Oakland becomes the hunted
Cory Johnson had 33 points on 12-of-13 shooting and Brandon Wood (12 of 20) had 35, as the Crusaders did everything right, similar to the performance the Grizzlies had in an upset over Tennessee last week.
“You go and you beat the No. 7 team in the country and people will want to beat you,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. “And they wanted to beat us. There’s no fear for them. They’re supposed to lose. They’re going to come in here and play with confidence. They did (that) and we stood around the first seven minutes of the game and let them shoot. Our defense was non-existent. And there were times in the second half where it was (like that), too.”
Kampe reiterated multiple times that the Grizzlies didn’t defend well, or at all, at times during Tuesday’s 103-102 shootout loss.
“(I said) keep the ball out of their hands,” the coach said. “Every time the ball left (Johnson’s) hand, it went in. Twelve of 13 from the floor. What do you have to do to keep the ball out of his hands? We’re not a team that double-(teams). We’ve got a shot-blocker. (But) he wasn’t in there a lot in the second half. ... We don’t want to be a team that doubles and gives up a lot of open looks. We want to be able to defend.”
Valpo, a former Mid-Continent conference rival of Oakland that left for the Horizon League four years ago, will be on the schedule the next two seasons.