Detroit — Motor City Madness is back for a third year.
The Horizon League men’s and women’s tournaments are under way at Little Caesars Arena, having moved over from Joe Louis Arena.
Games began Friday and continue through Tuesday’s championship games. Tournament winners earn automatic bids into their respective NCAA Tournaments.
Follow along as The News provides regular updates from courtside.
Men's, Final — No. 2 Wright State 74, No. 8 Cleveland State 57
Wright State coach Scott Nagy met the media Tuesday night following a 74-57 victory over Cleveland State in the Horizon League championship game at Little Caesars Arena.
Cleveland State was trying to become just the third team ever to make the men's NCAA Tournament with 20 losses or more (Liberty 2013, Coppin State 2008), but the Vikings' magical late-season run came crashing down during the second half of the championship game. Senior guard Grant Benzinger scored 19 for Wright State, which used its size and length (12 offensive rebounds, 19 second-chance points) to secure its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. Horizon League freshman of the year Loudon Love had 12 rebounds for Wright State. For Cleveland State, Detroit Cass Tech alumnus Kenny Carpenter paced the effort with 18 points. The Vikings were done in by poor 3-point shooting, including a 2-for-12 effort in the first half.
■Grant Benzinger, Wright State, MVP
■Loudon Love, Wright State
■Tyree Appleby, Cleveland State
■Kenny Carpenter, Cleveland State
■Khalil Small, Green Bay
Cleveland State's Kenny Carpenter met the media Tuesday night following a 74-57 loss to Wright State in the Horizon League championship game at Little Caesars Arena.
Women's, Final — No. 1 Green Bay 62, No. 3 Wright State 44
Green Bay women's coach Kevin Borseth met the media Tuesday afternoon following a 62-44 victory over Wright State in the Horizon League championship game at Little Caesars Arena.
Surprise, surprise, Green Bay is the Horizon League women's tournament champion yet again. This marks the Phoenix's seventh tournament championship in the last eight years, including the last two years in Detroit, after cruising past the Raiders. Kevin Borseth, Green Bay's coach over two stints, is taking the team to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time in 15 years. Between his two stints as Green Bay's coach, he spent five seasons at Michigan. Senior guard Allie LeClaire led the way for the Phoenix with 24 points, while classmate Jessica Lindstrom had a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. For Wright State, senior Lexi Smith scored 14 and senior Chelsea Smith 13, including 9-for-11 from the free-throw line.
■Allie LeClaire, Green Bay, MVP
■Jessica Lindstrom, Green Bay
■Jen Wellnitz, Green Bay
■Mackenzie Taylor, Wright State
■Chelsea Welch, Wright State
Men's, Semifinal 1 — No. 8 Cleveland State 44, No. 4 Oakland 43
Oakland coach Greg Kampe met the media Monday night following a 44-43 loss to Cleveland State in the Horizon League tournament semifinals at Little Caesars Arena.
Oakland seniors Jalen Hayes and Kendrick Nunn met the media Monday night following a 44-43 loss to Cleveland State in the Horizon League tournament semifinals at Little Caesars Arena.
It's another March disappointment for Greg Kampe and Co., as the Golden Grizzlies still haven't made a league tournament final since 2011 in the Summit League. Kendrick Nunn scored 19 and had a chance to win it, but missed the floater as time expired. Jalen Hayes had 20 points. Isaiah Brock (two points) and Chris Palombizio (two) were the only other Oakland player to score. Meanwhile, Cleveland State becomes the first No. 8 seed to make the Horizon League tournament final since Wright State in 1995. It's going to be a long offseason for Kampe, who entered the season with huge expectations, only to see his team decimated by a slew of injuries.
Cleveland State coach Dennis Felton met the media Monday night following a 44-43 victory over Oakland in the Horizon League tournament semifinals at Little Caesars Arena.
Cleveland State's Kenny Carpenter, a former Detroit Cass Tech star, met the media Monday night following a 44-43 victory over Oakland in the Horizon League tournament semifinals at Little Caesars Arena.
Men's, Semifinal 2 — No. 2 Wright State 59, No. 6 Milwaukee 53
For the first time in three years of Motor City Madness, we will be treated to seeing one of the top two seeds in the championship game, as Wright State held off Milwaukee in the final semifinal Monday night. Last year, a No. 4 and a No. 10 seed played in the final, and two years ago, it was a No. 3 and a No. 4 seed. Wright State will meet upstart Cleveland State, the No. 8 seed, which stunned fourth-seeded Oakland earlier Monday. Leading the way for Wright State was freshman Loudon Love, with 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting, to go with his 12 rebounds. For Milwaukee, which played in the final a year ago as a No. 10 seed, junior Jeremiah Bell finished with 22 points.
Women's, Semifinal 1 — No. 1 Green Bay 66, No. 5 Youngstown State 45
No real surprise here. Green Bay, ranked No. 21 in the country and a regular participant in the Horizon League championship game, has made yet another final, easily dismantling the Penguins in the first of four semifinals at Little Caesars Arena on Monday. Youngstown State actually held a brief halftime lead, but Green Bay, coached by former Michigan coach Kevin Borseth, used a dominating third quarter (21-5) to ice it. Jessica Lindstrom scored 17 to lead the Phoenix, who play at noon Tuesday against Wright State. Sarah Cash scored 12 for the Penguins.
Women's, Semifinal 2 — No. 3 Wright State 60, No. 2 IUPUI 52
Wright State used a monster fourth quarter to upset IUPUI in the second women's semifinal, helping erase a six-point halftime deficit. Wright State advances to meet heavy favorite and nationally ranked Green Bay in Tuesday's title game. Senior Chelsea Welch led the attack for Wright State, with 17 points, among four players finishing in double figures. She also had eight assists. For IUPUI, which replaced departing Valparaiso in the Horizon League this year, senior Danielle Lawrence scored 17 and red-shirt freshman Anaiah Williams had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Men's, Game 6 — No. 4 Oakland 62, No. 5 IUPUI 55
Oakland coach Greg Kampe met the media Sunday night following a 62-55 victory over IUPUI in the Horizon League tournament at Little Caesars Arena.
Despite an off-night from the nation's second-leading scorer, Kendrick Nunn, and despite big-time early foul trouble with Jalen Hayes and Isaiah Brock, the Golden Grizzlies survived and advanced to Monday's semifinals, where they will meet No. 8 seed Cleveland State at 7. It's Oakland's first Horizon League tournament victory since its first year in the league, in 2014, after being upset each of the last three years. Defense was huge, especially by Brock, who had six blocks, none bigger than his last one in the final minute. He also had 10 points. Nunn had 18 points to lead the way. Hayes and Nick Daniels, the latter with leg cramping, each added 13 points.
Oakland's Jalen Hayes and Nick Daniels met the media Sunday night following a 62-55 victory over IUPUI in the Horizon League tournament at Little Caesars Arena.
Men's, Game 5 — No. 6 Milwaukee 80, No. 3 UIC 75
Boy, the Horizon League tournament, at least in its short, three-year stay in Detroit, has been tough for the better seeds. No. 1 Northern Kentucky fell Saturday night, and No. 3 UIC fell Sunday, as Milwaukee advanced to Monday night's 9:30 semifinal against No. 2 Wright State. Milwaukee is trying to make another miracle run to the Horizon League championship game, like it did last year. Junior Brock Stull scored 25 to lead the Panthers, who led by nine with 2:50 to go, and then held off a little, late Flames rally. Senior Brett Pahl scored 14 and junior Jeremiah Bell 12. For UIC, sophomore Tarkus Ferguson led the attack with 23 points.
Women's, Game 5 — No. 3 Wright State 83, No. 6 Cleveland State 61
Both Wright State teams are in the Horizon League tournament semifinals, after the women's team rolled over Cleveland State in the opener of Day 3 at Little Caesars Arena. Wright State will play in Monday's 3:30 semifinal, against second-seeded IUPUI. The Raiders were led by junior Mackenzie Taylor, who scored 24, while senior Chelsea Welch had 20 points to go with 11 rebounds. Wright State outrebounded Cleveland State, 52-32. Sophomore Jade Ely led Cleveland State, scoring 19.
Women's, Game 6 — No. 5 Youngstown State 62, No. 4 Milwaukee 58
The Horizon League women's semifinals are set, with Youngstown State winning a thriller in the final women's game of Sunday's action. The Penguins raced out early and led by 15 entering the fourth quarter, before holding off a furious rally from Milwaukee. Red-shirt junior Sarah Cash scored 24 to lead Youngstown State, on 9-for-21 shooting. Senior Jenny Linder scored 14 and had 15 rebounds for Milwaukee. Youngstown State will play top-seeded and nationally ranked Green Bay in Monday's 1 p.m. semifinal.
(For all Saturday and Friday game recaps, as well as all the Horizon League headlines from tournament week, scroll down.)
■Green Bay 93, Detroit Mercy 81
■Cleveland State 72, Youngstown State 71
■Wright State 87, Green Bay 72
■Cleveland State 89, Northern Kentucky 80
■Milwaukee 80, UIC 75
■Oakland 62, IUPUI 55
■Cleveland State 44, Oakland 43
■Wright State 59, Milwaukee 53
■Wright State 74, Cleveland State 57
■Oakland 80, UIC 46
■Northern Kentucky 76, Detroit Mercy 61
■IUPUI 56, Oakland 49
■Green Bay 62, Northern Kentucky 49
■Wright State 83, Cleveland State 61
■Youngstown State 62, Milwaukee 58
■Green Bay 66, Youngstown State 45
■Wright State 60, IUPUI 52
■Green Bay 62, Wright State 44
BROWSE THE HEADLINES
OAKLAND GEARING UP FOR SUNDAY NIGHT'S OPENER
Detroit News writer Tony Paul and Oakland University play-by-play man Neal Ruhl preview the Golden Grizzlies' Horizon League opener, set for 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Little Caesars Arena.
Oakland's history in the Horizon League tournament isn't good, at all. It's been a 1 seed and a 2 seed, and lost. It's opened on a Saturday and a Monday, and lost.
Maybe being a 4 seed and opening on a Sunday will change things up.
The Golden Grizzles went through morning shootaround Saturday, ahead of Sunday night's game against IUPUI.
Following the casual, low-key workout, coach Greg Kampe spoke to The Detroit News about his team's past Horizon League tournament struggles, and the significant pressure he feels to get the job done this year.
Oakland coach Greg Kampe talked to The News following a morning shootaround Saturday at Little Caesars Arena, ahead of Sunday night's Horizon League tournament game against IUPUI.
SATURDAY'S GAME RECAPS
Men's, Game 3 — No. 2 Wright State 87, No. 7 Green Bay 72
Green Bay coach Linc Darner was hoping playing on the opening day would give his team a leg up on Day 2 of the Horizon League tournament, but no dice. Wright State held the Phoenix scoreless for the first seven minutes and two for the first eight-and-a-half minutes and cruised in advancing to Monday night's 9:30 semifinal against the winner of Sunday's UIC-Milwaukee game. Six players scored in double figures for Wright State, led by Loudon Love's 17 points. Cole Gentry added 16 points, and Grant Benzinger and Everett Winchester each scored 15. For Green Bay, Khalil Small led the way with 34 points on 10-for-18 shooting, including 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.
Men's, Game 4 — No. 8 Cleveland State 89, No. 1 Northern Kentucky 80
For the third consecutive year, the No. 1 seed in the Horizon League men's tournament is one-and-done. Valparaiso was stunned two years ago, Oakland a year ago, and Northern Kentucky — the defending tournament champion — this time. Cleveland State didn't grab its first lead until there was 3:49 left in the game. But the Vikings really turned it on late, with back-to-back 3-pointers by Stefan Kenic and Tyree Appleby — set up by a pair of Norse turnovers — to take an 83-75 lead and all but seal it. That sends Cleveland State into Monday's semifinal against the winner of Sunday's Oakland-IUPUI game. Appleby led the way with 24 points, 12-of-15 on free throws.
Women's, Game 3 — No. 2 IUPUI 56, No. 7 Oakland 49
Oakland women's coach Jeff Tungate met the media Saturday following a 56-49 loss to IUPUI at Little Caesars Arena.
As hot as Oakland started in Friday's opening victory, it was the reverse Saturday, as the Golden Grizzlies couldn't buy a bucket early and trailed by 12 after the first quarter. Still, Oakland battled and, despite trailing by as much as 16 in the first half, cut the deficit to a single possession late in the game before IUPUI pulled away and advanced to Monday's 3:30 semifinal. Meanwhile, Oakland finishes 15-16, but with the memories of securing its first Horizon League tournament victory, as well as a win in the first women's game in LCA history. Senior forward Leah Somerfield led Oakland with 13 points, and red-shirt senior guard Sha'Keya Graves 10 before fouling out.
Women's, Game 4 — No. 1 Green Bay 62, No. 8 Northern Kentucky 49
No. 21-ranked Green Bay, led by former Michigan women's coach Kevin Borseth, was put to the test in its Horizon League opener, trailing by three points, 27-24, at halftime. But the Phoenix rallied back and moved on to Monday's 1 p.m. semifinal to meet the winner of Sunday's Milwaukee-Youngstown State game. Green Bay also is now just two wins away from it's seventh Horizon League tournament championship in eight years, and ninth in 11 years. Allie Leclaire led Green Bay with 21 points and Jessica Lindstrom scored 14. Lindstrom also had 12 rebounds. Northern Kentucky, which beat Green Bay during the regular season, was led by Molly Glick's 16 points.
FRIDAY'S GAME RECAPS
Men's, Game 1 — No. 7 Green Bay 93, No. 10 Detroit Mercy 81
Detroit Mercy men's coach Bacari Alexander met the media Friday following a 93-81 loss to Green Bay in the Horizon League tournament at Little Caesars Arena.
A wildly tumultuous season, and it ended in more disappointment for Detroit Mercy, with a first-round exit in the Horizon League tournament. The Titans made it interesting in the second half, after falling behind early, but Green Bay's 3-point shooting (13-for-23) was too much to overcome. The 24 losses by the Titans are the most in program history, eclipsing 23 from a year ago, and two other seasons (2008 and 2009). Sophomore guard Kameron Hankerson of Novi was unconscious for Green Bay, with a career-best 36 points on 12-for-17 shooting. Junior forward Kam Chatman led Detroit Mercy with 20. Green Bay plays 2 seed Wright State at 5:30 on Saturday.
Men's, Game 2 — No. 8 Cleveland State 72, No. 9 Youngstown State 71
Cleveland State coach Dennis Felton met the media Friday night following a 72-71 victory over Youngstown State at Little Caesars Arena. YSU's Cameron Morse, of Flint, was stopped at the buzzer.
The Horizon League saved the best for last on the opening night of the tournament, with Cleveland State and Youngstown State — both led by a pair of former Michigan prep stars — duking it out, before Cleveland State pulled it out to advance Saturday's 8 p.m. game with top-seeded Northern Kentucky. Senior guard Kenny Carpenter, a former Detroit Cass Tech star, led the Vikings with 22 points, including 4-for-6 on 3-pointers. Youngstown State senior guard Cameron Morse, a Flint native, finished with 13 points, and banked in a 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining to pull his team within one point. But the Penguins couldn't convert their last shot at the buzzer.
Women's, Game 1 — No. 7 Oakland 80, No. 10 UIC 46
Oakland women's basketball coach Jeff Tungate met the media Friday following an 80-46 victory over UIC in the Horizon League tournament at Little Caesars Arena.
Jeff Tungate's Oakland team has struggled with consistency this year, but when the Golden Grizzlies are hot, they're hot — and they were hot from the get-go in the first women's game in the history of Little Caesars Arena. Oakland led, 22-11, after the first quarter and 36-17 at halftime and never looked back. Junior guard Taylor Jones, the sixth player of the year, led the Golden Grizzlies with 20 points, senior Cierra Bond scored 19 and senior Leah Somerfield had 11 rebounds. Oakland plays second-seeded IUPUI at noon Saturday. This was Oakland's first-ever Horizon League tournament victory.
Women's, Game 2 — No. 8 Northern Kentucky 76, No. 9 Detroit Mercy 61
Detroit Mercy women's basketball coach Bernard Scott met the media Friday following a 76-61 loss to Northern Kentucky in the Horizon League tournament at Little Caesars Arena.
The worse season in Detroit Mercy women's basketball has come to an end. The Titans finished the season 2-28, setting a program record for fewest wins (four) and most losses (24), with the previous records set during the 1987-88 season. Detroit Mercy came out strong Friday, leading 17-12 after the first quarter, but sluggish starts to both the second and third quarters did in the Titans, who made the Horizon League championship game a year ago. Senior guard Nicole Urbanick led the Titans with 13 points. Northern Kentucky will play top-seeded Green Bay at 2:30 Saturday.