Brilliant inbound play saves Oakland in Horizon League tournament opener

It took one of the most clever inbound plays of the season for Oakland to survive the opening round of the Horizon League tournament.

With the sixth-seeded Golden Grizzlies trailing seventh-seeded Youngstown State by two and needing to go the length of the floor in six tenths of a second, coach Greg Kampe astutely figured he had a better chance of drawing a foul than sinking a shot. He had his inbound passer run the baseline and sent career 3-point record holder Travis Bader to stand stationary along the baseline, leading the Youngstown State defender guarding the passer to bowl over Bader and get called for a foul.

Bader sank both free throws to tie the game and Oakland rallied from a four-point deficit in overtime to secure a thrilling 96-92 victory. The Golden Grizzlies advance to face third-seeded Wright State on Friday night in the Horizon League quarterfinals and move one victory closer to earning the automatic NCAA bid awarded to the tournament champion.

"We were trying to draw the guy guarding the inbound pass to foul," said Bader, who finished with 39 points. "A circumstance like that, there's a lot going on and you think he's trying to heave it down court, so it was a really nice drawn-up play by Coach Kampe."

This is not the first time Oakland has used that particular play. Kampe did it against Oral Roberts while the Golden Grizzlies were in the Summit League. Both times Kampe took the time to warn the referees ahead of time what he was planning.

"I go, 'You got to call it now if he runs him over,'" Kampe told reporters after the game. "He goes, 'If he runs him over, Bader goes down and he goes down on top of him, I'll call it.'"

That's exactly what happened. And as a result, Oakland survived to play at least one more game.


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