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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 5 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Athletics Center O'rena (3,000) Rochester, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: MSU 10-5, OU 9-1. Away Record: MSU 3-10, OU 6-13. Neutral Record: MSU 0-0, OU 0-0. Conference Record: MSU 7-7, OU 10-5. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Oakland Golden Grizzlies are back at the Athletics Center O'rena for the first of two home games to close out the regular season, as they are set to host the Morehead State Eagles in a BracketBuster matchup.
Oakland ended a three-game road trip with a 77-71 setback at Fort Wayne on Wednesday night, which snapped a season-long, seven-game winning streak. The Grizzlies have been dominant in Rochester, Michigan, and are looking to extend their February homecourt winning streak to 20 in a row.
Meanwhile, Morehead State had a modest two-game win streak snapped in Wednesday's 106-100 double-overtime loss to OVC West leader Murray State. That marked the final regular-season home game for the Eagles, who will wrap up their schedule with three straight on the road. Next up, they'll travel to Tennessee State on Thursday followed by Tennessee Tech next Saturday.
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.
The Eagles trailed Murray State by 20 with 10:32 remaining in the second half of Wednesday's game, but they managed to climb all the way back with a 36-16 run to force overtime. Morehead State appeared to be in control after opening the first overtime on a 7-0 run, although Murray State answered right back with an 8-1 spurt to force the second overtime. The Racers simply had more gas left in the tank, as they scored 19 points in the final five minutes to seal the outcome. For Morehead State, Milton Chavis (10.8 ppg) led the way with 22 points in 28 minutes of floor time. Bakari Turner added 19 points off the bench, while Devon Atkinson tallied 13 points and 10 assists, albeit with seven turnovers. Kahlil Owens (13 points) and Angelo Warner (12 points, nine rebounds) rounded out the unit's double-digit scorers.
Leading the way for Oakland is redshirt junior guard Travis Bader, the Summit League's No. 2 scorer with 22.2 ppg. Bader's 125 3-pointers tops the country, and that total also stands as the second-best mark in league history. With six more threes, Bader would break the all-time school record of 348, set by Erik Kangas from 2005-09. After Bader, Corey Petros (12.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg) and Duke Mondy (12.2 ppg, 5.2 apg) have provided steady contributions. Mondy leads the nation with 91 steals on the season, a mark that has already surpassed the single-season school record. Drew Valentine (9.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg) has also come on strong of late, having shot 63 percent over the last 11 games, with five straight double-digit scoring efforts. Even with such a deep core, it was a disastrous effort at the foul line that cost the Grizzlies in their contest against IPFW earlier this week. As a team, they made only 16-of-29 attempts (.550) at the charity stripe, marking OU's second-worst performance of the season.
The Eagles put up a very good fight against a solid Murray State squad, but they'll be hard-pressed to knock off an Oakland team that has won 14 of its last 15 home games.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oakland 78, Morehead State 70
02/23 11:04:47 ET
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