Grizzlies advance to second round of Horizon League Tournament


Going undrafted in last week’s NBA Draft, Travis Bader will now look to make an impression in the NBA Summer League.

Travis Bader scored a season-high 39 points as the No. 6 seed Oakland University men’s basketball team defeated No. 7 seed Youngstown State 96-92 in overtime Tuesday night at the O’rena. 

OU now advances to the second round of the Horizon League Tournament in their first year in the conference.

It was the third time the Golden Grizzlies have defeated the Penguins this year. The teams also met the final game of the regular season on March 1.

“What a game,” OU head coach Greg Kampe said. “What have we done in this O’rena all year with unbelievable games? Fans got their money’s worth this year.”

It was the last game the seniors would play at the O’rena, as the Grizzlies no longer possess the higher seed required to host home games further into the tournament.

The game started slowly for both squads as Oakland led 29-25 at half time. That is a 34-point swing from the last game’s first half. 

OU senior Travis Bader had just five points at the break, meaning he had a second half and overtime surge for 34.  Bader also finished the game with a school record 18-of-18 from the free throw line.

“It’s gotta be a league record or world record,” Kampe said. “Especially when you look at how important 13 through 18 was.”

OU found themselves down by 10 points with three minutes to go in the game after a technical foul was issued to Kampe.

The Grizzlies got a technical call in their favor shortly after, but senior Duke Mondy couldn’t execute on either shot.

He made up for it by quickly bringing the Grizzlies back within 5 after a layup and 3-pointer in the next two possessions.

OU had struggled much of the second half to bring the game close as both teams started to heat up. The Penguins had the earlier jump.

The Grizzlies were looking at elimination when Penguin guard Kendrick Perry hit two free throws with eight seconds left in regulation. Perry finished the game with 35 points.

Down the court Bader made a three with 2.4 seconds left, bringing the score within one. The Grizzlies managed to foul with 0.6 seconds left. Ryan Weber split the pair for YSU, giving them a two point lead.

Bader craftily set a screen for OU inbounder Mitch Baenziger and was fouled by YSU’s Fletcher Larson, who was trying to stop the inbounds pass. Bader was able to knock down both pressure-filled shots.

“Honestly, just being a senior and realizing this could be your last game, you just give it your all,” Bader said. “Everybody stepped up and we’re very fortunate to be able to come back here and get the win.”

Bader answered the call from the stripe four more times in overtime, eventually sealing the victory for Oakland.

OU takes off to Green Bay to face No. 3 seed Wright State Friday, March 7. The Grizzlies are 0-2 against the Raiders this season, the most recent loss coming Feb. 16 at the O’rena, 72-71.