GAME NOTES: Closing in on 500 wins for his college coaching career, Greg Kampe shoots for No. 496 on Saturday as he and the Oakland Golden Grizzlies challenge the Jaguars of IUPUI in Summit League action at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Kampe, who is in his 29th season with Oakland, which is the fifth-longest tenure among Division I coaches at the moment, has had a bit of a bumpy ride for the Grizzlies in the early going of 2012-13 with just five wins in 14 opportunities. On Thursday night, the team dropped its conference opener to Western Illinois on the road in a 73-63 final. The loss was the second in the last three outings for a program which has alternated wins and losses for the last seven games overall.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars were also in action two nights ago when they clashed with Fort Wayne, but in that instance IUPUI came away with a convincing 88-74 victory at home, the team's second in a row marking the first time this season the Jags have won back-to-back games.
Oakland owns a 23-15 advantage in the all-time series against the Jaguars, but it was IUPUI that won the most recent encounters last February by a score of 79-75, in The Jungle.
The Golden Grizzlies were led in scoring by Ryan Bass who tallied 18 points, while Travis Bader and Corey Petros delivered 15 points apiece, the latter also clearing a game-high 11 rebounds in the team's second setback in the last three games on Thursday night versus Western Illinois. Trailing by just four points at the break, Oakland still had a chance to be competitive down the stretch, but in the second half the team allowed the Leathernecks to shoot a staggering 80 percent from the field and that was more than enough to bury the Golden Grizzlies. Bader, one of the top performers in the league, is cranking out 19.8 ppg thanks to his 56-of-142 (.394) shooting behind the 3-point line which means the rest of his teammates have combined for only 30 triples over the course of 14 games. While Bader is on the attack from the perimeter, Petros (13.6 ppg) is the one who locks down the inside with close to eight boards per contest.
John Hart scored 26 points, leading five players in double figures, as the IUPUI Jaguars captured the 14-point win over the Mastodons of IUPU-Fort Wayne in Summit League action on Thursday. Also scoring in double figures for the Jaguars were Greg Rice with 16 points, to go along with a game-high seven assists, followed by Lyonell Gaines and Donovan Gibbs with 12 points apiece and Mitchell Patton 10 in just 15 minutes off the bench. Gaines also accounted for eight rebounds and five steals for the Jags. Hart, who leads the team in steals with 24, is the top scorer for the group with his 15.4 ppg as he shoots close to 40 percent behind the three-point line. Although he's missed a few games recently, Patton remains second on the unit in scoring with 14.0 ppg and is also one of the better rebounders with 5.3 rpg, but still this is a group that is being beaten on the glass by more than six per game.
As long as IUPUI can keep Bader from setting up from beyond the arc over and over again, the Jags stand a chance, but there's still a lot that has to go right in order to make that happen.