Reggie Hamilton steers the ship without scoring (as many)
“Most people think all I do is scream and yell, but what I said to him was ‘I’m so proud of you because we’re winning this game because of the 3 you made. That was the key basket of the game,’ ” Kampe said. “He hadn’t made a 3 all night. You could see he was frustrated, but he didn’t take that out by taking bad shots.”
Hamilton hit a crucial 3 with 3:16 remaining, his only one of the night, to pull Oakland back within a point after Nate Wolters put South Dakota State ahead by four from the free-throw line just seconds earlier.
Hamilton scored just two points in the first half, but finished with 16, while shooting just 3 of 11 but maintaining his double-figure scoring streak. He also had eight assists and just one turnover, a traveling call Kampe seemed suspicious of after the game.
“I told him we won tonight because he played like a team player,” Kampe said. “That’s a hard thing for a kid to do with seven pro scouts here matched up against another great player. The normal person who isn’t a natural leader probably would’ve dragged that team down and he didn’t. He lifted his team up.”
Hamilton was the nation’s second-leading scorer entering the game with a 23.4 points per game average. He slipped to third at 23.39. Wolters was eighth with 21.1 ppg., but moved up to sixth.
It doesn’t happen often, but Hamilton has had poor shooting nights a few times this season, most notably leading the Grizzlies to victory over Houston Nov. 22 while going 3 of 14 from the floor. He hasn’t had fewer than seven assists in the past four games and reached a season-high nine assists Dec. 1 vs. South Dakota. He moved into 11th place in all-time assists in the Summit League Thursday, while also becoming 17th in all-time conference scoring history.