Saturday's state men: 'It's about time' for Detroit Mercy, which snaps skid against Oakland

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The streak is over.

Detroit Mercy, behind 27 points from Antoine Davis and a flurry of 3-pointers midway through the second half, beat Oakland, 82-72, on Saturday afternoon at the O'Rena in Rochester.

The game ended Oakland's 10-game winning streak in the series, and gave the Titans their first victory over their chief rival in 1,472 days. Detroit Mercy's last win in the series came Jan. 13, 2017.

Detroit Mercy's Antoine Davis

Detroit Mercy head coach Mike Davis had been 0-7 before Saturday.

"To be honest with you, our guys have gotta understand how big this game is," Davis said. "There's a look in your eye and approach to it you have to have.

"And I didn't see it until today. This game means a lot to the fans, and if you're going to be a Detroit Titan, then you have to understand what it means to play in this game.

"It's the first time, starting with the second half (Friday) that you've seen us fight like it means something."

Detroit Mercy (4-8, 3-5 Horizon League) lost the first three games to Oakland this year, and trailed by 27 in the second half Friday before storming all the way back to within a point. Oakland eventually won.

But the Titans kept it going early Saturday, scoring 18 in the first 3 minutes, 43 seconds. 

Davis, the junior guard who's been among the nation's leading scorers the last two seasons but struggled mightily out of the gate this season, had nine of those points.

BOX SCORE: Detroit Mercy 82, Oakland 72

When the game ended, Davis let out a giant roar, and kept screaming as he walked down the tunnel to the visiting locker room.

"It's about time," said Davis, who was 5-for-10 on 3-pointers, and added seven assists. "Even though through the years we've had the team to do it, to beat them, it just always came down to them being tougher than us. Today, we were tougher than them."

Noah Waterman, the 6-foot-10 Detroit Mercy guard and Niagara transfer, scored 18 with four 3-pointers and had eight rebounds, as he's starting to heat up after spending nearly a month in quarantine since practice began late in the summer.

Dwayne Rose Jr., Derrick's nephew who entered the starting lineup as a reward for being a part of Friday's comeback, scored 16, and Bul Kuol had 10 points and nine rebounds.

For Oakland (6-13, 6-6), Rashad Willaims scored 24 and Jalen Moore 23. Moore also had 11 assists, a day after he posted Oakland's first triple-double since Kay Felder in the 2016-17 season.

Oakland's Greg Kampe celebrates during Friday's win over Detroit Mercy.

But it wasn't enough for the Golden Grizzlies, who switched up the defense late in the second half to put a triangle-and-two on Davis and Kuol — and it worked with several turnovers. But the Golden Grizzlies didn't capitalize enough on the offensive end — a missed dunk by Daniel Oladapo stands out — and didn't get some of the calls they were looking for. A Moore steal and fastbreak layup attempt ended with Detroit's Matt Johnson stripping it and not being called for the foul. The next possession, Oladapo nabbed a steal, but threw the ball away. And by then, with a minute left, tempers boiled over.

Oakland coach Greg Kampe and Moore both were called for technicals with just under a minute left, sending Davis to the free-throw line for four. He made them all, extending the lead to eight and all but sealing it.

The technicals probably didn't change the outcome — Oakland would've had to start fouling anyway, and Detroit Mercy makes its free throws — but it was a tough way for another good game between rivals to end.

"Jalen was just defending his coach," Kampe said. "Anybody that's upset, they should be upset at me. That basically ended the game. In a nutshell, the streak's over and we've gotta move on.

"I've said all year that Detroit's a really good basketball team. I've told everybody that. They're very talented, very well-coached, all the things I've said all year I think you saw in the second half last night.

"When they're hitting on all cylinders, that's how good they are."

Micah Parrish had eight rebounds for Oakland, as did Zion Young, who didn't score a night after going 9-for-9 on 3-pointers and finishing with 28 points.

Oakland's win streak tied the longest in the series; Detroit Mercy won the first 10 of the rivalry, which dates to 1973. Since 2000, Detroit Mercy has won just four times in 21 tries. Oakland had won the first three this season, including Friday's game, 86-81.

More state men

Akron 79, (at) Western Michigan 68: Loren Cristian Jackson had 32 points and made 13 of 14 from the free-throw line. He added six assists.

Mikal Dawson had 13 points for Akron (8-3, 6-2 Mid-American Conference), which earned its fourth straight victory. Enrique Freeman added 10 rebounds.

Greg Lee scored a career-high 22 points for the Broncos (2-9, 1-5), whose losing streak reached five. Adrian Martin added 11 points.

Miami (Ohio) 85, (at) Eastern Michigan 63: Dae Dae Grant had a career-high 28 points, and made a career-high six 3-pointers, missing just one and added six rebounds.

Dalonte Brown had 16 points and seven rebounds for Miami (Ohio) (7-4, 4-2 Mid-American Conference).

Miami (Ohio) dominated the first half and led 42-23 at halftime. Both teams set season records for scoring in the first half. The RedHawks’ 42 points set their mark for the season while the 23 points for the Eagles were their fewest of the season.

Drew Lowder had 11 points for the Eagles (4-7, 1-6). Yeikson Montero added eight rebounds.

(At) Northwood 67, Wayne State 66: Jack Ammerman made a 3-pointer with 1 second left to win it for Northwood (4-2). Scott Maurion scored 20 and Ammerman 13 for Northwood. Brailen Neely scored 19 and Darian Owens-White 14 for Wayne State (3-3).

Twitter: @tonypaul1984