Oakland University’s women’s basketball snapped their four game losing streak, defeating Rochester College 65-34 at the Athletics Center O’rena on Friday night.
Freshman guard Elena Popkey finished the game with 14 points, five rebounds and three steals. Junior guard Victoria Lipscomb scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
“I was pleased with how hard we played for the whole 40 minutes,” head coach Beckie Francis said. “We had little goals for every four minutes and I feel like we achieved them.”
After scoring just 25 points in the game against No. 2 Connecticut on Wednesday, Oakland (6-6) was looking to get off to a hot start as they hosted Rochester College (6-8) in the final non-league game of the season.
“It was very important,” Lipscomb said. “Wednesday was a tough night for us but we were able to learn a lot from Wednesday and so tonight, the focus was just to come out and play our game.”
Oakland jumped out to a 10-2 lead early on, forcing four turnovers in the game’s first five minutes.
It only took until the 9:48 mark for the Golden Grizzlies to exceed their point total from the game before as they led 26-8 over Rochester.
Oakland’s shooting percentage in the first half never dipped below 50 percent. Popkey was a perfect 5-5, finishing the half with 11 points.
“I think we moved the ball and we created opportunities for each other to shoot, which is what we wanted especially after coming off a losing streak,” Popkey said. “We wanted to really set each other up and get the motion on offense and I think we did well.”
The Grizzlies held Rochester to just 23 percent shooting at the end of the half. Oakland shot 62 percent and out rebounded Rochester 21-12.
Oakland picked up where they left off, going on a 12-5 run to extend their lead to 53-22 in the second half.
Despite Oakland’s 29 percent shooting in the final half, they never allowed Rochester to find a groove and held on to win by 31 points.
Rochester sophomore forward Sam Tomaschko finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and recording 11 rebounds. The Warriors shot just 25 percent for the game compared to Oakland’s 45 percent.
The Grizzlies played their third consecutive game without freshman forward Olivia Nash and coach Francis is anxious for her return.
“It’s huge because she can shoot the three, she gets double doubles and she’s our top post defender,” Francis said. “There’s so many things. She’s a leader and she’s confident. So she brings a lot to the team.”
With the holidays right around the corner and Summit League play ready to begin, the team believes that they are prepared.
“We’re ready,” Lipscomb said. “We’re very, very excited. This is probably one of the toughest non-conference schedules that I’ve personally played in my career at Oakland.”
Lipscomb believes that tough losses such as the one in Connecticut can help prepare them for future games.
“Even with the tough loss Wednesday night, there’s so much you can gain from it,” Lipscomb said. “Of course, we had our negatives, but there’s also positives you can take a way from it. At the end of the day, that’s just going to make us better and stronger for conference play which is what we need.”
After a break for the holidays, Oakland will be back in action Dec. 28 against Summit League opponent Western Illinois at the O’rena.