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More Mid-Con Basketball News

Mid-Continent Tournament Update

By Scott Keisler


March 9th, 2005

Mid-Continent Champion: Oakland Shocks Oral Roberts


TULSA, OK – Nobody gave them a chance, but Oakland overcame all odds and defeated top seeded Oral Roberts 61-60 in the Mid-Continent Conference Championship game Tuesday night before a capacity crowd of 6,005.


The victory earns Oakland its first NCAA Tournament birth in school history under 21st year Head Coach Greg Kampe.  The Golden Grizzlies are in only their seventh year of Division I competition. 


Seniors Rawle Marshall and Cortney Scott were their usual selves for Oakland.  Scott turned in 19 points and 4 rebounds while Marshall added 18 and 8.


But it was Junior Guard Pierre Dukes who stole the show for the Golden Grizzlies.  Trailing 60-58 with time winding down, Dukes canned a contested 21-footer from the corner with 1.3 seconds remaining to propel OU into the lead.  Oral Roberts was unable to get a shot off and the celebration was on in Rochester, Michigan.


Dukes finished with 7 points.


Freshman guard Brandon Cassise also came up large for Oakland netting 11 points on 3-of-5 three-point shooting.  Oakland connected on 24-of-47 field goal attempts (51 percent) including 5-of-11 from long distance.  


Coach Kampe’s game plan was clear from the tip.  Offensively Oakland worked the shot clock and put the ball in the hands of Rawle Marshall and Cortney Scott.  Defensively the Grizzlies were outstanding, making ORU work for everything they got. 


Oakland held the ORU duo of Caleb Green and Ken Tutt to a combined 25 points, each well below their season average. 


Senior walk-on Andrew Meloy was a bright spot for Oral Roberts, scoring 12 points on  4-of-6 shooting.  Milloy scored 10 straight for ORU mid-way through the first half, including two three-point bombs.


Oral Roberts’ Achilles Heal was the free throw line, where the Golden Eagles connected on just 10-of-21 attempts.  Oral Roberts out-rebounded Oakland 29-23 in the loss.


Rawle Marshall was named Tournament MVP by averaging 20.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per contest in three tournament outings.  Oakland’s Cortney Scott and Oral Roberts’ Caleb Green, Ken Tutt, and Andrew Meloy joined Marshall on the All-Tournament team.  


For Oral Roberts the waiting game begins.  At 25-6, ORU is arguably a bubble team, but a Mid-Continent Conference squad has not earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1991 (Wisconsin-Green Bay). 


Not all is lost should the selection committee take a pass on Oral Roberts, as they are certain to get a NIT bid.  This will mark the second time in three seasons that two Mid-Con schools have qualified for post-season action.  In 2003 IUPUI qualified for the NCAA Tournament and Valparaiso played in the NIT.  



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