Women’s basketball wins four straight over break

The Oakland University women’s basketball team stayed busy over the holiday break as they racked up four successful wins.

The Golden Grizzlies traveled to Illinois Dec. 19 where they defeated Chicago State 74-51.

Both teams had 30 points in the paint, with Oakland having three players in double figures.

Senior Elena Popkey grabbed a season-high eight rebounds along with nine points and nine assists. Senior Oliva Nash scored 16 points with four rebounds and two assists.

Redshirt sophomore Taylor Gleason added 11 points, five rebounds and three steals, while freshman Taylor Jones scored a team-high 19 points.

The game was Jones’ third consecutive game scoring in double figures, making her the leading scorer for the fourth time this season.

Junior Nola Anderson, who sat out with an injury, had her 42 consecutive start streak come to an end.

Other players scoring for Oakland were redshirt freshman Rio Dudgeon with six points off the bench and junior Sinclair Russell adding a team-high nine rebounds and tying a season-high five assists.

On Dec. 22, Oakland returned home to the O’rena to defeat longtime Summit League rival IPFW 81-74.

Oakland opened the game on a 15-6 run. The Golden Grizzlies outscored IPFW 34-20 in the paint.

The Golden Grizzlies had four players in double figures, including Jones with 24 points, Nash with 21, Gleason with 14 and Popkey with 13.

This was Nash’s third double-double of the season and 27th of her career. She recorded 10 rebounds, which moved her past Heather Bateman into a ninth place tie all-time with Kim Nash in program history with 733.

Jones was the leading scorer for the fifth time this season and made a career-high 9-of-12 free throws.

A solid contribution came from Russell with four points, four assists and a team second best six rebounds.

Dudgeon scored five points off the bench and connected on her only 3-point field goal attempt.

Oakland shot 50.8 percent from the field with 22 total assists.

The team went on to take home another win after battling Vermont on Dec. 30. This was the first meeting between the two schools.

Oakland finished the game with a 74-68 win over Vermont with help from player of the game Sidney Santos, scoring a career-high 11 points going 4-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 from three-point range.

Junior guard Nicole Dodd tied a career-high with 12 points, hitting 4-of-8 from behind the arc. Nash led the team in scoring with 16 points followed by Jones with 12 points and Popkey with 10 points.

Oakland concluded the nonconference regular season with a 8-3 record which tied the 2004-05 and 2008-09 teams for the best nonconference winning percentage (72.7 percent) to begin a season in the Division I era.

Oakland began Horizon League play with a game against Cleveland State Jan. 2 on the Blacktop at the O’rena.

The team downed Cleveland State with a 79-69 win for the fourth-straight game.

Player of the game Sinclair Russell combined with Nash, Popkey and Jones to score 75 of the team’s 79 points.

Oakland leads the series 4-2 snapping Cleveland State’s two game series win streak. The Golden Grizzlies earned its first win over the Vikings since the 2013-14 season.

Nash scored a season-best 23 points shooting 10-for-13 from the field. She made a season-high 10 field goals and scored 20-plus points for the fourth time this season.

Jones added 20 points shooting 7-for-12 from the field. She has scored in double digits in her last six games and dished a career-high eight assists.

Popkey scored 14 points going 4-for-9 from behind the arc and recorded a season-high three steals while Russell recorded her fourth career double-double and second this season scoring 18 points with 14 rebounds.

Russell’s 18 points and nine field goals made were all career-highs. She grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds and tied a season-high with three blocks.

She has hauled in 10 or more rebounds in four games this season and has racked up 24 rebounds in her last two games.

Oakland will travel to Chicago to play UIC on Jan. 7.