Postgame Analysis: Oakland at Detroit Mercy
Make that 12 of 13, ladies and gentlemen.
With a 76-67 win over hated rivals Detroit Mercy, the Oakland Golden Grizzlies improve to 9-12 on the season and extend their Horizon League win total to 7, tying them with Youngstown State and Cleveland State for third place in Horizon League record. But more impressive was the 12th win in thirteen matchups for the Grizzlies in historic Calihan Hall, home court of the Detroit Mercy Titans. This win marks the current longest winning streak at Calihan Hall.
This was Oakland’s first look this season at Detroit Mercy legend Antoine Davis, who set the all-time career three-point record in their victory over Robert Morris. Banners for Davis’ accomplishments plastered the lower bowl of Calihan Hall, with signs marking how many points Davis had scored in his career. Coming into this game, Antoine Davis was just shy of 400 points behind Pete Maravich, who is currently the all-time career record scorer in NCAA history.
Per usual, Jalen Moore led the way for the Grizzlies, shooting a 32-piece with a side of 7 assists and 5 rebounds. Not far behind was Rocket Watts, who led the team in scoring in the first half with 12 points and finishing his night with 18. Oakland managed to get 32 rebounds as a team, just above their season average of 31. It is a focal point for head coach Greg Kampe during practices that the Grizzlies with the turnover battle, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
For the Titans, Damezi Anderson led the way for the Titans with a team-high 22 points. AJ Oliver posted a supportive 18 points and led the team with 9 rebounds. The Titans played aggressively in the paint all night and caused three of Oakland’s best to collect four personal fouls. As a team, the Titans managed to keep toe-to-toe with Oakland in the rebounding department, also posting 32 team rebounds.
Following a statement throwdown by Trey Townsend to give Oakland the night’s first points, Detroit Mercy responded with a 10-2 run in the first six minutes of play to put the Titans up 10-4. Oakland responded and after a free throw by Keaton Hervey to make the game 11-10 in Oakland’s favor, the Grizzlies never relinquished their lead.
With 3:11 left in the first half, a Rocket Watts layup put Oakland ahead by 20 points, 34-14. However, the Titans had cut the lead to thirteen at halftime. They were bolstered by AJ Oliver’s open three-pointer and Antoine Davis’s first 8 points of the night.
The second half began with the Grizzlies up 38-25. Detroit Mercy put Oakland through a spin cycle in the first eight minutes of the second half, going on a 16-8 run to shrink the lead to five. With 10:01 left in the game, Detroit Mercy was a layup away from tying the game. The score was 50-48. The Grizzlies found their groove, getting the lead up to 12 near the end. Fouls kept Jalen Moore going to the line, and Moore’s free throw shooting kept the raring Titans at bay long enough for Oakland to emerge victorious.
Oakland looks to exact revenge against Youngstown State on Friday night with a nationally-televised broadcast, win their third game in a row, and climb back up the Horizon League. Meanwhile, Detroit Mercy drops to 8-13 overall and 4-6 in conference play, with a hopeful rebound game against Robert Morris also on Friday.