DETROIT — Oakland ran off to a 52-34 first-half lead and stopped an end of the game rally by Detroit Mercy to take a 89-80 victory at Calihan Hall. The Golden Grizzlies got 23 from both Jalen Hayes and Sherron Dorsey-Walker and Martez Walker added 20 in a Horizon League contest.
A spirited and large crowd enjoyed ESPN’s Dick Vitale as he addressed the present day Detroit Mercy Titan supporters. His 1976-77 team was honored in a 40th season reunion celebration. The pep-band was energetic and kept the iconic fieldhouse a-rockin. Vitale said in typical and enthusiastic Vitale-speak, “In 1977, we had all of Detroit in the palm of our hands….baby.”
Former Coach Vitale along with assistant Smokey Gaines had tremendous success that year, going 25-4. Included in their NCAA Tournament season was a 21 game win-streak. Teammate Terry Duerod had his # 42 jersey retired. Duerod, a retired Detroit Firefighter, had plenty of DFD support at the game. He was joined by John Long, Dennis Boyd, Ron Bostick, Wilbert McCormick and the rest of the team for the reunion weekend.
In the Horizon League rivalry game, Hayes showcased his complete game for Oakland (19-7). He also had four steals and three blocked shots. Hayes scored eight points and Isaiah Brock had two dunks, two steals, three rebounds and one assist during a first-half Oakland 20-5 run.
Junior forward Jaleel Hogan and sophomore guard Josh McFolley each had 20-point nights for the Titans (6-19). Detroit Mercy would get to within eight points, 88-80, with 39 seconds left after Josh McFolley converted on all three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point shot.
The Horizon League has branded their playoffs as ‘Motor City Madness’ and the tournament will take place at Joe Louis Arena, March 3-7, in Detroit.
Photo courtesy of the Rolco Sports & Entertainment Network
1976-77 University of Detroit Titans – (25-4)