Hamilton, Oakland put breaks on six-game skid against IUPUI

By Postie Editors

Like a famous once-titled hip-hop mix tape, the drought is over.

A reinvigorated Oakland men’s basketball team snapped its six-game losing streak, defeating the visiting IUPUI Jaguars 93-81 at the O’rena Saturday evening.

Reggie Hamilton exceeded the 30-point mark for the fifth time this season, notching a game-high 31. The senior guard confirmed the visual evidence that suggested the team had its confidence back.

“You’ve gotta have that swagger; a win is a win, and that’s the positive, that’s what it’s all about,” Hamilton said. “It’s all about March, though. We win three games in March, we forget this ever happened.”

Preseason Summit League Player of the Year Alex Young struggled early for the Jaguars (8-10, 2-4 Summit), starting 1-for-10 from the field. The senior guard/forward was accurate from the line (9/10 FT) and finished with 22 points, but most of the production came when it was too late. Oakland (9-10, 3-4) never trailed, and led by double-digits for a majority of the contest.

Kampe and the coaching staff again showed the same starting lineup and similar division of minutes as in Thursday night’s loss to Western Illinois, this time with better results. Sophomore guard Ryan Bass took advantage of the opportunity, logging a career-high in minutes (27), and more significantly, another high with 13 points.

“I noticed early in the game, the guy on IUPUI was pressuring me, so it gave Ryan the wide-open lane several times,” Hamilton said. “I don’t think there are a lot of players in the country that can guard a guy like Bass one-on-one that high. I think he did well with his opportunity tonight, and showed what he’s been working hard on, and I’m proud of him.”

Another integral part in breaking the losing trend was a much-improved effort by freshman center Corey Petros (20 points). His aggressive play in attacking the Jaguars’ frontcourt combo of starting senior Christian Siakam and reserve Mitchell Patton had both players on the bench four fouls with more than five minutes remaining.

Petros talked post-game about the impressions left in the losing slide and what was learned from it.

“It was a definite learning experience,” Petros said. “We just know that every game we have to come out from the beginning and play hard. If we slack a little bit, teams pull ahead and that’s when we lose, so we just have to stay ahead.”

The Golden Grizzlies broke out their gray uniforms for just the third time this season (they were worn against Tennessee and Michigan, also), not a coincidence according to head coach Greg Kampe.

“The whole thing was, we’re wearing gray tonight, we have to win,” Kampe said. “We wore gray, and we played it like it was a gray game…I’m very pleased with what I saw.”

It wasn’t just record setting done by Oakland players Saturday night, though. Freshman forward Lyonell Gaines played beyond his experience, notching career-highs both with 20 points and 11 rebounds for IUPUI. Senior guard Stephen Thomas also tied a personal high with 20 points, and drained four of IUPUI’s seven made three-pointers.

For the Golden Grizzlies, sophomore guard Travis Bader came off the bench once again and scored 13 points, and Drew Valentine chipped in nine points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Oakland has a full week off before returning to action on the road against IPFW next Saturday. IUPUI will take on Southern Utah at home on Thursday.