Moore, Townsend combine for 46 in 85-81 win over IUPUI

Oakland University welcomed the IUPUI Jaguars to the O’rena on Wednesday, Feb. 15 as it began a four-game home stand to finish off the regular season. Despite IUPUI having one of the worst seasons of any Division I team in America, the Golden Grizzlies only narrowly defeated the Jaguars, 85-81.

The win propelled Oakland to a 10-7 record in the Horizon League.

The teams traded punches throughout the entire first half. Neither team could put together a run of any sort, and it was a back-and-forth affair throughout the first 20 minutes.

Neither team opened up a lead of more than four points throughout the first half. 

It was much of the same in the second half, too, as the teams continued the close battle. IUPUI jumped out to a five-point lead early in the second half, but Oakland quickly retaliated.

The teams continued to trade baskets down the stretch, and with 2:10 to play, the Golden Grizzlies boasted a six-point lead — the largest of the game for either team.

Free throws from Rocket Watts and Jalen Moore put the game on ice for Oakland, and the Golden Grizzlies finished off the Jaguars, 85-81. 

Moore and Trey Townsend both registered 23 points on the evening, and the duo carried the load for Head Coach Greg Kampe’s squad. 

Watts added 14 points in the victory, and Keaton Hervey was the fourth and final Grizzly in double figures with 10 points.

“I think you give IUPUI a ton of credit,” Kampe said. “Both times we’ve played them this year, they’ve looked like a team that doesn’t have the record they have or the rankings that they have, and I think you’ve got to give their coach a ton of credit for that.”

Kampe was quick to point out that, although Oakland was just 15 points shy of 100, it still hasn’t been shooting the ball well as of late.

“As a team, we are 3 for our last 30 from the 3,” Kampe said. “If you look at today and the second half at Milwaukee — after starting the first half at Milwaukee seven-for-10 — three-for-30 now, since then. We just don’t shoot it. We just consistently can’t shoot the ball.”

As Kampe pointed out, Oakland certainly didn’t shoot the ball well — just two-for-18 from deep on the night — but what concerns him most is the defense.

“We just didn’t have any energy, any sense of urgency,” Kampe said. “It bothers me because of the time of the season it is. But a lot of teams would’ve lost, had the same scenario happened to them. We found a way to figure it out and get the win.

“I think we need one more win to guarantee ourselves a top-eight finish, which would give us a home game [in the Horizon League Tournament],” Kampe said. “We’ve got three left here, and we’ve got to get at least one of them to guarantee that.”

A home game in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament would give the Golden Grizzlies a major advantage as it relates to its quest toward winning the conference tournament.