Women’s basketball runs Rochester College out of the O’rena

The Oakland women’s basketball team defeated Rochester College 83-49 during the annual Holiday game and Ugly Sweater Day Monday afternoon at the O’rena.

The festive game included holiday music, pictures with Santa and free candy canes.

This was Oakland’s second consecutive win over the Warriors with a 96-38 victory in the O’rena last season.

Oakland’s 83 points was the third most scored this season. The team had 30 steals on the defensive end and 21 points off turnovers.

“Anytime you get a chance to take a win you’ll take it. I thought Rochester had a really good game plan. They are a very much improved team over a year ago and we’ll take the win and move on,” head coach Jeff Tungate said.

After dropping a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds against Miami Ohio on Dec. 5, Olivia Nash put up another game-high 20 points, and added eight rebounds and an assist during her 22 minutes of playtime.

Redshirt sophomore Taylor Gleason earned herself a starting position following her season debut against Youngstown State Nov. 28.

The Illinois transfer knew there was a possibility she wouldn’t play at all this year because of the transfer rules.

“It’s a great feeling, I haven’t been able to play for quite some time now and I’m just pretty excited and fortunate to be able to put this uniform on every day,” Gleason said.

Gleason recorded 10 points, one rebound and six assists during her 28 minutes on the court.

Tungate said Gleason earned her starting position because of her work ethic. Gleason also believes her hard work and practice helped rack up minutes on the court.

“She’s a gym rat. No one puts in more work than her and she’s only going to get better as time goes on,” Tungate added.

Other players adding to the win were Rio Dudgeon with a career-high 10 points and Sinclair Russell with a game-high 10 rebounds.

Freshmen guard and player of the game, Taylor Jones, recorded 14 points on 3-of-5 shooting from long range along with eight rebounds and three assists.

“Being a freshman, she plays fearless. She still makes freshman mistakes but that’s why she’s a freshman,” Tungate said.

“She’s got a great attitude, she’s a great team player, she loves to win, she loves to compete. I’ve been very very pleased with what she’s done so far and really happy she’s in our program.”

Elena Popkey was nominated to the 2016 Allstate Good Works Team, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the Women’s Basketball Association (WBCA) and Allstate Insurance Company announced (Dec. 2), for the second consecutive year.

Popkey defiantly owned up to this incredible honor against the Warriors with nine points, six rebounds and seven assists.  

Oakland welcomes Michigan State on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3:00 p.m. for a Blackout Game on the Blacktop at the O’rena.