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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Working OT: Finishing touches on Western Illinois game

Freshman Matt Poches made his first career start, playing 21 minutes and grabbing four rebounds for the Golden Grizzlies. He didn't score, but Poches did come up with a key defensive stop on Western Illinois' Ceola Clark at the end of overtime to help send the game to a second OT. He was matched up late with Clark after all-everything forward Drew Valentine fouled out 4:09 to play in the first OT.
Some highlights: Reggie Hamilton, who entered Saturday's game as the nation's second-leading scorer, had his second 40-point performance of the season. He hit a career-high nine 3s ... The Grizzlies posted 10 more rebounds than the Leathernecks, limiting them to just four offensive rebounds. ... It took two overtimes, but the Grizzlies neared their 79.1 points per game average against the best defensive team in regards to scoring. The Leathernecks were allowing just 61 points per game prior to Saturday. ... Oakland limited Leathernecks leading rebounder Terell Parks by luring him into foul trouble. ... The Grizzlies have now won four games this season decided by five or fewer points. .... Oakland held Western Illinois to 50 points in regulation, a season-best in league play.
Low beams: Just four Oakland players scored with three starters failing to score a single point. ... Poches' start was facilitated by academic issues facing sophomore Ryan Bass, who had started the previous eight games. Bass didn't make the trip. ... Oakland continued its terrible free-throw shooting, going 14 of 30 (47 percent). The Grizzlies, in fact, shot better from 3-point range, 12 of 26, than they did from the free-throw line. Hamilton, typically good from the line when his team struggles, was just 5 of 9. ... The 50 points Oakland scored in regulation is a season-low.

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