Women’s basketball drops third straight to Horizon League leader Wright State

Oakland fell to Wright State 77-72. Olivia Nash led the team in points, recording her 30th career double-double and a career high 28 points. 

Hannah Gorosh

It was an intense, fast-paced game yesterday morning at the O’rena for the Golden Grizzlies women’s basketball team (10-7, 2-4) as they faced fellow Horizon League team Wright State University (15-3, 5-0). 

The Golden Grizzlies strongly contested the league’s top team until the final moments of the game when the team fell 77-72.  It was a close game and Oakland fought with skill and speed against the league leaders.

“Wright State is one of the top teams in the league and they have been one of the top teams in the last several years,” head coach Jeff Tungate said.  

“We are trying to get to where they are so there’s a lot of positive things to take from this game. We just need to keep working and keep getting better.”

The game began with Oakland gaining possession of the ball at tip off and senior Olivia Nash scoring the first basket. 

Guards Elena Popkey and Taylor Gleason worked in tandem to move the ball down the court and create scoring chances throughout the first quarter. Popkey finished with eight points, six rebounds and six assists and Gleason added 17 points, five boards and six steals. 

Wright State has maintained an undefeated record this season and Oakland’s near success shows their talent and determination to move up the ranks in the Horizon League.

“I really wanted to beat Wright State because we have not since we have been in the Horizon League,” Popkey said. “My mindset is to change the course of history against them. Did I do it? I don’t know but I tried.”

Back-to-back baskets from Gleason, Popkey and Nash in the third quarter gave Oakland the lead over the Raiders. This quarter would prove to be the closest in the game, ending with an 54-53 Oakland lead.

Oakland made a valiant effort in the fourth quarter, but came up five-points short when the final buzzer sounded.

Senior Olivia Nash scoreed a career-high with 28 points while recording 14 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season.  When asked about her milestone achievement, Nash gave credit to her teammates.

“I would not be able to hit these records and score if it wasn’t for my teammates,” Nash said.  “It is cool but it would be better if we had a win.”

Tungate plans on working with the team towards getting back on track and staying healthy for their upcoming game against rivals Detroit Mercy.

“They are playing really well right now so it is going to be a tough game and it is an important game. Any time you play Detroit Mercy you need to win,” Tungate said.

“We have a couple of days now to get healthy, get everyone back on track and start preparing for Detroit.”

The women’s basketball team will be Detroit on Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. at Calihan Hall.