Ahead by 11 at the break, Oakland held WSU to two points in its first six possessions of the second half and pushed its advantage to 20. WSU closed to within 63-50 on a Steve Davis 3, but Oakland quickly reasserted itself.
A preseason league favorite along with defending regular-season champ Valparaiso, Oakland was paced by Sherron Dorsey-Walker’s game-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers. It was the 23rd consecutive league game over the last three seasons the Golden Grizzlies won after leading at halftime.
“Our defense was where it should be, we were just so bad offensively,” WSU coach Scott Nagy said. “We know it’s a weakness of ours. We don’t have a primary ball handler. We’ve been playing without one all year and doing it by smoke and mirrors and (against Oakland) it really showed up.”
Alstork had three 3s but also committed seven turnovers. Davis added 13 points and converted just one of eight 3’s. Justin Mitchell and Mark Hughes added nine points apiece for WSU.
Jalen Hayes tallied 17 points and Martez Walker 15 for Oakland.
“It’s a long conference season,” said Alstork, a former Thurgood Marshall High School standout. “We’ll move on from it. … I take the most credit for this loss. I will be better and we will bounce back.”
Playing catchup throughout, WSU hit just 4 of 26 three-pointers. The Raiders also held hot-shooting Oakland to just 25 of 61 from the field (41 percent). But 21 WSU turnovers negated that effort.
“I’d like to see our team play better and respond better than that,” Nagy said. “We had been playing good on the road. Really, it’s a miracle we didn’t lose by 40.”
This was one of four HL men’s openers on Thursday. WSU completes this brief two-game holiday road trip at Detroit Mercy on Saturday. Detroit beat visiting Northern Kentucky 81-70 on Thursday.