Rashad Williams plays hero as Oakland sweeps Detroit Mercy in weekend series
Oakland head coach Greg Kampe was a little temperamental after beating Detroit Mercy on Saturday. Given the unique COVID-19-inspired tackles in the Horizon League this season, he knew his team wouldn’t have much time, less than 24 hours, to celebrate beating their main competitor.
Now Oakland has almost a week to enjoy a weekend of titans.
After perhaps the best game of the career of former JUCO All-American Jalen Moore in Oakland and a big step backwards and a contested 3-pointer from Rashad Williams with a lead of 1.4 seconds, Oakland rallied at Calihan Hall on Detroit Mercy (83 -80) over.
“This is a big step for us,” said Kampe, whose team started on a powerful 9-08 schedule that included a loss of overtime against Michigan and heavy losses against Michigan State and Oklahoma State. “We’re going to enjoy this. Damn right, we’re going to enjoy this.
“We still have a long way to go, but great players make great games.
“You win because your players are playing.”
On a weekend of great games, Oakland – who went 298 days without a win and then won twice in two days – knocked them down to sixth and seventh straight wins at Calihan in both games when it came down to it.
Detroit Mercy (1-7, 0-4) ended the game 12 seconds ahead when Noah Waterman lost his footing as he drove to the basket but somehow shoveled the pass over his shoulder to Willy Isiani, who was doing the layup.
Moore then took the ball on the court, trickled it to his right, and found Williams in the corner. Despite Isiani’s hands on his face, Williams emptied it, adding the finishing touches to a sometimes frustrating game for Oakland’s fiercest shooters.
“That shot was tough,” said Williams.
“I got it from a bounce pass and I had a big guy approaching me. My shot was short throughout the game so I just tossed it up and put more arcs on it so it could fall.”
It was Williams’ fifth 3-pointer of the game and the third of the second half. Another big came with 5:59 left to bring Oakland within 71-68.
After one final attempt to tie it, Detroit Mercy threw the pass away after Williams’ final shot.
For Oakland (2-9, 2-2) it is the ninth straight win in the series, and it has won 12 of 14 in the rivalry since Oakland joined the Horizon League five years ago.
Moore, who struggled with his shot this year, finished 9v12 with 23 points, one of his biggest marks by 40 seconds. With the gun running, he emptied a jump sweater. He also had seven templates, one of which came from the previous possession and was sent to Daniel Oladapo under the basket.
“This is my point guard,” said Williams. “He played a really complete game.
“He showed what he can do, what he can do best.”
Another transfer from Oakland, Zion Young had 19 points and Williams had 18. After a difficult first half, he made it big in the second half.
Williams calls Calihan “at home”. He comes from Detroit and has watched his uncle, Detroit Mercy legend Rashad Phillips, grow up.
In January, Williams hit a career high of 37 to beat Detroit Mercy in Calihan. On Sunday he played hero on his mother’s birthday. You no longer need to buy a gift.
However, he only got the chance on Sunday because Detroit Mercy shot early in the clock on the other end instead of unwinding it for the final shot. It’s a product of so many new faces who are still getting to know each other, said head coach Mike Davis.
“We did a lot of quick shots,” he said. “This team didn’t train together. This team only trained together for two days, I would say. We don’t know each other like we should. We’re getting better now. … These are the best pieces we’ve ever had . “
Oakland had gone through most of the game, including 24-10 early, but managed to return to the 44-42 lead at halftime. The Golden Grizzlies mixed up their defenses by using a press to get back in early and then box-and-one against Detroit Mercy star Antoine Davis in the second, Micah Parrish, Saturday star for Oakland, and did the tough there To lift.
BOX SCORE: Oakland 83, Detroit Mercy 80
Waterman had 19 points in just his second game for Detroit Mercy after being declared qualified after his transfer from Niagara, Davis 18 on four 3s and Bul Kuol was huge with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals . One of those bargains came at the end of the first half when he took it from Oakland and lay down all the way to the buzzer.
Detroit Mercy lost despite outperforming an opponent (32-29) for the first time that year. Nine players had multiple rebounds; Earlier this year it played a game with only seven. The Titans also outperformed the Golden Grizzlies with 54.2% to 50.8%.
Oakland won their first game in overtime, 77-75, on Saturday.
The teams are expected to meet again in Oakland January 22-23, giving rivals four regular season meetings for the first time – a scenario no team is happy with and a scenario that could change if the Horizon League hits a schedule finds opportunity.
“I don’t want … I know Mike doesn’t either,” said Kampe. “I’m telling you this about Detroit. This guy’s a really good coach, and he’s got talent here. You will grow and win. Your size is scary. Your length is scary. Antoine Davis is a good player like There Are Mid-Majors Bul, whatever his name is, Holy Christ, Waterman … he comes from the trees, where does he come from and has 19 points.
“(Davis) takes some time. I wouldn’t want to play her for the rest of the year.”
Detroit Mercy is expected to play at UIC Friday and Saturday, although this is doubtful at UIC in the COVID-19 protocol. It was the cancellation of the UIC this weekend that led to the spontaneous Detroit-Oakland series.
Oakland, meanwhile, will play Wright State on Friday and Saturday for the Golden Grizzlies’ first home games.
Twitter: @ tonypaul1984