Women’s basketball stuns No. 21 Green Bay


Elyse Gregory

Sha’Keya Graves stole an inbound pass from Green Bay and scored the final layup earning the Golden Grizzlies a win over #21 Green Bay on Thursday, Feb. 2 at the O’rena.

Katie LaDuke, Managing Editor

Women’s basketball faced No. 21 Green Bay in a heart-pounding showdown at the O’rena on Thursday, Feb. 2. The Golden Grizzlies came out on top with a score of 74-71 to beat the nationally-ranked Green Bay Phoenix for the second season in a row.

“Our kids deserve so much credit,” said head coach Jeff Tungate. “They played with some great intelligence and smarts.”

With seven seconds left in the fourth quarter and the score tied at 71, Sha’Keya Graves stole an inbound pass and made her way across the court to make a layup despite heavy defense, pushing the score to 73-71 in favor of the Black and Gold.

“My head was racing in the last seconds,” Graves said. “My head was like, ‘shoot it, drive it.’ The funny thing is I was actually going to shoot the ball with three seconds left, but then I looked up and realized I could make a layup.”

In the midst of Graves pushing her way down the Blacktop to make her layup, she was fouled with 2.2 seconds left in the game and got an opportunity to shoot one free throw. She made it, sealing Oakland’s victory at 74-71.

“It was a great play by [Graves],” Tungate said. “She made a great read, and she made a great play to seal it. Making the layup while getting fouled was obviously a huge play for us.”

Also putting in their fair share of work, Taylor Gleason, Leah Somerfield, and Hannah Little rounded out the top three. Gleason led the Golden Grizzlies with 20 total points with Somerfield following close behind with 14 of her own. Once again with a double-double, Little secured 13 points and 11 rebounds.

With both teams starting the game aggressively, the first quarter did not look very promising for the Black and Gold. The first half saw the score constantly go back and forth between sides with the majority of fouls in favor of the Phoenix.

Through the second quarter, neither team accumulating a substantial lead, even though Green Bay ended the quarter on top of Oakland by 4 points.

The score for the final quarter remained the same until about two minutes in when Oakland once again tied it, this time at 63-63. Continuing the pattern of the fluctuating lead, both benches became very animated in the final minutes until Graves shut Green Bay down with her go-ahead layup and free throw to put the Golden Grizzlies on top with a total of 74 points.

“I feel like we played great as a team,” Graves said. “Our ball movement was great, our team energy was there, and our bench was in it too. I feel like we had a great game as a team overall.”

The win marked the first home win against a nationally ranked opponent for the program since a win over No. 21 South Dakota State University in 2009.  The Golden Grizzlies defeated Green Bay last year while they were nationally ranked but on Green Bay’s home court.

The Black and Gold will return to the Blacktop when they take on Milwaukee at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 4 at the O’rena.