Horizon League Basketball: Takeaways from Oakland’s win over rival Detroit Mercy

Oakland defeats Detroit Mercy in Horizon League Basketball play. What were the takeaways from the game?

Approximately, 26 miles separate the University of Detroit Mercy and Oakland University. Not many rivals can say that they are that close in proximity to one another.  Both teams play in the Horizon League Basketball conference with Oakland joining the conference in 2013, and UDM being an original member of the conference.

Entering the game, the Golden Grizzlies won 16 of the last 21 games against the Titans. The rivalry is nicknamed the Metro Series and this game was one for the memory bank.

Detroit Mercy shot well beyond the arc in the first half

Detroit Mercy played well early and jumped out to a 6-0 lead on two D.J. Harvey three-pointers. Oakland would answer with a three-pointer from Micah Parrish but then the Titans Noah Waterman made a three to put UDM up 9-3 early. The first two-point field goal was not made until Harvey made a mid-range jumper just under the 16-minute mark. Antoine Davis made a three-pointer to help Detroit Mercy get out to an early 16-5 lead which was his 400th career three-pointer.

Waterman made his second three-pointer of the game to give UDM a 22-7 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Harvey made his third three of the game to give UDM a 25-13 point lead. Waterman made his third three of the game to give the Titans a 13 point lead with just over six minutes remaining in the first half.

UDM in the first half made eight of seventeen three-point attempts. The Titans shot 47.1% from three-point range with Waterman and Harvey each both making three of his five attempts from beyond the arc in the first half. Davis the star point guard for UDM made two three-pointers in the first half.

Jamal Cain and Micah Parrish keeps Oakland in the game in the first half

When Oakland switched out of their 1-3-1 zone to man to man on defense temporarily, the Golden Grizzlies when on a 6-0 run to shrink UDM’s lead to single-digits. Parrish and Cain kept the game from getting out of hand in the first half. Cain had 12 points and Parrish had nine with only three minutes remaining in the first half. The only other Oakland player to score at that point of the game was Jalen Moore with three points as the Golden Grizzlies trailed 30-24.

Parrish made two free throws with 1:37 remaining in the half to cut UDM’s lead to only four points. Cain would make two free throws with under a minute remaining in the half to make the score 32-30 with the Titans clinging to only a two-point lead.

Cain in the first half had 14 points on five for ten shooting from the field. He also made four of his five free throw attempts and had five rebounds and two steals in the first half. Parrish had 11 points, make all three of his free throw attempts, and had four rebounds in the first half.

Oakland stepped it up on both ends of the floor in the second half

After being down 32-30 at the half, the Golden Grizzlies offense and defense came alive in the second half behind a loud and energized home crowd. With just under eight minutes remaining in the game, Oakland had their first double-digit lead of the game as they led UDM by a score of 60-50. Osei Price made a three-pointer to give the Golden Grizzlies a 65-53 lead and Oakland’s defense stepped as well as Moore got a steal on the following Titan possession.

Moore with approximately five minutes remaining in the game made a layup with an impressive drive to the lane to give the Golden Grizzlies a 67-53 lead. Cain got an offensive rebound with just under three minutes remaining and made a basket to give Oakland a 71-57 lead. He would then make three free throws to give Oakland a 74-57 lead.

Cain finished the game as the leading scorer with 32 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals. Parrish ended the game with 17 points, six rebounds, and two steals. Moore had a much better second half and had 13 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds to end the game.

Oakland with their 75-59 victory improved to 11-4 in Horizon League play. Detroit Mercy with the loss drops to 7-6 in conference play. The Golden Grizzlies shot 53.6% from the field and made 12 out of their 15 free throw attempts in the second half. Oakland next plays Wright State at home which Detroit Mercy welcomes Northern Kentucky.