The Detroit News
College Basketball : W. Michigan 91, Oakland 76
Rochester - The bruised and battered Western Michigan Broncos did what few teams have been able to do in past years Friday night at the O'rena, run Oakland off its own floor in handing the Grizzlies a 91-76 defeat before a near-capacity crowd of 3,415.
Western, with two starters sidelined by injuries, jumped out to a 14-5 lead with junior forward Nate Hutcheson scoring eight and making a pair of 3-pointers. Western never trailed, increasing its advantage to 18 at halftime (45-27) and extending the lead to as many as 23 to hand Oakland just its fourth home loss in the last three years.
And, Oakland coach Greg Kampe wasn't happy about it. When asked if it was in the game plan to leave Hutcheson open on the perimeter, he replied, "No, our defense is not designed to give anybody a wide-open shot with nobody 30 feet from them.
"Obviously, people who have been around a while don't see games like that in here very often, for the home team anyway," Kampe added. "It's pretty disappointing how we played and everything, but I think you have to tip your hat to Western Michigan. They played outstanding basketball.
"They kicked the crap out of us and they should have. I patted Mikey Douglas on the back after the game and told him we couldn't guard him. He had a heck of a game coming back home."
Douglas, a senior point guard from Detroit, did an outstanding job running Western's offense. He scored 19.
Douglas also did a good job of defending Oakland senior guard Reggie Hamilton, the nation's No. 3 scorer (22.7).
Douglas limited Hamilton to eight while Western built a 65-43 lead. Hamilton finished with 27 on 7-of-23 shooting (4-16 3-pointers). Oakland could pull no closer than 10 (81-71).
Western (5-7) opened the season with six straight losses. They have regrouped to win five of their last six, even with starters Flenard Whitfield (Detroit King, ankle) and guard David Brown (ACL injury) sidelined.
Western shot 55.6 percent from the field and made 10-of-22 3-pointers.
Oakland (8-6) entered the game with all five starters averaging in double figures, but it was Western which had all five in double figures with freshman guard Austin Richie leading the way (22 points, 4-of-8 3-pointers), followed by Douglas, 6-foot-10, 285-pound sophomore Matt Stainbrook (16 points, 8-of-11 shooting), Hutcheson (12 points) and Demetrius Ward (12 points).
"It was a great win for us," Western coach Steve Hawkins said. "We told him (Austin Richie) it was time to be completely aggressive and play his game."
Said Richie: "It's pretty easy to find your rhythm with Mikey on the court. I think Mikey controlled the game."
Richie highlighted a 15-4 run to open up Western's biggest lead at 66-43 with 11:32 remaining. He made a three-point play (basket and free throw) off a penetration move, then less than a minute later made a four-point play, making a 3-pointer from the right corner and then the free throw after getting fouled.
After Hamilton scored 19 in a seven-minute stretch to pull Oakland within 81-71 with just under four minutes remaining, Kampe called a timeout.
"We called a play and we didn't run it," Kampe said. "We just shot the ball. That was a point of irritation for me. We still had a chance and didn't run the set play."