Men’s basketball breezes through season opener with 92-27 drubbing of defiance


Bijon Stigger

Townsend dunking during the Golden Grizzlies season opener against Defiance College on Nov. 7.

The 2022-23 men’s basketball season began with an easy home opener win at the O’rena for the Golden Grizzlies against Defiance College on Monday, Nov. 7. The game ended with a 92-27 victory. 

There wasn’t much the Yellow Jackets could do against this dominant Oakland University team. Within 30 seconds of the start of the game, Trey Townsend would get things going with a nice slam to the hoop that would get the O’rena fired up early. 

It all was too easy for Townsend. He had four huge dunks and ended the game with 12, along with six boards. 

Rocket Watts, the transfer out of Mississippi State, showed his top-notch finishing skills and his ability to receive the ball and knock down 3-pointers. Defiance really struggled to guard him. Quality offense was exhibited by Watts for the first regular season game, as he ended the night with 15 points.

With 21 fast breaks by the Grizzlies, they were too much to handle. The 6-foot-3 guard, Blake Lampman, did some great things as well down the stretch, with a nice 3-pointer assisted by Watts. 

Lampman had 13 points, but not only was his shooting all so effortless, he played big on the defensive end as well. He contributed three steals to the stat sheet — which is his career high.

On the other hand, the transfer out of Missouri State, Keaton Hervey, reached his Oakland career high with 19 points.

“It feels great, especially for the season opener, to have all the fans out here,” Hervey said. “Hopefully we showed you guys that we have something special cooking up this year, so coming out and supporting — that means a lot for us.” 

He also shared what he thought worked so well in terms of chemistry between him and his teammates. 

“We are a little undersized, so we have a lot of versatile players who can kind of move pieces around,” Hervey said. “I feel that plays in our favor a lot, and then the fast pace that we play, as well.” 

Moving forward, Hervey believes the key to keeping up momentum is simple.

“It’s just about being locked in,” Hervey said. “You know we didn’t take Defiance lightly, so it’s just the same thing with Bowling Green, having those intense practices and being locked in and getting after it.”

Coach Greg Kampe also added in his thoughts about the blowout win for his team. 

“It feels great — all wins are good,” Kampe said. “We’re really pleased to start this way and I’m really pleased with the way we defended and the way we kept our intensity. Instead of acting like we were way better than them, we went about our business as if we were playing Oklahoma State. We never lost our intensity, and that’s what I liked the most.”