Titans continue to struggle against rival Oakland

The Grizzlies have won 12 of the last 13 games against Detroit Mercy. 

Antoine Davis, now second on the all-time NCAA scoring list, has had tremendous success on the court during his years in a Titan uniform.

But the fifth-year senior has struggled against bitter rival Oakland University, with the latest loss coming late last month in a 76-67 setback at Calihan Hall. Detroit has dropped two-straight since, and sits at 8-15 overall even as Davis continues to rewrite the record books.

The loss to Oakland marked the eighth-straight victory at Calihan Hall for Grizzlies Head Coach Greg Kampe. Detroit Mercy is 1-12 against Oakland in the past 13 meetings.

“One thing that I will say when I’m done coaching that will be in my top five memories is that we just won our eighth-straight game at Calihan Hall,” Kampe said. “Marquette had won seven and now we lead with eight-straight.”

This was also the first matchup between Davis and Oakland guard Rocket Watts, a transfer from Michigan State.

The game started in the Titans’ favor with Damezi Anderson leading the first half in scoring going 4-for-8 with eight points, but the Titans struggled for the majority of the half due to the Grizzlies defense forcing eight turnovers.

“I’m just flabbergasted by how the first half was executed defensively, I think they had 10 points for what seemed like 45 minutes in real time. It was just phenomenal,” said Kampe.

Watts would lead the scoring in the first half for Oakland with 10 points and four rebounds. Overall it was a slow night for Davis as some intense one-on-one matchups Watts, coupled by double-teams from Oakland’s defense, limited him to 14 points, his lowest total since 2020. 

Davis and A.J. Oliver would show life with a couple of three-pointers for the Titans, but the team trailed 38-25 at halftime.

The second half seemed as if the roles would switch up as Oliver would start the half with an impressive scoring run with five-straight made shots for the Titans. Oliver and Anderson would trim the deficit to single digits for the majority of the half, but the Grizzlies eventually pulled away as UDM fell into foul trouble as the game ended.

Detroit Mercy Head Coach Mike Davis appeared angered after the game that his players didn’t seem to understand the importance of the rivalry against Oakland.

“Not one team I’ve had even understood the concept of a rivalry game,” he said. “They played this game with less effort than they do any game.”

The Titans will get one more crack at the Grizzlies this season when they head to Rochester Hills for a matchup on Feb. 17.