Oakland 74, Western Illinois 57

Preview | Box Score | Recap

TULSA, Okla. (AP)—Rick Billings led six Oakland players in double-figures with 14 points as the Golden Grizzlies beat Western Illinois 74-57 on Saturday night in the first round of the Mid-Continent Conference tournament.

Second-seeded Oakland (18-14) will play either Valparaiso or Missouri-Kansas City on Monday in the semifinals. The Crusaders will play the Kangaroos in a quarterfinal on Sunday.

Seventh-seeded Western Illinois cut the Golden Grizzlies’ lead to 12 three times in the second half, the last time on Louis Johnson’s basket with 3:46 left, but the Leathernecks could pull no closer.

David Jackson led Western Illinois (7-23) with 19 points. Johnson added 13 points off the bench.

The Golden Grizzlies took control from the opening tip, hitting their first six 3-point attempts, including four by Billings. Oakland went on a 23-4 run, capped by Erik Kangas’ 3-pointer with 4:36 left that made it 36-10, to take its largest lead.

The Leathernecks shot just 7-for-31 (22.6 percent) from the field in the first half, while Oakland went 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) while building a 41-19 halftime lead. Western Illinois finished 21-for-56.

Shawn Hopes scored 13 points, Vova Severovas and Derick Nelson had 12 each, Kangas had 11 and Johnathan Jones added 10 points for Oakland.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Western Ill.
D. Jackson D. Jackson
8-14,  19 Pts
5 Rebs, 0 Assists
 Oakland
R. Billings R. Billings
5-9,  14 Pts
9 Rebs, 1 Assists

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Saturday, Mar 3