Friday’s basketball: Walker scores 25, Oakland cruises
Valparaiso, Ind. — Martez Walker scored 25 points and Oakland never trailed in a 78-66 victory over Valparaiso on Friday night.
Walker was 8 of 14 from the floor and made four 3-pointers. Stevie Clark had 16 points and five assists for Oakland (13-3, 3-0 Horizon League). Jalen Hayes added 12 points.
Alec Peters scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Valparaiso (11-4, 1-1). Peters has scored 20 or more in 15 of 17 games, and has nine double-doubles. Jaume Sorolla had 11 points and Shane Hammink chipped in 10 for the Crusaders.
The Golden Grizzlies had a four-point lead at halftime and stretched it to 15 points with 16:37 remaining. Valparaiso pulled to 56-51 with about 12 minutes left but didn’t get closer.
Eleven of the last 12 games in the series had been decided by six points or fewer entering Friday night.
(At) Illinois-Chicago 78, Detroit Mercy 64: Tarkus Ferguson had 16 points, six rebounds and six assists and Illinois-Chicago notched its first Horizon League win. The Flames (8-7, 1-1) recovered from a slow start — falling behind 9-2 — and mostly cruised after building a 40-25 lead at the break. The Titans (2-13, 0-3) had a 9-2 run to cut their deficit to 71-61 but got no closer.
Marcus Ottey added 12 points, and Tai Odiase and Michael Kolawole had 11 points each for UIC. Odiase also had a season-high eight blocks and Godwin Boahen had nine points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Jaleel Hogan had 17 points and four blocks for Detroit. Josh McFolley scored 13 and Corey Allen added 12 points and four steals.
The Titans had 10 steals and scored 27 points off 23 Flames turnovers. But UIC shot 57.8 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from 3-point range.
(At) Akron 66, Western Michigan 59: Isaiah Johnson had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Kwan Cheatham Jr. gave Akron (12-3, 2-0 Mid-American) the lead for good on a 3-pointer 61-58 with 1:10 left. He added a pair of free throws at 44 seconds, and Johnson another pair to make it 65-58 at 28 seconds. It was the Zips’ 25th straight home win.
Western Michigan’s Thomas Wilder and Akron’s Noah Robotham traded single free throws to cap the scoring.
The Broncos (4-10, 0-2) led 48-42 with 12:24 left and Akron scored 11 straight to lead by five on Jimond Ivey’s 3-pointer with 7:46 to go. Wilder and Tucker Haymond hit back-to-back 3s to give the Broncos their last lead at 54-53.
Cheatham finished with 14 points and Ivey 13 for Akron.
Wilder had 17 points, Haymond 13 and Reggie Jones 11 for Western Michigan.