Oakland men defeat Green Bay 69-66

By Jackson Gilbert

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“I think this win might put us back on the grid now,” Oakland University head coach Greg Kampe said Thursday night. “I’m very pleased.”

The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies men’s basketball (6-12, 2-2) team pulled off a mammoth victory over the Horizon League favorite Green Bay Phoenix, 69-66, Thursday at the O’rena.

Kampe was noticeably heated throughout the game, berating players for mistakes that only the coaching staff were aware of. This was a different team than the one that showed up last Saturday at Detroit and lost by 20 points.

Sophomore guard Kahlil Felder finished the night with a team-leading 20 points and 10 assists for Oakland, arguably outperforming preseason Horizon League player of the year Keifer Sykes.

Redshirt freshman Jalen Hayes led Oakland with nine rebounds in the effort.

Senior forward Dante Williams finished with eight points and two rebounds while continuing his streak of dominant defense. Williams managed to hold Green Bay’s star point guard, Sykes, to just 19 points and five assists.  Most of his points came in transition baskets or off Oakland turnovers.

Sykes missed a three-pointer on the final play that would’ve sent the game to overtime. Wisconsin-Green Bay is now 14-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

“Nobody is going to give us credit for defense. We were pretty damn good on defense tonight … It was like two fighters going at each other,” Kampe said. 

After the game, senior forward Corey Petros talked about bouncing back from the Detroit debacle: “Great practice always leads to a great game, we were enthused for it, we were ready to redeem ourselves against the No. 1 seed.” 

Former Oakland star Travis Bader was honored at halftime during a ceremony and his jersey was hung on the wall of the O’rena to commemorate his three-point shooting prowess through his five years at Oakland.

Oakland will play Albion at home Sunday at 3 p.m. before returning to Horizon League play at home Thursday against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the third of five straight games in the O’rena.