Men’s basketball drops overtime thriller to Northern Kentucky


Photo courtesy of Oakland University Athletics

Jalen Moore scored 24 points in a losing effort against Northern Kentucky.

The Oakland University men’s basketball team lost to the Northern Kentucky Norse 87-78 in overtime Friday night. 

Coming into this game, the Norse were winners of five in a row. They had been rising up the standings and many thought they would give the Golden Grizzlies a challenge. 

It was an action-packed first four minutes, with both teams forcing turnovers and finding success from behind the arc. The game had lived up to the hype early on as things were all knotted up at 8.

After the first media timeout, the hot 3-point shooting from the Golden Grizzlies continued. Jalen Moore hit a couple, including one from about 30 feet. Osei Price and Micah Parrish each made one as well as Oakland led 19-12 at the second media timeout.

There was no shortage of effort from either of these teams in the first half. Bodies were flying with every loose ball. 

Oakland led 38-26 at the half. The Golden Grizzlies were led by the usual suspects, Moore and Jamal Cain who each had 10 apiece. 

The key difference in the first half was simply Northern Kentucky’s poor shooting. They shot just 33% from the field, including a paltry 14.3% from 3-point land. 

The Norse forced eight first half turnovers, but only scored six points off those turnovers because they couldn’t hit shots. 

Northern Kentucky started the second half on a 7-0 run. The Golden Grizzlies didn’t hit a field goal until the 16:13 mark, when Osei Price hit a three as the crowd was just starting to get back into it. 

The Norse started to crank it up on defense following the under-16 timeout. They forced three straight Oakland turnovers that all led to points, trimming the lead all the way down to one to force Oakland Head Coach Greg Kampe to take a timeout. 

From here, Micah Parrish would score four straight points to push the lead back to 46-41, but NKU would respond with a 6-0 to take the lead.

Sam Vinson was a force for the Norse, with 14 points in the second half and 20 for the game. The game was deadlocked at 51 at the under-8 timeout. 

The script had completely flipped. NKU was getting shots to fall and Oakland either couldn’t or turned the ball over. The Norse had a seven-point lead with 3:06 left when Moore hit a huge three to keep the game within reach.

The Norse had several chances to put the game away, but kept missing the front ends of one-and-ones. 

With 5.1 seconds left and Oakland down three, Moore went coast to coast and hit a buzzer beater 3-pointer to send the game to overtime. 

The Norse started OT the same way they ended regulation: with efficient shooting and tough defense. Moore put Oakland on his back, with 24 points in total.

Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, Cain and Parrish both fouled out, which spread them pretty thin. In a last ditch effort, Moore tried racing down to court to draw a foul, but instead was called for traveling with 6.8 seconds to go.

This set Kampe off. He drew a double-technical foul, ejecting him from the game. His players had to restrain him.

The game was virtually over after NKU hit all the free throws. They won their sixth in a row, 87-78.

What ultimately did the Golden Grizzlies in was their inability to hold on to the ball. They had 17 turnovers, their highest since Dec. 4 at UIC. 

Oakland will now travel to Youngstown State to take on the Penguins on Wednesday, Feb. 9.