Friday, March 18, 2005
Grizzlies historical post-season run ends in Charlotte
Oakland University’s historical run in the NCAA Tournament came to end at the hands of No. 1 seed University of North Carolina, which defeated the Grizzlies 96-68 March 18 in the first round of the national tournament at Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C.
The Golden Grizzlies entered the first round of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 16 seed and knew history was not on their side as no 16 seed has ever defeated a No. 1 seed in the history of the tournament.
North Carolina started the contest by hitting 12 of their first 14 shots, including 5-5 in three-pointers, and showed why they are one of the favorites to win it all.
Down 18-5, the Grizzlies gave a valiant effort to get back into the game with back-to-back three pointers from freshman Brandon Cassise and senior DeMarcus Ishmeal and a lay up from senior Cortney Scott to get within seven points at 20-13. However, the Tar Heels used their size and speed to go on a 12-0 run and ended the half with a 59-33 lead.
Oakland’s future looks bright as Cassise led the Grizzlies in scoring in the first half with nine points. Scott contributed five points and Ishmeal knocked down a couple of threes to finish with six. The team’s leading scorer senior Rawle Marshall was held scoreless in the first half, but contributed key assists and rebounds in the Grizzlies efforts to keep the game close.
The second half started with Oakland going on a 6-2 mini-run, but the Tar Heels continued their hot shooting from beyond the arc to go up by 30, 69-39, midway through the second half.
The two teams traded baskets for most of the second half with the Grizzlies never getting closer than 28 points. Scott led Oakland in scoring with 21 points, while chipping in six rebounds, followed by Cassise’s 14 and Marshall’s 16.
Golden Grizzlies fans are invited to come to Detroit Metro Airport Saturday, March 19, to greet the men’s basketball team as they return to Michigan and congratulate them on their historical first trip to the Division I NCAA Tournament. The team is flying on Northwest Airlines flight 1573 and is expected to arrive at the airport at 6:11 p.m. Fans will greet the team in the baggage claim area of McNamara Terminal.
See the photos from the NCAA Tournament first-round game. For more information on the Golden Grizzlies in the national tournament, visit the Road to the NCAA Tournament Web page. For more information on the men’s basketball team, visit the OU Athletics Web site.