Men’s basketball wins home opener

Last Wednesday, Head Coach Greg Kampe mentioned that he wanted this year’s Golden Grizzlies to be impressive enough to win games only scoring 50 to 60 points. On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the Golden Grizzlies had scored 50 points four minutes into the second half. 

With both the offense and defense firing on all cylinders, Oakland entered the second half up 16 and, helped by a 25-5 run early in the half, defeated the Goshen College Maple Leafs 94-66.

Freshman guard Blake Lampman shot 3-3 from three-point range in the first half, which led him to be brought out with the original starters to begin the second half. 

Daniel Oladapo was heavily involved, threatening a triple-double with a 21-point, 12-assist, and five-rebound game. Despite Kampe getting everyone minutes, Oladapo still recorded 28 minutes on court, just a minute behind Xavier Hill-Mais for the team lead.

Defensively, the Golden Grizzlies were impressive as well, holding Goshen’s shooters to 17.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc and a 32.3 field goal percentage in the first half. The defense also forced 11 turnovers in the first half and did an impeccable job taking away shots, forcing the Maple Leafs to take contested shots with the shot clock winding down.

With a front court led by seniors Xavier Hill-Mais and Brad Brechting, the Golden Grizzlies shut down the paint, allowing only 20 points in the key all game. Not only did Oakland close out the paint, they out-rebounded Goshen, pulling down 48 rebounds to Goshen’s 26. 

Oakland also only recorded 10 fouls all game and did not enter the bonus once. Coach Kampe reiterated the need for defense. 

“That’s our calling card… when we reach our goals, it will be because we are a great defensive team,” he said.

Despite Oakland sharing their season opener with schools like Michigan, Michigan State and Duke, The Grizz Gang came out in full effect, and Kampe noticed. 

“On a night with college basketball starting, and us playing an NAIA school, the students really packed the house,” Kampe said. “We have the best student section there is.”

The fans and Grizz Gang will have to wait for the next game, as Oakland is now headed on a road trip down to Kissimmee, Florida for three games in just as many days against Delaware, Texas-San Antonio and Southern Illinois. The next home game will be on Monday, Nov. 18 against Hartford.

Coach Kampe and the team know that this weekend’s match-ups are crucial identity games. The team, as well as the fans, will be able to see just what the Golden Grizzlies are actually capable of in this tough weekend of games.