Second half surge lifts OU men’s basketball to victory

By Matthew Saulino

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The Oakland Golden Grizzlies (2-7) defeated the Ohio Bobcats (6-2) 73-56 in Saturday night’s contest at the O’rena for their second consecutive win.

All of the Grizzly players chipped in during the game where they featured six double-digit scorers, led by senior guard Duke Mondy and freshman point guard Kahlil Fielder with 13 points apiece.

“I’m very pleased, we beat a very good basketball team,” head coach Greg Kampe said. “What I really like is the way we did it.”

OU started the game 2-16 from the field and trailed the Bobcats much of the first half. The Grizzlies had 5 points after the first 10 minutes of the game.

Senior forward Corey Petros led OU in the first half with 8 points and three rebounds. The Grizzlies had to rely on their defense to get back in the game and ended the half on a 10-2 run, which tied the game at 25.

“We couldn’t buy a basket in the first half, we got some good looks and missed, and you know they had some good looks too.  But an unbelievable stat in this game was only twice in the game did they score in consecutive possessions, and that’s just an unbelievable stat.”

OU star Travis Bader got off to a rough start shooting 0-6 start in the first half with one point. All of Bader’s shots were from behind the arc. He finished the game with 12 points and three 3-pointers. 

Each team only had made one first half three pointer: Ohio’s came from guard Nick Kellogg and OU’s from sophomore Mitch Baenzinger, who ended the game 11 points off the bench.

Kellogg led all Bobcats in scoring with 18, but he eventually fouled out of the game.

The Grizzlies had 23 bench points to the Bobcats’ two. Dante Williams helped that total out adding 12 more for the Grizzlies.

“Confidence wise this is a big win, it’s a good win especially when you’re getting ready for Michigan State and Indiana,” forward Dante Williams said. “The defense was tremendous, and I think that’s what fueled us offensively. 

When the second half began, the Grizzlies were still having trouble finding their rhythm. Then they found a spot to make a run, and the shots started falling.

Bader couldn’t have picked a bigger time to make a three pointer. Oakland had just gotten down 6 points when the team went on an 8-0 run capped by Bader’s three-pointer. The basket put them up 35-33. With 13 minutes to play in the second half.

Ohio stormed backed with a dunk that seemed to calm the crowd, but was short-lived as Mondy came up with a huge three point play followed by a steal that led to an intentional foul.

Just as Travis Bader picked up his 4th foul of the game Duke Mondy chased down a long rebound and drove against two Ohio defenders for a three-point play to help put OU up 49-37 from there the Grizzlies didn’t look back.

OU faces off against No. 24 Indiana this Tuesday and then plays a highly-ranked Michigan St. on Saturday at the Palace of Auburn Hills.