YSU hosts Oakland in Tuesday’s CIT opener

The Youngstown State University men’s basketball team has an old foe visiting Tuesday.

Former Mid-Continent Conference rival Oakland travels to the Beeghly Center for a first-round game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament against the Penguins. Tip-off it at 7:05 p.m.

YSU (17-15) lost to Wright State in the Horizon League quarterfinals on March 8 in Valparaiso.

This is the first time the Penguins will face Oakland since losing a 70-67 game Dec. 20, 2003, in Youngstown.

YSU’s last victory over the Golden Grizzlies was 75-70 on Feb. 22, 2001.

“We are excited to still be playing basketball and honored to host a first round game in the CIT,” YSU coach Jerry Slocum said in a news release. “Oakland is a very good program and we will have to play with a lot of focus and intensity to be successful against them.”

This is the Penguins’ first-ever trip to postseason play since becoming Division I in the 1981-82 season, but Oakland is 5-5 in three NCAA Tournament appearances and two CIT visits. Oakland advanced to last year’s CIT Final Four.

“We are excited to have a chance to continue play,” said 29th-year head coach Greg Kampe, who went over 500 wins earlier this season, in a news release. “We made a run to the Final Four in this tournament last year and it was a great experience. We hope to represent Oakland University well in this national tournament.”

First-team, all-Horizon League selection Kendrick Perry paces the Penguins with 16.7 points per game.

Senior forward and Warren G. Harding graduate Damian Eargle, the league’s defensive player of the year, averages 11.7 points and ranks in the nation’s top 10 with 3.17 blocks per outing.

Travis Bader leads the Golden Grizzlies with 21.9 points per game and leads the country with 134 3-pointers. He has made at least one triple in an NCAA-best 52 straight contests.

For ticket information, call 330-941-1978.

KENT STATE HOSTS FAIRFIELD: The Kent State Golden Flashes, which reached 20 wins for the 14th year out of 15 tries, is hosting the Stags in a CIT opener Tuesday at the M.A.C. Center.

The Golden Flashes (20-13) are 4-1 against Fairfield (19-15) and last faced each other in a 2011 NIT second-round matchup where KSU beat the Stags, 72-68. Randal Holt had 22 points in the NIT win.

Call 330-672-2244 for ticket information.