Men’s Basketball blow hot and cold in opening Conference weekend

Luke Harman

Reggie Chamberlain was on fire vs Oakland as he hit a career-best of 30 points.
Reggie Chamberlain was on fire vs Oakland as he hit a career-best of 30 points.

After picking up its first ever road-victory against IPFW in Fort Wayne, Ind. by a score of 81-66, the men’s basketball team concluded the week with a defeat to two-time defending Summit League champion Oakland on Saturday night in Rochester, Mich. by 86-73. The Roos are now 4-5 for the season and 1-1 in Summit League play after the opening weekend of conference matches.

Against Oakland, senior guard Reggie Chamberlain hit a career-best of 30 points but his effort wasn’t enough to stop the Golden Grizzlies 31-game home-court win-streak. The Roos were in foul trouble all night, which proved costly as ORU were hot from the free-throw line, downing 10. At the break, the home side led 47-36 after finishing on a high with five points inside the final half-minute.

The Roos battled back in the second half, cutting the lead to six with 10 minutes left on the clock. There were slick plays from sophomore Fred Chatmon, who tallied a career-matching eight points. But the Grizzlies were too powerful for the Roos on the night and pulled away toward the end of the game and finished with a comfortable score-line at 86-73.

The Roos hit a season-low 3-of-20 from beyond the arc, and were out-rebounded 41-31. Chamberlain made it four consecutive games with more than 20 points, while junior forward Thomas Staton had a career-best 10 points.

In Thursday’s conference opener at IPFW, the Roos recorded a 15-point victory margin which was the biggest on the road in conference play during the tenure of Head Coach Matt Brown. However, it was all sailing for the Roos as the Mastodons started hot as they scored the first eight points of the contest. Chamberlain led the Roo charge, coupled with scores from sophomore forward Kirk Korver and guard Nate Rogers, the Roos took a 40-35 lead into intermission after hitting 57-7 percent from the floor.

After the break, the Roos never trailed as freshman guard Estan Tyler started the half with great offense in the paint and senior Michael Gholston hit a couple of threes to enforce a dominating 13-point margin. The 81-66 final score was testament to the start-to-finish controlling performance the team had previously yet to show in this season’s games. The Roos finished the game hitting 60 percent from the field, while IPFW only hit 40.9 percent, while also hitting 17-of-21 from the line, compared to IPFW’s 4-of-6.

Chamberlain finished with 21 points and also extended his consecutive free-throws made streak to 22, dating back to Nov. 19 at Utah Valley. Senior guard Dustin Dibble put up double-digits for the second game in a row with 13, while Tyler and Gholston each had 10, season highs for both.

The Blue & Gold will head home for the first time since Nov. 16 this Wednesday for a non-conference match-up with North Dakota at 7:05 p.m. at Swinney Recreation Center. The Roos will play five non-conference games before stepping back into Summit League conference play on Dec. 28 against Oral Roberts.

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