Men’s basketball suffers second consecutive conference loss


Nowshin Chowdhury

With 25 points for the Golden Grizzlies, Jalen Hayes recorded 1,000 career points Monday night at the O’rena.

The Golden Grizzlies (14-5, 4-2 HL) suffered their second conference loss 76-65 to the Cleveland State University Vikings (6-13, 2-5 HL) on Monday, Jan. 16. The defeat by CSU pushed Oakland to 2-2 at home in league play and snapped a three-game winning streak against the Vikings.

Oakland University Head Coach Greg Kampe expressed his disappointment with Team 50.

“I thought the highlight of the night was the young lady that played the national anthem on the violin,” Kampe said to start off the postgame press conference. “Other than that . . . ”

The Golden Grizzlies were never able to get control of the game. Oakland never had a lead over CSU, and once the Vikings began to separate three minutes into the second half, the Golden Grizzlies were never able to tie it back up.

“We had a bad night defensively, probably our worst defensive effort of the year,” Kampe said.

Isaiah Brock was missing from the lineup due to a hip injury he acquired during the game against University of Detroit Mercy on Jan. 13.

“You could see the difference,” Jalen Hayes said during the postgame press conference. “We didn’t really have a true rim protector out there and [CSU] got layup after layup. Even if Isaiah’s offensive game isn’t there game to game, obviously, we need him on defense.”

For Cleveland State, Rob Edwards led the Vikings with 32 points, making him the second player in two consecutive games to score more than 30 points against the Golden Grizzlies. Edwards also led the team with seven rebounds

“That’s a big concern,” Hayes said of Edwards’ 32 points and Detroit Mercy’s Jaleel Hogan’s 39.  “We were not following the game plan.  We were giving Rob easy layup after layup . . . Jaleel got easy buckets as well.”

The Golden Grizzlies suffered on offense as well, going 23 for 56 from the field and 2 for 18 from the three. Oakland was 8 for 44 from beyond the arc over the last two games.

“We’re shooting probably the worst I’ve ever had a team shoot from the three,” Kampe added. “We just can’t shoot the ball.  It’s just evident we can’t shoot the ball.”

Oakland saw greater success feeding the ball inside to Hayes.  For the third game in a row, Hayes had over 20 points, leading the team with 25. He went 11 for 18 from the field, 3 for 5 from the free-throw line and got eight rebounds.

Hayes became the 35th player in Oakland history to surpass 1,000 points. He has pushed his total career points to 1,015.

“It’s a great accomplishment whenever you can reach that milestone,” Hayes said after the game. “I would much, much, much rather take the win, but [it’s a] great accomplishment.”

Martez Walker was the only other Golden Grizzly in double-digits.  He finished with 10 points.

The Golden Grizzlies are looking for a victory to get back on track as they hit the road for two games this weekend.

“We’ve gotta go on the road now and play two games against two pretty good teams, and we’ve just got to figure it out,” Kampe said.  “We’ve got to learn from our mistakes, what’s causing our issues and fix them.”

Oakland will face off against the Northern Kentucky Norse at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 20 at BB&T Arena.