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December 14, 2013

Michigan State basketball edges Oakland at the Palace

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

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Michigan State basketball edges Oakland at the Palace
Michigan State got the best of Oakland University Dec. 14 in a game played at The Palace 67-63.

AUBURN HILLS — Entering Saturday's game against Michigan State University, Oakland University had already played a tough schedule.

Given that Michigan State came in ranked as the No. 5 team in the country, according to a USA Today Coaches Poll, things weren't necessarily expected to get any easier when the two teams met up at The Palace of Auburn Hills Dec. 14. And while Oakland was able to keep things interesting, it was the Spartans who came away with a 67-63 victory.

Oakland (2-9) held leads in both the first and second half of play, but was unable to get the defensive stops it needed in the final minutes of the game, as the Golden Grizzlies left the Palace having still never beaten Michigan State.

"Dissapointed," said Oakland coach Greg Kampe. "There's no moral victories anymore at Oakland. We passed that years ago. We're here to win. I thought our kids played their hearts out. Unfortunately, Michigan State, at the time you had to be good, they were just too good."

Oakland guard Travis Bader has gotten the attention of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.

"We did a decent job on Bader," he said. "He goes 5-for-20, but I tell you what, I love that kid — if there's ever a kid that deserves to have success. He was in our gym every single day (about) sixth grade on (because) his dad worked for me. He deserves all the success he can have."

Oakland is next scheduled to play at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 in a home game against Illinois State.

The Spartans (8-1) are scheduled to face North Florida at 7 p.m. Dec.17 at home.

Duke Mondy led Oakland with 24 points, with Bader contributing 18.

Keith Appling scored 21 points for Michiga State, with Adreian Payne adding 20.

 

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.