Vikings down Grizzlies in first game of weekend set


Photo Courtesy of Jose Juarez

Kevin Kangu was honored this past weekend as Oakland men’s basketball’s only senior.

The Cleveland State Vikings defeated the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies 80-72 on Friday, Feb. 5 at the O’rena.

Leading the Grizzlies with 20 points, Jalen Moore added 11 assists, giving him his eighth double-double of the season. Micah Parrish had a double-double of his own with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

The Vikings got off to a hot start from the field, hitting their first five shots. However, they quickly got into foul trouble, with the Grizzlies getting into the bonus with over 12 minutes left in the first half.

Oakland’s zone defense started to settle in at the halfway point of the first half, as Cleveland State went about three and a half minutes without a basket. Then some missed opportunities and turnovers swung momentum back into the Vikings’ favor.

The Vikings shot 63% in the first half, getting out to a 46-33 lead at the break. Head Coach Greg Kampe blamed himself at the half for poor game planning.

“That’s not the kids’ fault, that’s my fault,” Kampe said to ESPN3’s Genna Rose.

In the second half, the hot shooting from the Vikings continued — they started 5-6 from the field.

The Grizzlies also started out hot in the second half, then went cold. It seemed like every time Oakland tried to close the gap, the Vikings had an answer.

“I think every time we closed the gap, we [then] had a stupid play,” Kampe said. “We were closing the gap in the first half, and we come down and we fire a bomb in transition. We had gotten [stop after stop], we cut [the lead] to five points, we got the basketball, let’s go get it to [Daniel] Oladapo . They haven’t guarded him down there so let’s go get a good shot. [We didn’t do that].”

This trend continued all the way until the final media timeout — Oakland had the lead down to 10 with the ball coming out of the timeout. Moore was fouled behind the three-point line, resulting in three free throws to make it a seven-point game.

After a couple made free throws to make it a nine-point game, Oladapo slipped and lost the ball, leading to a Vikings’ layup on the fast break for the dagger, despite a late surge by the Grizzlies.

After the game, Kampe continued to pin the blame on himself.

“I did a really bad job tonight,” he said. “Our game plan was awful. Maybe I didn’t have enough respect for their ability to score. And I knew they were defensive oriented —but what we did in the first half, it was not a good game plan. They executed very well and they were ripping us apart.”

Kampe said his team made adjustments in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.

“I thought we did everything we could to get us back in the game,” he said. “We just couldn’t make shots.”

According to Kampe, the game was a learning experience for the team.

“We made a lot of mistakes,” Kampe said. “We’ll figure it out, we’ll get better. I got great kids — right now they’re mad at me and I’m mad at them and they’re gonna continue to be mad at me because I’m not gonna let situations like this go by without correcting them and learning from it. And they’ll learn, I like my team and I like our chances. I like our chances tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens.”

The Grizzlies fell to 8-7 in conference play and 8-14 overall. Against the Vikings again on Saturday, the Golden Grizzlies dropped the second game, losing 80-78 in the final seconds.