Oakland ousts Wright State 84-76

The future is bright for these Golden Grizzlies.

The Oakland University men’s basketball team (10-12, 5-2) defeated Wright State (11-11, 3-5) 84-76 on Wednesday night — led by two freshmen.

Redshirt freshman forward Jalen Hayes finished with a career high 27 points and tied a career high with 9 rebounds.

Oakland’s other redshirt freshman, guard Nick Daniels, only finished with 9 points, but it was his two clutch shots at the end of regulation and in overtime that made his performance noteworthy.

With 43 seconds left in regulation and Oakland down by two, Daniels converted an and-one play to put the Golden Grizzlies on top by one.

Once in overtime, Daniels made a 3-pointer with 1:37 left to put Oakland up by six, a lead the Golden Grizzlies would never surrender.

“We were able to find a way to win the game. These two guys had a heck of a lot to do with it,” Oakland head coach Greg Kampe said at the post-game press conference, referring to Hayes and Daniels sitting beside him.

Oakland trailed for most of the game but made a charge late in the second half to take the lead, 62-59. Wright State managed to tie the game with a long 3-pointer from Chrishawn Hopkins to send it to overtime.

However, Oakland dominated the overtime period, outscoring Wright State 22-14. In the second half and overtime, Oakland only missed one free throw, a meaningless one from Nick Daniels in overtime after the Grizzlies had already secured the victory.

Sophomore guard Kahlil Felder finished tied for a career high with 13 assists and added 18 points on just 2 of 10 shooting but was 12 of 12 from the free throw line. Senior forward Dante Williams added 16 points and senior center Corey Petros scored 14 with 10 rebounds.

Roderick Davis and Thomasson each finished with 17 points for Wright State with Chrishawn Hopkins adding 16.

Kendall Griffin, one of Wright State’s starters, left the game in the second half after suffering what appeared to be a head injury after taking an inadvertent elbow from Oakland’s Max Hooper.

With the victory, the Golden Grizzlies now sit just one game out of first place in the Horizon League.

Oakland will travel to Youngstown State on Super Bowl Sunday for a 12:30 p.m. showdown with the Penguins. It’s the first of four straight Horizon League road games.

The Grizzlies won’t be home again until Feb. 15, when they host the Detroit Mercy Titans.