Oakland gives Green Bay its first Horizon League loss, 70-67


Oliver Nash takes a shot.

In what Oakland’s women’s basketball coach Jeff Tungate has repeatedly described as an “inconsistent season,” the Golden Grizzlies will need a strong finish to separate the team from the tight Horizon League race.

Oakland not only finds itself in the middle of a four-game road trip, but also just past the midway point of the Horizon League season. Oakland picked up an impressive win last Wednesday as it was able to hand Green Bay its first Horizon League loss of the season in a 70-67 thriller. Olivia Nash recorded a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds as the Golden Grizzlies battled back from a halftime deficit to secure the upset.

“I think we took away that we could beat anybody on any given night. Even though Green Bay is put up on this pedestal, anyone can beat them,” Nash said. “It proves how crazy this league really is and that anybody can beat anybody. There’s a small margin for error and you have to show up each night.”

Not even 48 hours later, the Golden Grizzlies had to face off against the Milwaukee Panthers in a game Friday afternoon. Oakland had the lead late in the second half, but was unable to hold on as the Panthers won 66-60. Peyton Apsey scored 19 points, while Elena Popkey and Nola Anderson each had 10 in the losing effort.

The loss dropped the Golden Grizzlies to 4-5 in the league and 10-12 overall. Oakland sits at sixth place in the standings with seven regular season games left. The good news for the Golden Grizzlies is that four teams have a 4-5 record in conference, so a lot is still to be decided in the last couple weeks of conference play.

“We definitely look at that, but we do take things one game at a time. We know where we stand and we know that minor changes can affect you positively or negatively, but at the same time you cannot be looking too far ahead you have to be looking at the next game because one game at a time is how you do it no matter what,” Popkey said.

Of the seven regular season games remaining for Oakland, four will be on the road and three will take place at the O’rena. Oakland will have two huge road games this week against Youngstown State and Cleveland State, both of whom are just ahead of the Golden Grizzlies in the standings.

The Golden Grizzlies will have to find some consistency both offensively and defensively if it wants to get a favorable seed in the Horizon League tournament. After the Milwaukee loss Friday, coach Tungate stressed that the team needs to be much more consistent and needs to outwork teams in effort if they want to succeed.

“We talked about after Green Bay, we have to keep momentum to compete in this league and we haven’t done that… we have to be a consistent basketball team if we want to do something and have a chance to host a conference tournament game,” Tungate said.

Oakland will be in action Wednesday afternoon at Youngstown State. The tip is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3.