By Raymond Rolak | CNB Sports Editor
ROCHESTER--(Feb. 24, 2019)(CNBNewsnet)-- It was billed as a “Barn Burner,” the rivalry game between Detroit Mercy and Oakland University. The O’Rena was packed and it was standing room only. The 40-plus member Golden Grizzlies pep band for athletics had the record crowd charged-up and rocking.
Before the game, Oakland coach, Greg Kampe crossed the court and shook hands with longtime supporter and alumnus, Ken McCarter. The color guard from the Rochester Police Department looked sharp and well-ordered, while Chiara Clayton nailed the national anthem. All the while, public address announcer Kevin Beers kept revving up the home supporters with his version of, “Three pointer, 1-2-3.”
It was quite a show and Oakland responded better than expected. The Golden Grizzlies jumped out early and cruised over Detroit Mercy, 95-75.
On the Detroit Mercy ledger, Antoine Davis needed to make four 3-pointers to tie Stephen Curry's NCAA freshman record of 122. Davis, who scored 20 points, shot 3-for-10 from 3-point range. Davis entered the day as the nation's second-leading scorer at 26.6 points per game. His next opportunity will be at historic Calihan Hall, against IUPUI, Thursday at 7:00 P.M.
Coach Kampe said after the game, “Eighty-percent of their points come from three guys……we had a plan to shut those players down.” Braden Norris had a great game in the paint for Oakland, scoring 23. Xavier Hill-Mais added a game high 29 and Brad Brechting grabbed 12 boards.
Because of the outcome, it was also free pizza from Buddy’s for all those who attended. Buddy’s has a promotion, if Oakland wins and scores 85 or more points---free pizza.
Both teams are jockeying for Horizon League play-off positions and their final two games are essential. The Horizon League Finals will be March 11-12 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.