Men’s basketball splits series with Detroit, ending four-year streak

Kevin+Kangu+drives+to+the+basket+against+Detroit+Mercy+in+an+82-72+loss.+The+Golden+Grizzlies+won+the+day+prior%2C+splitting+the+second+series+of+the+year+with+UDM.

Sophie Hume

Kevin Kangu drives to the basket against Detroit Mercy in an 82-72 loss. The Golden Grizzlies won the day prior, splitting the second series of the year with UDM.

Michael Pearce, Editor-In-Chief

After four years without a loss to their cross-town rival, the men’s basketball team finally had their more than 1000-day streak broken.

The last time Detroit Mercy (UDM) beat OU — Jan. 17, 2017 — no current player was on the roster. Any senior on the team would either have been a senior in high school or a redshirt freshman in their college career. 

Finally, Head Coach Greg Kampe’s recent dominance over UDM came to an end, as Oakland split their home series against the Titans this past weekend. 

“They’ve got two elite players, and they’ve got pieces,” Kampe told GrizzVision. “To sit there and think you’re going to beat someone four times in a season — it’s not going to be easy. I think we were the ones that had the pressure on us, and we were the ones with our backs against the wall.”

The first game of the series on Friday, Jan. 22 was another win for OU. Multiple records were broken in a high-scoring, close game.

Zion Young set the record for the most consecutive 3-pointers made in Golden Grizzlies history, hitting 9-9 of his shots from deep, for a total of 28 points. 

Jalen Moore also recorded a triple-double, the first player to do so since Kay Felder in 2016. Moore grew up idolizing Felder, and now joins him in the OU record books.

On Friday, the Golden Grizzlies were hitting most of their shots. The team shot 53% from three and 51% of their total shots. They also got to the foul line more than the Titans, despite only hitting 65% of their free throws. 

A lot of this production came early, as Oakland took a 48-23 halftime lead. In the second half, the Titans fought back and made it a close game, but the first half lead proved to be insurmountable, and OU held on.

The 86-81 victory was the 10th in a row for Oakland over UDM. The next day, the Titans would come out stronger than they had in the first game.

In Saturday’s game, the Golden Grizzlies had the same second half struggles, but didn’t have the cushion of a 25-point halftime lead. The Titans came out hotter than they had the day before, and the first half wrapped up with Detroit on top, 37-34.

Rashad Williams scored 24, and Moore scored 23 and added 11 assists. Young and Micah Parrish also chipped in on the boards, grabbing a team-high eight rebounds each.

After scoring 30 points in Friday’s game, Antoine Davis of Detroit dropped another 27 en route to the first win against OU in his career. Davis and his father, Head Coach Mike Davis, are now 1-7 against OU. 

“When you play a good team and you play them four times, things are going to happen,” Kampe told GrizzVision. “They [Detroit] made the plays to win, they made the shots. We had a chance to get them where we wanted them and we just missed a dunk.” 

The 82-72 loss put the Golden Grizzlies at 6-6 in the Horizon League. Despite losing for the first time since 2017, Kampe was proud of his team.

“I’m really proud of my kids, I’m proud of the way we battled,” Kampe told GrizzVision. “It didn’t go our way tonight.”

Next up for Kampe and the team is a road series against the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons on Friday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 30 at 5 p.m.