Women’s basketball crushes Crusaders in New Year’s Eve showdown


Ian Levinson

With 19 minutes on the Blacktop, Taylor Jones scored 20 points for the Golden Grizzlies. Oakland defeated Valparaiso 104-63 on New Year’s Eve.

The Oakland women’s basketball team (8-5, 2-0 HL) ended the year with its second win in the Horizon League conference over the Valparaiso Crusaders (5-8, 0-2 HL) 104-63 on Saturday, Dec. 31 on the Blacktop at the O’rena.

This marks the program record for the most points scored in a league game at the O’rena.

The Golden Grizzlies shot 16-for-31 from beyond the 3-point arc and were only two successful 3-pointers away from tying the school record in 3-pointers during a single game. 

“For 37 minutes of the game, I thought we did a pretty good job defensively,” Head Coach Jeff Tungate said. “Obviously, we did a great job running our offense, executing our sets and making shots. In two league games now, we’ve got 45 assists, so that shows that this team is unselfish. They’re willing to share the ball, and it’s a great win.”

Oakland hit the ground running at the beginning of the game with some strong defense against Valpo.

The Golden Grizzlies had an 18-0 run in the first quarter, while the Crusaders were unable to score for over four minutes. At halftime, the score was 31-11 Black and Gold.

In the second half, Oakland continued to turn up the heat against Valparaiso and rained 3-pointers. The Golden Grizzlies were shooting 62.5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc with less than 7:00 left in the second half.

“This team can really shoot the ball,” Tungate said. “They do in practice every single day, and to see them shoot the ball like that tonight is not a surprise.”

Tungate still feels as though the team’s defense could be better, as he wants to be known as “a defensive team.”

“I thought we played really well, except for about a three-minute stretch in the second quarter,” Tungate said. “We did not guard. They got too many shots in a row, and they shot too high of a percentage in the second quarter.”

Hannah Little achieved her team-high, fifth double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. She had a career high of eight assists and tied her career best of three blocks.

Taylor Jones led both teams with 20 points, as well as two rebounds and two assists. She was 7-for-14 from the field and 4-for-6 from downtown.

Taylor Gleason and Leah Somerfield also added 15 points each. Gleason went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, while Somerfield was 5-for-9 from within the arc.

For Valpo, Dani Franklin and Meredith Hamlet led the Crusaders with 18 points and four turnovers each. Franklin went 7-for-14 from the field and 2-for-4 from the freethrow line. The game against Oakland ended her 36 successful free-throw streak on the road.

The Golden Grizzlies will face their rivals, the University of Detroit Mercy Titans, at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 7 on the Blacktop at the O’rena.