Slow start proves costly for OU men’s basketball

David Cesefske

The Oakland University men’s basketball team (0-6) fell Sunday, Nov. 24 in a 68-62 loss to St. Francis Brooklyn (3-3). The two teams were playing in the consolation matchup of the mainland bracket of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational held at the HTC Center.

OU was led in scoring by Travis Bader, who had a season-high 30 points but only went 9-23 from the field. OU shot 38 percent from the floor and 26 percent in the first half, where they went nearly 10 minutes without scoring.

The Grizzlies looked as if they would head into halftime down by 12, but a late clutch 3-pointer by Bader cut the deficit to nine. The score after one half was 29-20 St. Francis.

OU was able to claw their way back into the game in the second half by posting 42 points, including a 7-0 run to begin the second half that cut the deficit to two.

Bader hit a late jumper with 56 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 62-62, but that would prove to be the last two points for the Grizzlies.

St. Francis forward Jalen Cannon scored the game-clinching layup with 33 seconds remaining, putting his team up 64-62. Cannon would later add four more free throws for a final score of 68-62.

Cannon led St. Francis to victory on the strength of a near double-double, with 22 points and nine rebounds.

The Grizzlies fought back, but just weren’t able to get a key defensive stop late at the most crucial time of the game. At 0-6, the climb for OU seems steep, but coming home to play on Saturday, Nov. 30 could provide some much needed relief.  

“We’ve got to put this game behind us and keep pushing forward and trying to get better, I don’t know that we’ve done that in the last week,” OU head coach, Greg Kampe, said. “Hopefully we will get to practice in another two weeks, maybe if we can practice before the Ohio game we can improve then, but we’ve got to just survive this next week.”

OU has been on a long road trip to begin the season and practice has been hard to come by because of the constant travel.

Oakland’s seven-game road trip will come to an end in Kalamazoo Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. when the Grizzlies play Western Michigan.