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Oakland Wins Important Home Game Over Cleveland State

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Play-by-Play: Giovanni Moceri

Color: Gavin Smilowski

Studio: Harjun Buttar

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies came away with a crucial 83-71 win over the Cleveland State Vikings at the OU Credit Union O’Rena, continuing to make their case for the number 1 seed in the Horizon League.

Oakland came into this game fresh off a win over the Robert Morris Colonials. It was a game for the ages for Blake Lampman, who, after getting all of Oakland’s first 12 points of the contest, was on pace for a 50-point night. Contributions from Jack Gohlke and a rare passenger-seat game for Trey Townsend were significant in getting off on the right foot and going head-to-head with an extremely dangerous Cleveland State team.

The Vikings came into this game with two victories against IUPUI and Detroit Mercy and are still in the middle of that intensely competitive scrum in the middle of the Horizon League standings. Continued success from Tristan Enaruna and Dylan Arnett were keys to Cleveland State winning those two games, and they were looking to punch slightly above their weight against a team they had bested earlier in the season.

The first half started out with Oakland forced to play from behind, as the Vikings were able to convert offensive possessions into points and Oakland’s sluggish offense allowed Cleveland State to find their matchups and settle into their defensive sets. Oakland turned it up with two buckets from Buru Naivalurua and a three from Lampman. Oakland started converting a higher volume of possessions as the first half progressed, but Cleveland State continued to wait in the wings for their moment, getting the score to 29-28 at the 4:54 mark. However, a layup by DQ Cole at the 2:33 mark made it a 38-28 game in favor of Oakland. Oakland continued to keep the Vikings at an arm’s length heading into the second half, holding a 44-32 scoreline.

In the second half, Oakland’s offense remained consistent, and got the score up to sizeable margins, with Cleveland State threatening again to turn the game into a track meet with their rebounding prowess. Free throws in the second half were tough to convert for Cleveland State, in the face of the Oakland Swim and Dive’s distraction tactics of cutting senior swimmer Ian Allen’s hair during Viking free throws. Ultimately, the Vikings were able to get some open looks, but continued good games from Lampman and Townsend helped Oakland pull away, 83-71.

Oakland, beaming with pride at returning to the top of the Horizon League in a shared spot with Green Bay, will look to fight battles on the road, starting with a tough matchup against Northern Kentucky on the road. Cleveland State, reeling from a bitter loss, will look to turn the ship around and face the new-look Purdue Fort-Wayne, who started off as the best team in the league but has since returned to Earth and is fighting for a middle spot now.

WXOU’s next broadcast is on Thursday, February 8th, when the Oakland women prepare to take on the Youngstown State Penguins at the OU Credit Union O’rena. Catch all the action here on WXOU!



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