fouled out midway through the second half. Jordan Price recorded 15 points and five assists. 

Entering Wednesday, Oakland was 5-9 all time against Eastern. The Golden Grizzlies lost 89-77 last year in Ypsilanti. They haven’t beaten Eastern since 2012.

Oakland will go on the road for six games with stops at Colorado State, Southern Illinois, and Georgia. The Golden Grizzlies will take on Binghamton at the O’rena on Dec. 7.

“We’re going to play so well that it’s going to be like tonight every time we play in the O’rena,” Kampe said.