Men’s basketball defeats Cleveland State, Williams makes highlight play

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Sergio Montanez

Men's basketball defeats Cleveland State on Thursday, Feb. 13 in the O'rena.

Brittany Welch, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, Feb. 13, the men’s basketball team returned to the O’rena for a week of home games after being on the road for the last two weeks.

The Golden Grizzlies took on Cleveland State University for another conference game. In their last game vs. Cleveland State, the team won 68-55. The Golden Grizzlies completed the season sweep with a 79-74 win.

Oakland was able to keep the lead the whole game. Sophomore guard Rashad Williams made a play that everyone is talking about. The crossover step-back 3-pointer got No. 2 on the ESPN Top 10 plays list. 

“Peterson Park is where I got that move from. I have worked a lot of blood, sweat, and tears there,” he said. “It is definitely one of my favorite moves, my go to.”

Williams attended Cleveland State his previous year and knew that this game was going to be a big one for him.

“Getting a win over a former school is always a big win and it feels good,” he said. “Especially when you don’t perform your best, but just do enough to win. That’s what’s most important to me.”

About a month ago, the NCAA finally gave the waiver for Williams to be able to play this season due to his transfer decision. He has been a major impact thus far, leading the team in points per game.

“With me jumping into the season, no excuses, it’s kind of up and down,” he said. “I am way more comfortable than I was my first week. It’s just a steady process.”

The Golden Grizzlies have had back-to-back losses leading into this match against the Vikings.

“We have grown up and a lot of guys have shown great maturity and we have buckled down,” he said. “We have toughened up and we were able to pull out the win.”

Before the game, the Golden Grizzlies were 3-9 in conference, which had them sitting at the bottom half of Horizon League teams. After defeating Cleveland State and Youngstown State on Saturday, Feb. 15, Oakland improved their record to 5-9 in Horizon League.

“I walked down the court in the beginning of the game and I looked around and there weren’t a lot of people here,” Head Coach Greg Kampe said. “I thought maybe the weather or something but it might be because we have been unbearable to watch in this gym.”

The Grizzlies have had a decent record on the road, but have struggled on the Blacktop.

“We have been playing really well on the road and we came out, and we were unbearable for a while tonight to watch again,” Kampe said.“We got a guy like Rashad who’s not afraid of that and stepped up and made a huge shot which changed the game.”

The Golden Grizzlies have only five games left of conference place before the Horizon League Tournament. Kampe and the team are back in the O’Rena on Friday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. as they take on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.