Men’s basketball’s season comes to an end in Horizon League quarterfinals

The Oakland University men’s basketball team saw their season come to an end Thursday night, losing to the Wright State Raiders 75-63 in the Horizon League quarterfinals at the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Another blown second half lead led to the Golden Grizzlies’ downfall.

Both teams traded baskets to start the game. Micah Parrish got the Golden Grizzlies on the board with a 3-pointer from the left wing as the Golden Grizzlies trailed 7-5 at the first media timeout.

The Raiders would go cold from the floor from here, missing 11 shots in a row at one point. Oakland, meanwhile, would run an efficient offense, going 5-7 from the field in that same stretch. 

That hot shooting continued, with the Golden Grizzlies scoring on 13 of 14 possessions at one point. They held a 27-18 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.

Jamal Cain played like the Horizon League Co-Player of the Year that he is in the first half, notching a double-double [13 points, 13 rebounds].

Wright State started finding their footing from beyond the arc late in the half, hitting 3-4 down the stretch. Oakland however was just 1-9 from 3 in the first half, but still held a decent lead at the half, 36-28.

The story from here was could the Golden Grizzlies hold on to this lead? They had held a double-digit lead in the second half in several of their losses down the stretch during the regular season. 

They got off to a good start in the second half. Cain continued to be a force as a shooter and on the glass, as the Golden Grizzlies led 44-32 at the under-16 timeout.

Wright State would start to figure things out from here. They hit a few shots in a row to get the crowd back into it.

They started shooting fewer 3-pointers and started going to the rack, and it led to results. They would go on a huge run, scoring 20 unanswered points to take a seven-point lead. 

It was just a total collapse from the Golden Grizzlies in all facets of the game. They couldn’t get any stops and stopped making shots.

They also got into foul trouble. Cain fouled out with 6:44 left in the game with 17 points and 15 rebounds.

It was all Wright State from there. They dominated the game from the under-12 timeout onward. 

Oakland shot 51.9% in the first half, but shot just 30.8% in the second half. Conversely, Wright State shot 31.3% in the first half, but that number soared to 51.6% in the second half.

This season didn’t end the way Head Coach Greg Kampe expected.

“We started 0-9 last year and ended up in the championship game,” Kampe said before the season. “So, we watched the team grow. You watched a very young group of kids. You’ve got [Parrish], Chris Conway, [Townsend], very young players that got meaningful time last year, and now they’ve got a chance to finish the deal. [I feel] confident we’re going to have a great year.”

The Golden Grizzlies finish the season with a record of 20-12, 12-8 in the Horizon League. They will now turn their attention to the offseason.