Oakland defeats Green Bay, back in first place in Horizon League


Photo courtesy of Oakland University Athletics

Jamal Cain had 26 points and 21 rebounds in Oakland’s win over Green Bay.

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies men’s basketball team claimed a valiant victory over the Green Bay Phoenix on Saturday by a score of 68-61. 

Despite the first Horizon League loss of the season to Milwaukee earlier in the week, Oakland rebounded in nice fashion, making the win over Green Bay its third win of the four-game road trip.

Oakland fell behind early, much in part due to a stellar shooting performance from the Phoenix to open the game. The Phoenix shot 8-10 in the game’s first eight minutes, which established a comfortable 17-10 lead for the home team.

Although Green Bay jumped out to an early lead, Trey Townsend kept Oakland within striking distance early on in the first half with six points on 3-3  shooting. 

Oakland continued to trail, and was unable to get any offensive momentum as it tried to match the high-paced scoring of the Phoenix.

Trialing 22-16 about midway through the first half, the Grizzlies went on a tear, scoring 18 consecutive points to blow the game open, taking a commanding 12-point lead with just minutes remaining in the first half.

After claiming the lead, Oakland never looked back, and took a 12-point lead into the locker room. Townsend led the way for the Grizzlies with 13 first half points, and Jamal Cain added 12 of his own. 

The Phoenix did not go away easy in the second half, however. Green Bay cut the lead to seven multiple times early in the half, but heroic efforts from Townsend and Cain helped keep a comfortable lead for the Grizzlies.

The teams would trade baskets and turnovers, but ultimately the Grizzlies would not give up any ground. Green Bay tried to give itself a shot at the end by fouling, but Oakland put the game on ice with some clutch free throws from Jamal Cain.

As a team, the Grizzlies shot an astounding 27-30 from the free throw line, making 20 more free throws than the Phoenix.

Cain and Townsend could not be stopped in the second half, scoring almost at will against an inferior Green Bay defense. The two stars combined to score 49 of the team’s 68 points. 

Cain finished with 26 points and 21 rebounds, marking his first game of 20 or more points and rebounds this season. 

Townsend also had a monster game, finishing with 23 points on 9-12 shooting. The sophomore forward played all 40 minutes for the 10th time this season. 

Oakland, now 8-1 in the Horizon League, is now back in first place in the Horizon League, holding the tiebreaker with Cleveland State. 

Looking ahead, each of the Grizzlies’ next three opponents sits below .500 on the season, while Oakland boasts a 14-5 overall record. 

The Grizzlies return home from the four-game road trip with games against the University of Michigan-Dearborn, IUPUI and UIC to close out the month of January. Oakland will look to continue its momentum against UM-Dearborn on Monday, Jan. 24 at the O’rena.