CEDAR CITY, Utah – Reggie Hamilton posted a game-high 21 points, Laval Lucas-Perry scored 14 and Corey Petros finished with 13 points to lead Oakland to its third straight win, defeating Southern Utah, 72-63, on Thursday night inside Centrum Arena.
The Golden Grizzlies held the nation’s 11th-best shooting team coming in to 37.9 percent shooting for the game.
“To go on the road and win a game against a team that’s been hot is great,” said OU coach Greg Kampe. “We held them to four offensive rebounds and 62 points, and you have to feel pretty good about our team. I think Laval (Lucas-Perry) played his best game, especially on the defensive glass and he made his free throws.”
The Golden Grizzlies (11-10, 5-4) have now won seven straight over the T-Birds. OU’s defense held the T-Birds to their lowest shooting output of the season in league play and won the battle of the boards, 34-29. Drew Valentine and Petros each had eight rebounds for the Golden Grizzlies.
Only two SUU (9-10, 4-5), players reached double figures, led by Ramell Taylor’s 17. Damon Heuir finished the game with 11.
The Golden Grizzlies trailed 13-11, but outscored the Thunderbirds 22-13 over the final 11 minutes of the first half to lead 33-26 at halftime. OU held the T-Birds to just 34.6 percent shooting (9-26) in the opening 20 minutes.
Oakland led the entire second half, but the T-Birds would keep it close throughout. With the Golden Grizzlies up by four points, 50-46, OU used a 12-6 run to extend the lead to 10 points, 62-52. SUU would not go quietly and got within four points once again, 65-61 with just under two minutes left in the game. Lucas-Perry then split a pair of free throws to put OU up by five, 66-61.
Hamilton then scored an easy layup basket after a big defensive stop by the Golden Grizzlies and the lead was quickly back to seven points, 68-61 (1:30). After another stop, Travis Bader was fouled and split a pair of free throws to ice the T-Birds.
OU will travel to Tulsa, Okla. for the final time to take on Oral Roberts (16-4, 8-0) on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. ET. The game will air on WDFN-AM (1130) with Mario Impemba (play-by-play) and Neal Ruhl (color).