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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

PREGAME NOTES: Oakland vs. Valparaiso

Oakland (5-11) hosts its first home game in Horizon League against familiar foe Valparaiso (9-7) looking to rebound from a double-digit loss at Wright State in the Golden Grizzlies' conference debut Thursday. The game tips off at 6 p.m. can be seen on Horizon League Network, here.

- Oakland has won five of the past six games in the all-time series and is favored by two points Saturday. The Golden Grizzlies and Crusaders have met 22 times, with Valparaiso winning the first 16 meetings. Oakland's first win came in the 2005-06 season at the O'rena.

- Oakland's last loss to the Crusaders came at the O'rena in December 2010, 103-102. 

- Oakland was picked fourth in the Horizon League preseason poll, while Valparaiso, the two-time defending conference regular-season champion, was picked sixth.The Crusaders are coming off a program-best 26 wins last season.

- Oakland upended Valparaiso, 70-68, in the teams' last meeting, last season at the O'rena. Duke Mondy, Ryan Bass and Travis Bader each had 16 points for Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies finished the game on an 11-0 run, reclaiming the lead on a layup by Mondy with 20 seconds to play, making it the fourth consecutive game in the series to be decided on the game's final possession.

- The team's have met in non-conference play each of the past three seasons and the games have been decided by a total of five points.

- Saturday is the 200th game in the O'rena, where Oakland is 146-53 (.734) all-time. The Golden Grizzlies are 5-1 on their home court this season.They've lost 13 straight on the road.

- Travis Bader needs just 25 more 3s to set a new NCAA record. He's currently fourth on the all-time list with 433, two triples away from third place. Bader is shooting 60 percent from 3-point range (28 of 47) over the past four games. He leads the Horizon League in scoring with 21.6 points per game.

- Corey Petros is averaging 21 points per game over the last three games and is shooting 66 percent from the floor. He leads the Horizon League with five double-doubles this season and is second in the conference 8.3 rebounds per game.

- Duke Mondy again leads the nation in steals. Get some insight into his approach and his relationship with coach Greg Kampe in this feature story by Noah Trister of The Associated Press. 

- Greg Kampe talked about the early years in the series with the Times of Northwest Indiana. 

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