Oakland burns UIC Flames 81-56

By Jackson Gilbert

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Rochester — Oakland University dominated Illinois-Chicago Sunday afternoon at the O’rena 81-56 to move their record to 15-14 and 10-4 in the Horizon. Aside from the first three minutes of the game, Oakland absolutely dominated both ends of the floor.

Sophomore point guard Kahlil Felder continued his dominance in the month of February with 20 points and a career high 14 assists, and only two turnovers in 37 minutes of action. He even had five rebounds.

Head Coach Greg Kampe told reporters that it was the perfect example of Kahlil moving into the ranks of a great point guard.

“I was just having fun out there,” Felder said after the game.

Felder now leads the country in assists, averaging 7.7 per game.

“There should be 4,000 people here every game just to watch Kay Felder,” Kampe said. The 31-year Oakland coach was upset that Kahlil wasn’t named to the Bob Cousy award watch list, given to the best point guard in the country.

“I can’t fathom that there are 20 point guards in the country that are better than K,” he said.

Max Hooper had one of his best performances of the season, scoring 19 points on 6 of 10 shooting. Hooper scored 16 of his points over a five-minute stretch in the first half including a converted four-point play.

For a moment, the crowd may have forgotten that Travis Bader — the NCAA’s record-setting 3-point shooter — had even graduated last year from Oakland.

“Max got the Bader monkey off of his back tonight,” Kampe said of the junior.

He told reporters that Hooper’s path from being a role player at his prior schools to being an all-around player at Oakland was finally paying off.

Senior center Corey Petros recorded his 29th career double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

He attempted his first career 3-pointer late in the second half with the victory all but secured, but it rimmed out.

He said it was a planned attempt. Kampe seemed to approve at the press conference, adding that he may give Petros a green light for another shot at Wednesday’s senior night game against Youngstown State.

The stakes continue to grow in the Horizon League. Valparaiso sits atop the league standings at 12-2 with two games left — at Detroit and at Cleveland State. In order for Oakland to earn the No. 1 seed, Valpo would need to lose both games and Oakland would need to win out.

Oakland is guaranteed the No. 2 seed if it wins out because of Cleveland State’s loss to Milwaukee Sunday.

At worst, Oakland can finish fourth.

The final two games for Oakland will be senior night at 7 p.m. Wednesday against visiting Youngstown State and 2 p.m. Saturday at Green Bay.