Golden Grizzlies defeat the Privateers

The Golden Grizzlies came prepared to face the 20-win NCAA New Orleans Privateers.

Dakota Brecht, Staff Intern

With the home opener behind them, the Oakland University men’s basketball team looked to continue its hot start against a solid New Orleans team on Nov. 13, the Privateers, coming in off of a loss to St. John’s in their season opener. Both squads knew this was going to be a hard fought battle and the players came ready to fight.

The Golden Grizzlies got off to a great start going up 18-6 only six minutes into the game. Kendrick Nunn and Martez Walker both went 2-2 from deep and defense was dominating the Privateers’. Walker knocked in another three and the team never looked back from there in the first half.

The Black and Gold tacked onto that lead, running it all the way up to 31-12 with nine minutes to go. As the half drew to a close, Nunn sent in an alley-oop at the buzzer to put Oakland up 46-26. Nunn and Walker led all scorers with 16 and 11 points respectively. Meanwhile, the Golden Grizzlies shot at a 60 percent from the field. Oakland looked to continue this impressive outing into the second half.

The Privateers fought hard to start the second half and brought the game within 16 points with five minutes down. This little rebellion didn’t last long as the Black and Gold ramped up the pressure and brought the lead to 65-44 halfway through the second. Nunn was having yet another fantastic shooting performance from outside going 6-10 at this point of the game.

Junior Julius Palmer was having a solid day on the boards and was getting a lot of playing time in relief for sophomore Isaiah Brock. With five minutes left to go in the game the Golden Grizzlies had a solid 78-58 lead and coasted to the finish.

The final score was 87-68, a complete rout of New Orleans by Oakland. Walker led the team in scoring with 25 points but Nunn was not far behind with 24. Walker and James Beck led Oakland with seven rebounds and Brailen Neely with seven assists.

It was a great showing for the Golden Grizzlies and Head Coach Greg Kampe was very pleased with the performance of his guys.

“I don’t know if we can play any better than we did the first 10-12 minutes of that game. We really took it to an NCAA team” he said. “I am very pleased to beat that team, a 20 win team that was in the NCAA tournament last year. I thought the first half was almost clinical defensively for us. I couldn’t be anymore pleased for the start of this year.”

Top scorer for the game, Walker, had this to say on the team’s performance as a whole:

“That’s my type of game right there, I love playing the battles and coach has been challenging us all week in practice telling us they’re gonna fight us and they came out like he said but we answered”.

The Golden Grizzlies are off on a four game road trip that takes them to Toledo this upcoming Saturday and then to two powerhouse teams in Syracuse and Kansas. They wrap it up with a game against Oral Roberts before finally returning home to play Texas Southern on Nov. 30.