Oakland Beats Ala. A&M, Will Play UNC

DAYTON, Ohio (Ticker) -- The duo of Rawle Marshall and Cortney Scott gave Oakland a date with North Carolina.

Marshall scored 29 points and Scott added 21 as Oakland used a early second-half run for a 79-69 victory over Alabama AM in the opening round game of the NCAA Tournament.

The only team to qualify for the "Big Dance" with a losing record, the Golden Grizzlies (13-18) advanced to face North Carolina in the first round of the Syracuse Region. No top-seeded team has ever lost a first-round game since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

In the four-year history of the play-in game, the team with the worse record has won every time.

Leading 38-35 at halftime, Oakland opened the second half with a 16-2 run for a 54-37 cushion with 13:20 to play. Freshman forward Patrick McCloskey scored five points and Scott and guard Brandon Cassise added four each during the spurt.

The Bulldogs (18-14) closed within 54-43 with 11:59 remaining on consecutive 3-pointers by Obie Trotter, but Cassise avoided a trap on the opposite end by keeping his dribble during a slide on the floor and then stepped up to knock down a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock. Alabama AM got no closer than the final margin.

McCloskey scored all five of his points in the second half and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Golden Grizzlies, who won the rebounding battle, 43-29. Marshall pulled down nine boards and Scott added eight.

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