- Josh Collins: 31 points, 10 assists, 3 steals
- Enrico Di Loreto: 20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
- Jahmal McQueen: 16 points, 10 rebounds
- Evan Matthews: 12 points, 10 rebounds
WINDSOR, ON–Anytime a Canadian basketball fanatic has the opportunity to watch an NCAA team play on a CIS home court against one of their own, it has to be seized.
NPH took full advantage of this chance to witness the Oakland Grizzlies against the Windsor Lancers in the St. Denis Centre at the University of Windsor. After two overtime sessions, Oakland came out with the victory, 104-99.
Oakland (#13) under head coach Greg Kampe had made it to the NCAA tournament last season and into the round of 64 losing to the Texas Longhorns (#4).
When the Grizzlies took the floor, one was immediately impressed with their size and athleticism. Head coach Kampe explained before the game, “we have a couple of key players missing on this second trip to Canada but I’m excited to see how our freshmen will handle this situation this time around. It’s a very important trip for us in this regard.”
He went on to say “when Kentucky came to Canada to play, it caught our attention and now Canada is becoming known for good basketball.” Amen!
Into the first, Oakland was hitting from deep on a regular basis courtesy of Travis Bader, who registered 24 points for Grizzlies.
The Lancers kept the game close over the first half thanks to the bangin’ forward Evan Matthews, cool hand Luke (Josh Collins) and new comer Jahmal McQueen who has fit seamlessly into the lineup and plays both ends of the court well.
At halftime, the score was 41-32.
The second half saw the Lancers catch the Grizzlies and pull ahead… then the battle began. Late into the second half the teams traded baskets and leads when finally Enrico Di Loreto [20 points] dropped a mid-jumper at the buzzer to knot the game up and send it into overtime, much to the delight of the Windsor crowd.
The first overtime session was a mix of great effort and missed opportunities for both teams as defense began to falter and conditioning was becoming a factor. Still, Josh Collins, who finished with a game-high 31 points, found the basket from three point land with 28 seconds left to tie the game at 88 and send it into second overtime.
Again, the Lancer defense was left wanting as turnovers contributed to a Grizzlies lead that was hard to overcome. A valiant effort by the Lancers late in the period was unrewarded as Oakland took the four pint lead into the final buzzer.
Windsor Head Coach, Chris Oliver had this to say following the Lancer’s performance: “a great effort by our guys but we just didn’t make the play when it mattered. It clearly exposed defensive deficiencies but this is why we play these games. This was a good team that came into our building and we did make plays that kept us in the ball game so in that respect the team did a good job.”
Other notables include freshmen Guard Rotimi Osuntola Jr., who dropped in a couple timely baskets, as well as Guard Adem Said that ran the floor well in transition.