Oakland spares Detroit no mercy

By Jackson Gilbert

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With an O’rena record-setting crowd of 4,101 watching, the Golden Grizzlies pulled off a thrilling 83-78 victory Sunday in a rematch against new Horizon League rival Detroit.

“Color me 50 shades of happy,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said after the game. He was visibly pleased.

Sophomore guard Kahlil Felder starred in the effort, scoring 29 points and recording eight assists.

“I’m the leader of this team,” Felder told reporters. “We wanted to take what was ours.”

Late in the second half, Felder completed an acrobatic and-one basket and jumped off the floor yelling to the crowd at the southern end of the O’rena.

“We can’t play without K,” Kampe added in his press conference. Felder played all but two minutes in the game.

Freshman guard Nick Daniels scored 14 points on 6-8 shooting. Senior center Corey Petros added 11 points and four rebounds.

Junior forward Tommie McCune only played 10 minutes but had a spectacular play in the second half. After missing the second of two free throw attempts, he instinctively grabbed the rebound and put it back in the basket to complete an unorthodox three-point play.

McCune’s put-back gave Oakland a 74-71 lead.

Kampe talked after the game about discipline. He said McCune took advantage of Detroit’s lack of discipline in boxing out on the free throw line.

Freshman Paris Bass led the way for the Titans with 28 points and six rebounds. Juwan Howard Jr. was held to just nine points and five rebounds, well below his averages on the season.

Sunday was the deciding game for the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Cup, with Oakland securing the victory due to a much higher RPI rating.

Oakland pulled closer in the ongoing Metro Series rivalry, earning two more points to push the score to 8-6 in favor of Detroit. The next Metro Series game takes place on Feb. 18 at the O’rena and features the two schools’ women’s basketball teams.

At halftime, the 2004-05 Oakland men’s team that qualified for the NCAA tournament was honored. Several players were named, including Pierre Dukes, who made the famous three-point shot to secure Oakland’s first trip to the big dance.

Oakland also announced during the game its plans for a new basketball court design. The “blacktop” design was selected in a vote going on since last year.

Oakland will travel to Wright State this Wednesday for a showdown with the Raiders.