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The Oakland Golden Grizzlies fall hard to their crosstown rivals, the Titans of Detroit Mercy, with a final score of 96-74. The Grizzlies came into this contest with a breath-holding victory over bottom-feeding team IUPUI Jaguars, the Titans off a win over Green Bay. This year's previous contest resulted in a crucial 76-67 road victory for the Grizzlies over their hated rival.
The game seemed lopsided from the get-go, and Oakland was unable to find their footing in this contest. They leave a stadium full of rabid fans bitterly disappointed in their team, and they leave their fate in the Horizon League Tournament seeding in question.
UD Mercy jumped out to an 18-7 lead under six minutes into the game, with Damezi Anderson, who hurt the Grizzlies in the last contest, making three three-pointers and a layup to get an early 11 points in the contest. The Grizzlies brought the game back to even. Both teams laid heavyweight punches for 10 minutes until Detroit Mercy found success from beyond the arc from their legendary three-point specialist Antoine Davis and brought the lead to 13 at the half.
What seemed like a manageable lead at half quickly was socked away by Detroit Mercy. The lead was 65-45 off one of many threes by Davis with 13:23 left on the clock, and Detroit Mercy deflated any semblance of energy by the 10-minute mark of the game.
Oakland tried to make a spirited comeback on the backs of Jalen Moore and good foul drawing, cutting the lead to 13 at the six-minute mark. The short burst of momentum was not enough to turn the tide, and the Titans held Oakland scoreless in the last 2:44 to win 96-74.
As of late, defensive woes have taken their toll on Oakland as head coach Greg Kampe credits the defensive efforts in the trenches of Horizon League play in January to their winning record in the league. This was Oakland's fifth game of the last six, where their opponent scored 80 points or more. With two top-scoring teams in Wright State and Northern Kentucky looming next week, Oakland has to make defensive adjustments to garner confidence and, more importantly, momentum as they head into the Horizon League Tournament.
Listen to Oakland's next matchup vs. the Wright State Raiders at the Orena on February 23rd, here on 88.3 FM WXOU.