Oakland (14-13) at UMKC (7-20)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 7:15 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Swinney Recreation Center (2,000) -- Kansas City, Missouri. Television: FCS, KSMO. Home Record: Oakland 9-1, UMKC 2-10. Away Record: Oakland 5-12, UMKC 3-8. Neutral Record: Oakland 0-0, UMKC 2-1. Conference Record: Oakland 9-4, UMKC 4-9. Series Record: Oakland leads, 26-6.
GAMES NOTES: Travis Bader and the streaking Oakland Golden Grizzlies will take a trip to Swinney Recreation Center for a Summit League battle with the UMKC Kangaroos on Saturday night.
With wins in six straight games, Oakland has skyrocketed up the Summit League standings as the Golden Grizzlies are now 9-4 and just a half game back of North Dakota State for fourth in the conference. Oakland is also 14-13 overall, making it one of four teams in the conference with at least 14 wins. This contest is the second matchup of a three-game road trip for Oakland which wraps the trip up on Wednesday against IUPU-Fort Wayne.
Against that same Mastodons squad, UMKC was victim to its sixth loss in the last seven games. The 65-60 defeat dropped the Kangaroos to just 7-20 overall and to a 4-9 ledger against teams in the Summit League. UMKC hasn't gotten much help playing at home were it is just 2-10 on the campaign. UMKC plays the final three games of the regular season on the road including a non- conference tilt against Tennessee Tech next Friday.
Oakland already picked up a win against UMKC this season with an 81-68 triumph on Jan. 17. The win was the 13th straight in the series for Oakland, which has won 26-of-32 total meetings.
On Thursday Oakland barely kept its winning streak alive with a 76-75 win over South Dakota. There were five ties and five lead changes in the second half between the two teams with the final lead change coming on a clutch free-throw from Duke Mondy with four seconds remaining.
By moving the ball well Oakland has been one of the better offenses in the Summit League. The Golden Grizzlies are ranked second in the conference in points (73.1 pg) and assists (13.6 pg). However, Oakland has made it difficult on itself by letting up 73.7 points per game on the third worst opponent field goal percentage (.498) in the country. Bader (21.9 ppg) leads the way as the second-best scorer in the conference even though he has shot just 39.2 percent from the floor. That is a symptom of how reliant Bader is on his shot from beyond the arc, where he shoots at 39.5 percent. Bader opens up opportunities on the interior for Corey Petros (12.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg), while Mondy (12.9 ppg, 5.1 apg) runs the offense as the top facilitator.
In a see-saw second half, UMKC was able to cut a 12-point deficit to just a single point twice in the final 20 minutes against IPFW. However the Kangaroos were never able to take a lead as they allowed the Mastodons to shoot 52.4 percent from the field in the second period.
UMKC is being outscored by a little more than 10 points per game on the season. The Kangaroos have netted just 61.4 points per game while shooting the worst percentage from the field (.423) in the league and ranking last in assists (9.7 pg) as well. On the defensive end of things the Kangaroos let up 71.6 points per game on one of the 15 worst opponent field goal percentages in the country (.479). Estan Tyler (11.3 ppg) is the only player on the roster scoring in double figures as well as just one of two putting in more than eight points per game. Thomas Staton (9.6 ppg) is the second option on the roster, while Fred Chatmon (7.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg) leads the team on the boards.
With how poorly the Kangaroos play on defense and how prolific the Golden Grizzlies can be on offense this game has the makings of a big win for Oakland.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oakland 74, UMKC 64
02/16 10:31:54 ET