A total of 20 turnoversand general sloppy play led to the Golden Grizzlies first loss on the road at the hands of the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns Sunday night. Oakland's Junior guard Duke Mondy led all scorers with 30 points shooting 67 percent from the floor. This turned out to be one of the night's only bright spots.
The Ragin' Cajuns meanwhile reaped the benefits of a balanced attack, getting 15 from Elridge Moore and Mbamalu Bryant. Elfrid Payton and Shawn Long each added 14 of their own.
A cold snap to start the second half really hurt the Grizzlies. There was a six minute stretch where it seemed like they couldn't hit a shot. Despite having 16 points, Oakland sharpshooting junior guard Travis Bader could not buy a bucket from Chick-Fil-A. He did not hit a basket from beyond the arc until after the ten minute mark of the second half.
If the Grizzlies keep having periods like these it will be hard for them to compete with the daunting road schedule they have. Boise State will be favored at home tonight and after this performance it is hard to see how they will match up with Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Drew Valentine also had 16 points but the Grizzlies will need him to step up more in order to have a shot in the Summit League this year.
Redshirt Sophomore Corey Petros will need to be more assertive on the glass. With his size, five rebounds just isn't going to cut it. That said, his baby hook seems to be effective, netting him 12 points on the night.
Still, I think there is cause for concern. Mario Impemba and Neal Ruhl on the radio call made the comment that this was a very young Louisiana Lafayette team. It will be interesting to see how they fare against clubs with more veteran leadership.