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Men's Basketball Defeats Detroit Mercy to Kick Off Horizon League Play

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Play-by-play: Giovanni Moceri

Color: Joey Hayes

Studio: Harjun Buttar

Make that 13 of 14.

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies knock off their crosstown rivals the Detroit Mercy Titans in a heavily-contested battle. The final score was 65-50.

Oakland came into this game beaming with pride after a nationally televised upset of Xavier on Monday night. Greg Kampe’s squad continues to show why they belong among the brass in the Horizon league. Still, Kampe did tamp expectations by saying that Oakland would have to get off on the right foot to start Horizon League play for him to feel more confident in his group. Coming into this game, the Grizzlies were favored by 7 points.

Detroit Mercy came into this game looking for their first win. They nearly pulled off the upset against Chris Beard’s Ole Miss Rebels at the Pavilion but came up short in the end. They have been struggling to keep afloat this season following the departure of Titans legend Antoine Davis, and are relying on their newcomers and last year’s bench players for a bulk of their points.

The first half was a defensive battle, and Detroit Mercy frustrated Oakland’s offense early. They forced crucial transition turnovers and limited Trey Townsend’s paint presence, which few teams have been able to execute effectively. Detroit Mercy maintained a lead for most of the first half and seemed poised to upset the Grizzlies. A late-first-half jumper from Chris Conway gave Oakland a lead they did not give up the rest of the contest.

Oakland pulled away from the Titans in the second half. They stopped the Titans in critical situations, overcoming Detroit head coach Mike Davis’ patent style of offensive set plays multiple times and forcing the Titans to commit fouls. Australian transfer Tuburu Naivalurua, whom Greg Kampe anticipates being a core member of the Grizzlies’ bench this year, had his Oakland coming out party, taking over the game late in the second half and giving the Titans difficult looks. A fourteen-point delta in the second half sealed the game for the Grizzlies.

This marked the fourth consecutive victory for Oakland, and their fifth on the year. They’ll look to notch a fifth-straight against Jon Coffman’s Purdue-Fort Wayne Mastodons in the O’rena on December 2nd.

Meanwhile, this marks the seventh-straight loss for the Detroit Mercy Titans, and their first conference loss. They’ll look to fight for their first win of the year in enemy territory against the Cleveland State Vikings at the Wolstein Center on December 2nd.

WXOU’s next broadcast will be Thursday, November 30th, when the Oakland women’s basketball team starts their Horizon League campaign against the Purdue-Fort Wayne Mastodons. Coverage will start at 7pm. You can listen right here at!

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