On a windy Wednesday night at the Convocation Center at Eastern Michigan University, the Golden Grizzlies squared off against a the Eastern Michigan Eagles. Oakland was coming off three straight wins against solid opponents with the latest coming against Western Michigan University. With the Michigan State University game looming on Dec. 16, the Golden Grizzlies looked to ride the win streak into next week.
The Eagles came flying out of the gates and took a 10-0 lead. Play was really sloppy on both sides and Oakland just couldn’t get any baskets. With some tough playing, the Golden Grizzlies clawed their way back into this one and tied it up with nine minutes to go in the half. Martez Walker continued to lead the Black and Gold and had 10 out of our first 20 points. By the end of the half, things really started clicking for Oakland and the team led 45-42. Jalen Hayes and Walker led the way with 14 and 12 points respectively.
In the second half, Oakland continued the strong shooting, but Eastern was too strong. Foul trouble began to plague the Golden Grizzlies in the second half and it was causing a real problem on the boards. Isaiah Brock was outmatched by James Thompson from Eastern, but he fought tooth and nail for every inch of the paint. With 10 minutes gone in the second, Eastern Michigan led Oakland 67-62. Things were starting to get out of hand for the Golden Grizzlies and Walker had to sit down with four fouls.
A small adjustment by Head Coach Greg Kampe got Oakland was right back in the game, only down 80-79 with five minutes to go. The comeback was to no avail as the Eagles extended their lead, it was just too much for the Golden Grizzlies to come back from. Oakland fell to the Eagles 95-89.
Walker led the Black and Gold with 23 points and Hayes trailed closely with 21. Hayes was solid on the boards with 10 but the size and strength of Eastern was just too much for Oakland and they out rebounded them 43-35.
Kampe was not very pleased with the outcome of this one.
“You’re just not gonna beat good teams when you make mistakes like that on the road,” Kampe said. “We’re gonna have to beat teams like this on the road to win championships.”
After this disappointing loss to Eastern Michigan, the Golden Grizzlies come back home to take on Chicago State this Saturday, Dec. 9 at the O’rena.