Oakland falls to Youngstown State 75-74

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Oakland falls to Youngstown State 75-74

Devin Boatwright, Staff Reporter

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On a very cold Thursday, while the university was closed, the boys in black and gold went head to head against the Youngstown State Penguins. In a tough fought game, the Golden Grizzlies came up short losing 75-74.

“Well, obviously there is extreme disappointment on our part,” Head Coach Greg Kampe said. “The fundamental errors that we made cost us this game. It’s very discouraging to me, but we have to put it in the rear view mirror, move on, and get ready to play on Saturday.”

The first half was all Golden Grizzlies, as they dominated the court on both sides of the ball. The big men down low were the anchor for Oakland’s success in the first half. After forcing multiple turnovers and getting easy baskets, Oakland led 15-5 after five minutes of play.

Brad Brechting, a redshirt junior, was the leader in scoring with 21 points. He ended the game with a double-double, 21 points and 18 rebounds. The first half ended at 36-29, with the Golden Grizzlies in charge.

The second half was a different story. Oakland struggled from deep, going 11 percent from the three point line. Jaevin Cumberland was the main source of the 3-pointers the Golden Grizzlies did hit, and he ended the game with 19 points.

Tray Maddox exited this game with an injury in the second half, which altered the defensive game plan for the Golden Grizzlies. In his absence, Karmari Newman and Kenny Pittman saw increased minutes.

Youngstown was never out of the game and in the second half they chipped away at their seven-point deficit and regained the lead for the first time since the game started 2-0. Down the stretch, Oakland gave up several offensive rebounds on numerous possessions and continued to struggle from three point land.

Oakland was forced to foul near the end to have a chance, and Youngstown hit all of their free throws and closed the game out, leaving the blacktop with a victory, outscoring the Golden Grizzlies 46-38 in the second half.

After the game, Brechting was emotional, blaming himself for the loss. With the game tied, Brechting threw an inbound pass right to Darius Quisenberry, who kicked it out to an open Youngstown player who drilled a 3-pointer.

“I’m so frustrated with myself,” Brechting said, holding back tears when discussing his effort. “I’m just not happy with myself right now.”

Kampe didn’t seem too pleased with his team’s effort after the game was all said and done.

“We showed tonight we aren’t a championship level team right now,” Kampe said. “We’re 5-6 at home right now. Name a championship team that is 5-6 at home. For us over and over again to have critical fundamental errors, it’s disheartening to me.”

The Golden Grizzlies’ next game is on Autism Awareness Day, against Cleveland State on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 3 p.m. on the Blacktop at the O’rena.