Oakland suffers second consecutive loss to Detroit Mercy
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The Oakland women’s basketball team (13-11, 7-6 HL) faced the University of Detroit Mercy Titans (14-10, 10-3 HL) at Calihan Hall on Saturday, Feb. 11.
The Golden Grizzlies came in seeking redemption from their previous defeat by the Titans on Jan. 7, but were unsuccessful. Down by 10 points at the end of the fourth quarter, Oakland lost 71-61 in the Metro Series game.
Both Oakland and UDM struggled offensively in the first quarter, with each team scoring fewer than 10 points. At the start of the second quarter, Detroit Mercy picked up the pace and shut down Oakland’s offense entirely.
UDM specifically wanted to stop redshirt senior Hannah Little.
“We know that [Oakland] has some really good guards, so we wanted to slow them down,” UDM head coach Bernard Scott said in the postgame press conference. “We wanted to make them take contested shots. We know that Little is really good on the board, so our goal was to keep her off the boards. I think we did it for the most part, but towards the end of the game, she started to get going a little bit.”
At halftime, the Golden Grizzlies were down by 12 points, a hole that they couldn’t dig themselves out of. They opened the third quarter on a 12-4 run to cut Detroit Mercy’s lead to 6, but that was as close as they came.
Oakland head coach Jeff Tungate felt the team’s offense was to blame for the loss.
“Our offense was horrible,” Tungate said. “We weren’t making shots, weren’t making layups, we weren’t making wide-open shots, we got ourselves into a hole, and we had to work hard to come back. We just couldn’t make that comeback after getting ourselves into such a big hole in the first half. I thought we were very clumsy in how we played. I thought we were sloppy in how we played, and we weren’t executing our offense in the first half. We have to run better offense if we want to win games.”
Little scored her 10th double-double of this season, with 11 points and 14 rebounds. She also said the team’s performance in the first half was uncharacteristic.
“It’s all about the first half and how we come out and start,” Little said. “We have to come out and be ready to play each game. As soon as you step on the court, you have to be ready, and we weren’t.”
UDM junior, Brianne Cohen had no problem with Oakland’s defense. At the end of the first half, she was the lead scorer with 16 points. By the end of the game, she had racked up 24 total points and gone 57.1 percent from the field.
“I think we had a lot riding on this game, so we came in excited to play,” Cohen said. “When we got calm and settled down, and realized that we had to play basketball, things started going for us.”
The Golden Grizzlies will next face off against Valparaiso at 8 p.m. on Feb. 16 in Indiana.