Rochester, MI – In front of record crowd and a national TV audience on ESPNU, Oakland University (MI) and the University of Detroit put on a show. Although the two schools are only separated by 20 miles they had not played each other in 10 years. So when Oakland (10-17, 5-7) joined the Horizon League last summer everyone had their two meetings circled on the calendar. In the first meeting Oakland upset Detroit (12-15, 5-7) on their home floor so the Titans came in looking for payback.
From the opening tip the play was physical. Detroit jumped to an early 7-2 lead thanks to a three by junior forward Juwan Howard Jr. (son of former NBA player Juwan Howard). Oakland took their first lead of the game 27-24 at the 6:46 mark on senior guard Travis Bader’s three. No team would lead by more than two the rest of the half as the Golden Grizzlies led 38-36 at the half.
Oakland started quickly in the second half and built a 49-41 on another Bader three but Detroit responded with a 9-0 run of its own later in the half to take their first lead of the second half 59-58. From there neither team would lead by more than three the rest of regulation. Oakland, finding itself down three with 26 seconds left, once again looked to Bader. Bader nailed another three, one of his eight on the night to force overtime. Down one with 8.8 seconds left in OT Oakland’s senior guard Duke Mondy hit a 15 foot jumper and the sweep of the Titans was complete.
Travis Bader put on another show from behind the arc. Last week he passed Duke’s J.J. Redick to become the NCAA’s all-time leader in three point field goals made. Since breaking the record all Bader has done is make ten threes against the University of Milwaukee to go along with his eight last night. Bader can score off ball screens, curls, and in transition. His range is out to the NBA three. Bader can make difficult shots look easy and if you run him off the three point line he can finish at the rim. NBA scouts have taken notice of his deep shooting ability and he definitely will receive an opportunity to at least make a NBA training camp roster.
Not to be out-done Oakland’s freshmen point guard Kahlil Felder earned only the eighth triple double of the season by a division one player. Felder standing at 5’9 scored 15 points, handed out 11 assists and pulled down ten rebounds. Detroit was led by Howard’s great performance; he scored 33 points to go along with six rebounds despite suffering from leg cramps in the second half and overtime.
Derek LeFevre is a Scout and Correspondent for NetScouts Basketball.