Women’s basketball honors seniors with win over NKU

Christian Miller, Staff Reporter

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In an emotional 86-66 win on senior night, veteran members of Oakland women’s basketball helped to conquer Northern Kentucky University (NKU) for the second time this year on Monday, Feb. 20.

Oakland’s Hannah Little, Nola Anderson and Nicole Dodd all had their fair share of action on the Blacktop at the O’rena during a game that would see the score tied 10 times and the lead changed eight times.

Little alone recorded 17 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks during the game. Her efforts culminated in her twelfth double-double game, a record-worthy performance.

Anderson followed closely, gathering 10 points and one rebound during her 30 minutes of gameplay.

Dodd, the team’s reliable far-shooter, drained her only 3-pointer of the game with just 45 seconds left on the clock.

The game was Oakland’s third consecutive victory and the win over the Norse was Oakland’s twelfth game of the season in which the Golden Grizzlies have won by 20 or more points, a school record.

Although the Golden Grizzlies finished strong, they struggled to develop momentum early on in the first quarter.

After 10 minutes of sparring, NKU overshadowed Oakland 20-16. The visitors found success in their accuracy.

Finishing the first quarter with a field-goal percentage nearly three times that of Oakland’s, NKU unleashed nine good shots in the paint and two precise 3-pointers.

Oakland struggled, making just four of 17 attempted field goals for a shooting percentage of 23.5.

After acquainting themselves with NKU’s style of play, the Golden Grizzlies returned ready for the second quarter.

Oakland managed to pull ahead 40-38 as they seized rebounds and generated turnovers. A key contributor to the success under the net was Leah Somerfield.

Taking blows from elbows, fists and knees, Somerfield managed to toss up an additional 9 points under the net.

Oakland expanded on its success after the intermission. Widening the score gap, the Golden Grizzlies concluded the third quarter leading the Norse 59-53.

Oakland’s intensity grew as its athletes gathered for the final quarter. The Golden Grizzlies produced turnovers and pursued rebounds unlike they did in any other point during the game.

Ultimately, Oakland would rally for 27 points during the fourth quarter.

Oakland head coach Jeff Tungate applauded his senior players.

“This is one team I would not want to play in the tournament,” Tungate said.

Oakland’s older players reflected on the growth of women’s basketball and the upcoming Motor City Madness Tournament.

“I think it’s been a great experience just playing at a new level in this league,” Dodd said. “At this point, it’s really important to win every game possible, coming down the stretch, to get the better seed.”

Little echoed her teammate’s comments.

“I like where we’re going,” she said. “We just need to focus on reaching our peak going into the tournament.”

Anderson reiterated the team’s prior accomplishments.

“We’re on a three-game win streak, so it’s just going to keep going up from now,” she said.

Now 16-11, 10-6 HL, Oakland women’s basketball will travel to Youngstown State University to take on the Penguins at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 23.