The Sporting Blitz, Jan. 9

Michael Pearce, Sports Editor

While students were relaxing on their winter break, the men’s and women’s basketball teams were busy starting league play, as they both took on two Horizon League opponents each night before 2018 came to a close.

Women’s Basketball

The women kicked off Horizon League play at home against Cleveland State University (CSU) on Friday, Dec. 28. The game came down to the last possession, as Teneea Heston fouled a Viking player, giving her two free throws that sealed the game. After the two free throws, the Vikings escaped Oakland with a 64-62 victory.

Three Golden Grizzlies finished in double figures. Nikita Telesford had 17 points, Taylor Jones recorded 15 and Heston had 10. Both teams struggled from three-point range, combining to shoot 6-35 from deep. However, Heston was the best three-point shooter in the game, connecting on two of four deep balls.

Oakland recorded six less turnovers than the Vikings, and they were efficient in scoring 23 points off of Cleveland State’s turnovers.

This game was back and forth the entire way, and Jones fouled out of the game with a minute to go in the fourth quarter, taking Oakland’s best offensive player off the court in crunch time. Oakland’s bench was strong though, recording 22 points, 18 more than CSU’s bench.

On Sunday, Dec. 30 the women returned to the blacktop to take on the Youngstown State University Penguins in their second Horizon League game of the season. The Golden Grizzlies had control of the game for the first three quarters, even leading by three heading into the fourth quarter. Youngstown State took control of the game in the fourth however, outscoring the Golden Grizzlies by 17 in the third quarter and winning the game 69-55. With that loss, Oakland moved to 0-2 in the Horizon League.

Against Youngstown State, Jones led the way with 17 points, with only Autumn Kissman reaching double figures as well, scoring 10 points.


Men’s Basketball

For their first two Horizon League games, the men’s team had to face opponents in their home turf. Despite being the away team, the men were able to win both games against Cleveland State and Youngstown State.

Against Cleveland State, the team was efficient on offense and was able to win the rebound, assist and turnover battles. The first half was closely contested, but it was in the second half that Oakland was able to pull away and notch a 12-point win, emerging victorious by an 89-77 score.

Jaevin Cumberland and Xavier Hill-Mais were the leaders on offense. Cumberland scored 27 and Hill-Mais scored 21. Both were active on the boards as well, grabbing seven and nine rebounds respectively. Freshman Tray Maddox was active as well, scoring a season-high 17 points and hitting two 3-pointers.

When the Golden Grizzlies traveled to Youngstown State, the game was much more close. For the majority of the game, Oakland looked to be in control. The Golden Grizzlies were up 35-29 at the half, and started off the second half strong as well. With 12 minutes to go, their lead had swelled to 12 points.

With the home crowd behind them, the Penguins were able to chip away at the lead. In a matter of minutes, the lead was reduced to just one point. The next 10 minutes were back and forth, with both teams trading the lead. With 22 seconds left, Karmari Newman hit a 3-pointer to take a two-point lead. Youngstown state had one possession to win it, but their shot was just off, and Oakland was able to leave Ohio with a perfect 2-0 in league play.

Brad Brechting was the leader offensively against the Penguins, scoring 19 points.