Somerfield’s career-high not enough to push Golden Grizzlies past Ball State

Oakland+lost+to+Ball+State+66-59+on+Sunday%2C+Dec.+11+at+the+O%27rena.+Leah+Somerfield+%2823%29+scored+22+points+to+lead+the+team.+
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Somerfield’s career-high not enough to push Golden Grizzlies past Ball State

Oakland lost to Ball State 66-59 on Sunday, Dec. 11 at the O'rena. Leah Somerfield (23) scored 22 points to lead the team.

Oakland lost to Ball State 66-59 on Sunday, Dec. 11 at the O'rena. Leah Somerfield (23) scored 22 points to lead the team.

Bohdanna Cherstylo

Oakland lost to Ball State 66-59 on Sunday, Dec. 11 at the O'rena. Leah Somerfield (23) scored 22 points to lead the team.

Bohdanna Cherstylo

Bohdanna Cherstylo

Oakland lost to Ball State 66-59 on Sunday, Dec. 11 at the O'rena. Leah Somerfield (23) scored 22 points to lead the team.

Christian Miller, Staff Reporter

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Oakland women’s basketball experienced its first home loss of the season, falling 66-59 to Ball State University Sunday afternoon at the O’rena. Sunday’s loss brings Oakland’s record to 5-4.

Despite the setback, Oakland atheletes still managed positive takeaways from the game.

Leah Somerfield triumphed with a career-high 22 points, accompanied by a team-high nine rebounds and six 3-pointers.

Following closely behind, Nola Anderson and Taylor Gleason each secured 8 points for Oakland. Hannah Little worked the Cardinal’s offense, garnering a team-high three steals.

Renee Bennett responded with 28 points and six rebounds for Ball State University.

The Golden Grizzlies challenged the Cardinals in all four quarters. Oakland ended the first quarter trailing Ball State by just one point, and managed to tie the game 30-30 at halftime.

The intermission seemed to have emboldened Ball State.

The Cardinals solidified their lead, earning 18 points in both the third and fourth quarters, an exchange that overshadowed the Golden Grizzlies’ 13 and 16 respective points.

Before the game’s conclusion, Oakland tied Ball State 54-54, but the Golden Grizzlies could not sustain the momentum that could have pulled them ahead.

An issue for Oakland, which was very apparent in the second half, was recovering rebounds successfully. Ultimately, Ball State outnumbered Oakland in rebounds under the net 40 to 35.

Another factor in Oakland’s defeat was the overall struggle in handling the ball.

During the game, the Cardinals proved to be more effective at generating turnovers, earning 28 points from such action to Oakland’s 15. Ball State’s ability to circulate the ball to convert plays into points was also beneficial. In total, Ball State led with 20 assists to Oakland’s eleven.

Oakland’s difficulty finding the net was expressed by head coach Jeff Tungate.

“You’re not going to win games when your guards shoot 9-for-43 on the floor, and that’s with Nola Anderson going 3-for-6,” Tungate said. “Thankfully, Leah Somerfield really came to play tonight.”

Tungate continued by discussing Somerfield’s efforts.

“She had a great game tonight,” Tungate said. “[Somerfield] did a really nice job on the offensive end for us tonight and played well. If it wasn’t for her, we may have been scoring in the teens tonight.”

Tungate also addressed difficulties facing Oakland.

“We set up for way too many 3s, we didn’t get enough ball movement or ball reversals, and we didn’t attack off the ball screens like we’ve been doing,” he said. “I think we’ve been running really good offense this year, but tonight we were really stagnant.”

Tungate concluded with his thoughts on the upcoming game against Indiana University Bloomington.

“Indiana is a really good team,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough road test for our team, but it’ll be good for us leading into conference to see where we are and to see how we bounce back from this loss here at home. It will be a real test for our defense.”

Oakland will face its third Big-10 opponent when the Golden Grizzlies travel to Indiana University Bloomington to take on the Hoosiers on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 5:00 p.m. ET.