OU defeats Rochester in second exhibition game with 10-point comeback

Summer Weathers, Sports Reporter

The men’s basketball team closed out a tight game with a 66-64 win against the Warriors of Rochester University in an exhibition match on Nov. 1.

Garth Pleasant Arena was packed, and the Warriors came out of the gates early, shooting 3-pointers. The Golden Grizzlies’ Chris Conway responded, and he knew what he had to do, coming in with big-time shots, scoring on three straight possessions.

Conway’s excellent offense is exactly what the Grizzlies needed, but with the Warriors’ 3-point shooting still on display in the first half, they led by nine to end the first 20-minute half 39-30.

Coming back from halftime, the Grizzlies started to spice things up. Transfer student from Mississippi State and junior guard, Rocket Watts, looked to get the ball rolling.

Watts is tough, showing all the attributes of an elite guard. His great offensive plays helped the Grizzlies out, scoring layups through contact and pulling up, knocking down some impressive shots.

The game grew even more intense after that point, and things came down to the wire. The Warriors were still feeling it, but the Grizzlies executed better. They stepped up on the defensive end, contesting shots, and it showed. This resulted in the Warriors losing their rhythm as their shooting percentage declined from 50% to 25%.

Watts really had the Warriors on thin ice after a nice pull-up 3-pointer, bringing the Grizzlies closer and closer to the victory towards the end of the second half. Coming to the final minutes, fans started to get on their feet, but that didn’t seem to be a problem.

6-foot-6 forward Trey Townsend put the icing on the cake, scoring six points and a crucial layup that finished things off. Oakland closed out this exhibition match with a 66-64 win over the Warriors. 

After an incredible performance by Townsend, who led the Grizzlies with 20 points, he had some things to say on how he and his teammates kept the momentum going. 

“This is a tough environment coming in — as you can see, it’s sold out,” Townsend said. “They were going to come out, and this is a big deal for them; it’s a big game. It was great for us to be able to play on the road and really test that chemistry that we’ve been building over the summer, and as you could see, times got rough out there, but we were able to come together.” 

“I think Blake [Lampman] did a really great job really vocalizing, leading and getting everyone together, bringing us into huddles and that really had everyone locked in those last two minutes and realize, it’s not over until it’s over,” he continued.

Townsend did not necessarily feel the Grizzlies had their best game, but attributes their victory to their united front.

“[The Warriors] played great and really showed us what weaknesses we have so far, and the biggest one is obviously rebounding — but being able to come together and have each other’s backs on the defensive end really helped us get stops at the end,” he said. “That’s what’s going to get us that winning season — just being locked in.”

Townsend is more than ready for this upcoming season.  

“Personally, I just want to up my rebounding,” he said. “I feel as long as I am able to stop my man from rebounding, that is one thing I’m looking forward to — helping my team on the defensive end.”

Townsend also hopes to be on the “All-Defensive Team” this year, perfecting his three point throws.

Coach Kampe also had some things to say as his squad pulled through with the win.

“I think that they really had all the momentum,” Kampe said. “This was a big deal for them, it was a packed house. They came out, they were on fire and they played really well. They kind of had us on our heels, and I was really pleased with how we handled the second half.”

“We guarded really well, we got some stops in a row in the second half and then we did all the things we had to do down the stretch to win,” Kampe continued. “I think we handled it very well, especially with all the adversity that came out.”

Kampe encourages students to show up with passion during the team’s string of home games against Defiance College, Bowling Green and Oklahoma State on Nov. 7, Nov. 11 and Nov. 13, respectively.

“It’ll be an exciting first week,” Kampe said. “I hope the Grizz Gang comes out — we need you. You can see what fans do to help teams, you saw that here today.”