Oakland defeats rival Detroit Mercy 95-75


Sergio Montanez

The O’rena was packed with record attendance as the Golden Grizzlies went toe-to-toe with the Titans.

Oakland broke the record for attendance at the O’rena with a total of 4,141 people jammed in against Detroit Mercy on Saturday, Feb. 23. Detroit Mercy was blown out of the water by a final score of 95-75.

Head Coach Greg Kampe was pleased with the atmosphere and level of play in the rivalry matchup.

“Look at this place, this is Oakland,” Kampe said, “You go to the game tomorrow, you’ll see the same thing in Ann Arbor [Michigan vs. Michigan State] there’ll be no difference on that floor than there was on this floor today, it’s just different players wearing different uniforms. I thought the level of play today was phenomenal.”

The first matchup of the year between the two teams went to the Golden Grizzlies, Oakland won that game 79-73 and extended their win streak against Detroit to five games. Since Oakland joined the Horizon League. they have dominated the Metro Series rivalry with a record of 10-2 against the Titans after Saturday’s victory.

Although Detroit isn’t likely to miss the conference playoff, that didn’t stop them from showing up against their metro Detroit foes, at least for one half. Oakland bolted out to a 23-9 lead thanks to stellar shooting from guards Karmari Newman and Braden Norris. Newman went 3-4 from deep in the first half and Norris was 4-6.  Detroit was able to reduce the deficit, as the half closed out with a score 45-36.

Four minutes into the second half Tray Maddox went down with a minor knee injury. Maddox returned toward the end of the game, so his injury shouldn’t be a concern going forward. Norris remained ablaze in the second half, he finished the game shooting 7-10 from three. The game was like a runaway train, Oakland could not be stopped in the second half. The Golden Grizzlies were on pace for 100 points, but they decided to check in the bench at the end of the half and let the game wind down naturally.

With the game dwindling away, one of the assistant coaches on the U of D bench drew a technical foul for bantering after what he believed was a  missed foul call. U of D of was just lost emotionally and in terms of actual basketball, UDM Head Coach Mike Davis drew the team another technical foul at the end of the game.

Oakland shot 58.2 percent from the field and a clean 50 percent from 3 point, while U of D shot only 36.8 percent from the field.  Jaevin Cumberland hit two threes, which extended his streak of making a three every game this year. Xavier Hill-Mais was on his game, putting up 29 points for the game complemented by seven rebounds and an assist. Brad Brechting drew the double team down low this time around.

After the game, Davis appeared to say something negative toward Kampe when they shook hands. Coach Kampe declined to comment on what Davis said after the game, he said he’d let coach Davis talk about what he said himself.

“It wouldn’t be fair for me to tell you what he said,” Kampe said.

The men’s team closes out the regular season with two home games. On Thursday, Feb. 28 the Golden Grizzlies host the UIC Flames at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, March 2 at 3 p.m. the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Jaguars come to the O’Rena to close out the Horizon League regular season.