Men’s basketball speeds past Toledo, 80-59 the final


Anna Drumm

Jamal Cain dunks vs Toledo on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

The Oakland University men’s basketball team used a strong second half to blow past the Toledo Rockets 80-59 last Wednesday at the O’Rena. The energy from the crowd definitely made an impact. 

It was a rough start for the Golden Grizzlies. Toledo got off to a 9-2 run, then Jalen Moore got a basket off a goaltend heading into the first media timeout. 

Oakland seemed to find their footing offensively following the second media timeout. They were settling for a lot of three pointers early, but started dishing the ball inside more, which seemed to pay off.

Jamal Cain was an absolute force in the paint. He scored eight straight points for the Golden Grizzlies, and led them with 12 in the half overall. 

The Grizzlies ended the half with a Moore lob to Cain for an alley-oop. The Rockets still led by one, 32-31 at the break.

Oakland had a hot start offensively to start the second half. Cain continued his strong start, and Trey Townsend started getting in on the action. The Golden Grizzlies led 46-43 at the first media timeout of the half.

Blake Lampman deserves credit as the unsung hero of this game. He had five three pointers on the night — including two in the second half to give Oakland a huge momentum shift. They led 53-43 when Toledo finally called a timeout. Oakland continued to pull away from there. 

Having the crowd back at the O’Rena was electric. It may have just been an early season non-conference matchup, but it felt like a conference tournament game in early March.

“The volume and the noise in [the O’Rena was] very motivating,” Head Coach Greg Kampe said postgame. “I’m really happy that basketball is back at the O’Rena, and I’m happy that I got a good team.”

Lampman had similar sentiments after the game.

“We missed [the crowd] a lot last year,” Lampman said. “It wasn’t the same. We had to kind of create our own energy. Tonight, it was electric. I can’t wait to come back home after Christmas. The place was rocking.”

It was all Golden Grizzlies in the second half. Cain finished with 29 points and 17 rebounds as Oakland took this one 80-59. 

Moore also had a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists in the victory. 

Cain attributed his great play on the evening to his athleticism. 

“That’s something that Coach is always harping on me that I’m great at,” Cain said. “I’m just trying to utilize that on the floor. I’m trying to use my quickness to get around guys and use my athleticism to tip the ball out to my teammates…but that’s something I’ve always prided myself on is how I always have a passion for the ball.”

Kampe continued to talk very highly of Cain, saying he has a future in the NBA.

“He’s a pro. I mean, there’s no question in my mind, he’s a pro,” Kampe said. “I’ve contacted everybody I know in the NBA — and I know a lot of people in the NBA — and I’ve contacted everyone. There was an NBA scout here tonight and I’m gonna text him ‘I told you,’ when I get out of here. The first day of practice, I made this statement: I felt that way the first day of Kendrick Nunn’s practice. You just know with those guys, and that doesn’t mean he’s going to be runner up Rookie of the Year, that just means he’s that level.”

The Golden Grizzlies will head to Estero, Florida for the Gulf Coast Showcase before starting Horizon League play Dec. 2 at the University of Illinois-Chicago.