By Jeff Brown
Oakland University junior Kay Felder put on a show Thursday night as his Golden Grizzlies demolished the Youngstown State University men’s basketball team 107-85.
Felder, a Bob Cousy Award finalist given to the nation’s best point guard, entered Thursday nights contest as one of the top point guards in the country leading the nation in assists per game (8.8) and third in points per game (25.6). He continued his dominance against the Penguins scoring 17 points and adding 14 assists, with eight assists in the first half.
Many of Felder’s assists came from feeding the post as the Penguins struggled with the Golden Grizzlies bigs, allowing 52 points in the paint. Oakland (16-8, 8-3 in the Horizon League) was a force on the boards out rebounding YSU 46-29, and outscoring YSU 20-10 on the second chance points.
“Our first half was horrific at the defensive end. I didn’t think we competed. We got very little to no play out of our fives,” YSU head coach Jerry Slocum said.
Cameron Morse and Fransisco Santiago were the lone bright spots for the Penguins, tallying 23 and 22 points respectively. Four members of YSU’s starting lineup scored 11 or more points, but the Penguins were unable to keep pace with Oakland when the starters weren’t on the court.
The Penguins’ bench was a non-factor on Tuesday. YSU’s bench was outscored 57-18, with guard Latin Davis contributing six points and one assist.
YSU defeated Oakland earlier this season 100-98 on a Jorden Kaufman tip-in with one second left, but head coach Jerry Slocum said his team did not put up the effort to give themselves a chance this time around.
“Obviously we’re disappointed that we lost, but I’m much, much, much more disappointed in the effort tonight. I thought we showed very little heart,” Slocum said. “ I thought that we just did a horrific job defensively. I’m not as disappointed in the loss as I am the way we lost.”
The loss drops the Penguins to 9-15 on the year, and 4-7 in Horizon League play. Up next is a contest against the Univesity of Detroit Mercy, who YSU is currently tied with for seventh in the Horizon League. The Penguins lost their first game against the Titans 96-87 in Detroit. A loss would give the Penguins their fourth three-game losing streak of the season.
“They’re very similar to this team. High octane, gonna push it up the floor. Much better defensively and they’re as athletic as anybody in the league, there’s no doubt about that,” Slocum said.