Men’s basketball surges past Redbirds

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Senior Travis Bader and the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (3-9) defeated the Illinois State Redbirds (5-5) 90-75 Monday night.

Bader had 11 rebounds to go with his 21 points, giving him his first career double-double. Fellow senior Corey Petros also had a double-double, finishing with 18 points and 12 boards. Petros leads the Horizon League in double-doubles this year with four.

“I was really, really pleased with our defensive effort tonight,” OU head coach Greg Kampe said. “If you shoot 60 percent at home you’re going to win.”

The defense did step up big to close the first half and begin the second when OU went on a 38-13 run. 

OU came out of halftime with the same strengths they showed at the end of the first.

“We’ve played some really good basketball teams and one of the things we learned through this is the beginning of the second half is the altering point,” Kampe said. “It’s gone against us, but we’ve been preaching in practice about the importance of the first five possessions in the second half.”

The Grizzlies got four consecutive stops to open the half and also started 10-of-11 from the field.

Each of Oakland’s five starters reached double figures including nine points from Dante Williams off the bench. 

Forward Tommie McCune got back into rhythm, scoring 16 points after just seven points in his last four contests, including three games of zero points.

“It was really important to get our four spot going with Tommie McCune and Dante knew that,” Kampe said. “Tommie is still learning the system and we see people break out in the second semester all the time, and somebody like Tommie has the chance to do that.”

Illinois State also featured five scorers in double figures as they were led by Diashon Knight and Paris Lee who each had 14 points and four 3-pointers. 

Their hot shooting couldn’t help them where the Grizzlies were attacking them in the paint. OU outmatched Redbirds on the glass being outrebounded 44-29.

It was a big win for OU as the Redbirds were coming off of a win against No. 25 Dayton.

The Grizzlies will play at home against Eastern Michigan (6-3) Saturday and Robert Morris (4-7) Sunday. Both games start at 1 p.m.