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February 14, 2014

Oakland University basketball completes sweep against University of Detroit Mercy

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

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Oakland forward Ralph Hill is pictured dunking the ball during the Golden Grizzlies game against the University of Detroit Mercy. Oakland swept the regular-season series against the Titans via an 83-82 overtime victory Feb. 14 at the O'Rena.

ROCHESTER — An 83-82 overtime victory by Oakland University's men's basketball team against the University of Detroit Mercy Feb. 14 at the O'rena gave the Golden Grizzlies' program a regular-season sweep in this the first season of the anticipated Horizon League rivalry.

After both Oakland's men's and women's teams beat Detroit at Calihan Hall Jan.11, each was also able to protect home court, as the Golden Grizzlies' women's team defeated the Titans 97-78  Feb. 13 at the O'Rena.

The Titans were unable to hold onto five-point leads in both the second half and overtime. With Detroit holding an 82-81 lead, Oakland guard Duke Mondy hit what turned out to be the game-winning shot with 8.8 seconds remaining in overtime.

The teams played in front of a record-braking crowd of 4.065, and the atmosphere inside the O'Rena didn't escape the attention of Oakland  coach Greg Kampe.

"We played Michigan State, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Missouiri, Marquette, in this building," he said. "It's never been as full, it's never been as loud, and there's never been the excitement on campus there was this week."

While he may not have been pleased with the results, the potential for a healthy rivalry that could last for years to come was not lost on Detroit coach Ray McCallum following the game.

"The thing I like is there was 7,000 in our building," he said. "We've had nationally-ranked teams come in — didn't get that. Great interest in the area. It's great for our guys to play in good environments."

Detroit forward Juwan Howard, Jr. led all scorers with 33 points. Travis Bader's 30 points led Oakland.

Oakland is scheduled to play at 1 p.m. Feb. 16 in a home game against Wright State.

The Titans are scheduled to play at 8 p.m. Feb. 18 in a road game against UIC.