Women’s basketball destroys Marygrove at home opener


Photo courtesy of Elyse Gregory

The Oakland University women’s basketball team dropped a tough one to Robert Morris last Friday.

Reeling from the season opener loss at University of Michigan last Friday, Oakland women’s basketball (1-1) won a massive victory against Marygrove College (1-4) during the home opener at the Blacktop in the O’rena Monday night.

After four quarters, the Golden Grizzlies managed to pummel the Mustangs 126-31.

Taylor Jones led Oakland with 27 points, while Nikita Telesford added 18. Telesford also led in rebounds, regaining the ball 13 times while on offense and three times while on defense. Leah Somerfield and Sha’Keya Graves contributed 13 points each.

The first half saw Oakland overpower Marygrove 30-9 in the first quarter and 27-10 in the second, but the Golden Grizzlies had some difficulties working the ball defensively. Marygrove generated some turnovers, but were unsuccessful in finding the net.

Oakland head coach Jeff Tungate used halftime as an opportunity to reconfigure Oakland’s strategy.

“I challenged them at halftime with some things that I wanted to see improved,” Tungate said. “I didn’t think our ball pressure was good enough in the first half and I didn’t think that we rotated well enough compared to what we normally do. I also didn’t think we were blocking out the way we’ve been practicing.”

Oakland’s Taylor Gleason recognized similar obstacles.

“It was an opportunity for us to get to see what we need to work on intensity-wise and defensively,” Gleason said. “We definitely knew that we needed to put more pressure on the ball, so this was a good opportunity to practice that. We can always improve on our defense and pressuring the ball.”

Energized with Tungate’s input, the Golden Grizzlies took the third quarter 41-8 and limited Marygrove’s chances offensively. Oakland’s pressure continued into the fourth quarter, where they held Marygrove 28-4.

“I’m more excited about what we did in the third quarter because I didn’t think we played the first half very well, even though we had a big lead,” Tungate said. “I was pleased with how they responded, and to come back the way we did tonight is what I had hoped this team would do.”

Jones attributed the victory to the team members’ ability to adapt to one another.

“I think each day we’re learning each other’s game more, and we’re getting to have better chemistry,” Jones said. “I think that everyone that came off that bench played their role well, and we’ll have to transfer all this over to our next game come Saturday.”

Gleason echoed Jones’ comments.

“[We] need to keep bringing the intensity to practice and keep continuing so we never take a step back,” Gleason said. “We just took it as another game. We take every game the same because we’re out there to beat whoever is out there.”

Tungate hopes the team’s success will filter into the next game against Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).

“The biggest thing is that we just worry about what is going on that day,” Tungate said. “I know it’s a bit of a coaching cliché, but all we can focus on is the day. We have to put this one in the rear view mirror, learn from the mistakes we made, correct them and get ready for IPFW.”

The Golden Grizzlies will return when they face IPFW on the road Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET.