Oakland falls 91-72 as hot shooting dooms Golden Grizzlies once again

By Postie Editors

Sioux Falls, S.D.  The Oakland University men’s basketball team fell to the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Mastodons 91-72 during the first round of the Summit League Tournament.

Junior Travis Bader was Oakland’s leading scorer with 18 points, but once again the guarding of IPFW’s Frank Gaines did not allow Bader to knock down a three until late in the first half. Bader shot 3 of 12 from behind the three point line and was 4 of 16 from the field.

The surprise of the night for the Golden Grizzlies was the shooting of Ryan Bass and Dante Williams. Bass added 16 points in 30 minutes for Oakland and hit some much needed-jump shots as the Golden Grizzlies battled to get back into the game. Williams had 14 points and grabbed 3 boards. Williams also hit Oakland’s first three-pointer in the game and, in doing so, was able to extend the streak of three-pointers made in a game to 767 straight games.

Senior Drew Valentine, in his last game as a Golden Grizzlies forward, did his best to keep the Grizzlies alive by adding 10 points and was 4 of 6 from the field. Valentine also grabbed 6 rebounds but in the end, it was not enough for Oakland.

Duke Mondy also had a game to forget with 7 points and went 2 of 7 from the field. Mondy also turned the ball over three times and a mammoth turnover along the baseline while the Golden Grizzlies were attempting to make a comeback early in the second half.

For the game, Oakland went 22 of 62 (35.5 percent) from the field, 8 of 32 (25 percent) from behind the arch, and 20-28 (71.4 percent) from the charity stripe.

“I am not happy with my team, I am not happy with our play, but it has been like that all season long,” head coach Greg Kampe said in a press conference after the game.

With the loss, the Golden Grizzlies were eliminated from any NCAA tournament bids and were offered a spot in the CIT tournament, but coach Kampe stated that “I have a decision to make about the bid to the CIT, we have a record of 16 and 16 and we have a streak of 5 seasons with over .500 winning seasons and do not want to put that in jeopardy.”

Also coming to an end for the Golden Grizzlies was the fifth straight 20-win season. Everything looked good for Oakland a month ago as the Golden Grizzlies won eight straight games an improved to 16-13 but dropped two straight at end of the season and three straight to IPFW.

This is the second straight 1st round exit for the Summit League Tournament, last season Oakland dropped the opening round game to Southern Utah after leading by 8 with 4 minutes left. Tonight’s game was Oakland’s worst loss to IPFW, the previous largest margin of victory for the Mastodon’s was 8 in 2009.

Oakland will return everyone from this season with the exception for seniors Drew Valentine and Jordan Howenstine. Valentine was second all-time in games played with 135 just 2 behind Keith Benson for Oakland.

IPFW will move on to play the home town South Dakota State Jackrabbits Monday night at the Sioux Falls Arena at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on Fox College Sports.