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Associated Press, Published December 15 2010

College basketball: Summit's Oakland upsets No. 7 Tennessee 89-82

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Oakland coach Greg Kampe kept telling his players they were just as good as the ranked opponents they have been playing this season. In their fourth game against a Top 25 team, they finally got their upset.

Keith Benson, last season’s Summit League player of the year, had 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Golden Grizzlies to an 89-82 victory over No. 7 Tennessee on Tuesday night.

They took lessons from games in which they played Illinois and Purdue, both ranked teams from the Big Ten, close but not for a full 40 minutes. They almost beat then-No. 7 Michigan State, also of the Big Ten, on Saturday but lost by a point after they failed to make free throws down the stretch.

“We’re not scared of anybody,” Kampe said. “We weren’t intimidated by the No. 7 team in the country because we had just played Michigan State, and we should have won that game. We had just played Illinois, and we could have won that game. I think those are big and can help us.”

Oakland (6-5) put together a tough schedule this season to prepare them to make another run at winning the Summit League and an NCAA tournament appearance. The win over the Vols was just the Grizzlies’ second against a Top 25 opponent in 27 tries since joining Division I in 1998, and they still have a Dec. 23 date with No. 2 Ohio State.

It was only the second time Tennessee (7-1) has lost on its home court to a non-conference opponent in coach Bruce Pearl’s six seasons. The loss came one day after the Vols climbed into the Top 10 and grabbed the No. 1 RPI after beating then-No. 3 Pittsburgh.

“This was a combination of running into a good basketball team and not being able to handle success despite our best efforts to get our team excited about playing,” Pearl said.

Oakland was in a similar situation against Tennessee as it had found itself against its previous three ranked opponents. The Grizzlies came out shooting well and played the Vols close throughout the first half, with three lead changes and five ties. The Grizzlies were shooting 70.6 percent with seven minutes to go in the first half – thanks in part to Benson’s 20 points – but the Vols used a 14-2 run to counter the shooting and had a 50-39 halftime lead.

OAKLAND, MICH. (6-5): Hudson 5-9 7-9 17, Valentine 1-1 0-0 2, Benson 9-16 6-6 26, Wright 6-9 4-4 19, Hamilton 1-6 2-4 4, Bader 2-5 0-0 5, Eackles 4-8 3-5 12, Maynard 0-0 0-0 0, Bass 0-0 0-0 0, Milutinovic 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 30-56 22-28 89.

TENNESSEE (7-1): Harris 6-13 4-6 16, Williams 7-12 4-8 18, Goins 7-10 3-4 18, Tatum 4-12 3-3 13, Hopson 1-7 5-6 7, Golden 1-3 2-2 5, McBee 0-1 0-0 0, Hall 1-1 1-1 3, Pearl 0-1 0-1 0, Fields 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 28-63 22-31 82.

Halftime–Tennessee 50-39. 3-Point Goals_Oakland, Mich. 7-18 (Wright 3-5, Benson 2-4, Bader 1-2, Eackles 1-3, Hamilton 0-4), Tennessee 4-18 (Tatum 2-7, Golden 1-1, Goins 1-3, McBee 0-1, Harris 0-3, Hopson 0-3). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–Oakland, Mich. 36 (Benson 10), Tennessee 35 (Williams 13). Assists–Oakland, Mich. 13 (Wright 6), Tennessee 16 (Goins 6). Total Fouls–Oakland, Mich. 22, Tennessee 25. A–16,784.