Golden Grizzlies go winless in holiday trip to Bahamas

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Oakland men’s basketball team traveled south to the Bahamas to compete in the 2022 Nassau Championship. Although the competition wasn’t the toughest, Oakland failed to secure a victory in the three-game event. 

First, the Golden Grizzlies took on Long Beach State on Friday, Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving. However, there wasn’t much to be thankful for in this matchup for Oakland.

The Golden Grizzlies fell behind early and struggled to recover afterward. Coach Greg Kampe’s team led by one point on two different occasions — one in the first half and one in the second — but Oakland was unable to stop the well-rounded starting five of Long Beach State.

All five of Long Beach State’s starters finished in double figures, and although it only got six bench points, the starting five was able to carry the team to victory in this one.

Blake Lampman led the way for Oakland with 17 points on a high volume of 3-point shooting, but it wasn’t enough as the Golden Grizzlies dropped their first game of the tournament.

Next, on Saturday, Oakland struggled yet again. The Golden Grizzlies took on Sage Tolbert and San Jose State in the second round of the tournament, and yet again, things got ugly in a hurry.

The Spartans opened up a 10-point lead over Oakland with just under seven minutes to play in the first half, and they stretched the lead to as many as 22 before settling for a 20-point advantage at halftime. 

Trailing 47-27 through the first 20 minutes, Oakland didn’t lose heart. The Golden Grizzlies trimmed the large lead to three points with 5:22 left to play in the game.

However, San Jose State quickly retaliated by stretching the lead back to 15 points to put Oakland away. 

Jalen Moore and Trey Townsend combined for 30 of Oakland’s 67 points, but no other Grizzly finished with more than nine points as Oakland fell to 0-2 in the tournament.

In the team’s final game of the 2022 Nassau Championship, it faced Missouri State, a school that transfer forward Keaton Hervey used to play for. Hervey had an outstanding performance against his old school, but the Golden Grizzlies ultimately came up short by a final score of 76-64.

Hervey put together a heroic 24-point performance, including 5-7 shooting from behind the arc. Hervey played 37 minutes and did everything in his power to will Oakland to victory, but the Bears prevailed. 

Oakland finished the 2022 Nassau Championship with an 0-3 record and returned home to begin Horizon League play. The Golden Grizzlies dropped their Horizon League opener to Cleveland State on Thursday, Dec. 1, and they followed it up with an overtime heartbreaking loss to Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday, Dec. 3.

Oakland is now 2-8 on the season and has lost eight of its last nine games. The team travels to New York this week to take on the Syracuse Orange on Tuesday, Dec. 6.