Women come up short against Cleveland State


Oakland guard Nola Anderson provided 18 points in the game against Cleveland State at home Jan. 31.

The Golden Grizzly women’s basketball team dropped below .500 in league play as they lost to Cleveland State Saturday at the O’rena.

Elena Popkey scored a season-high of 21 points, while Nola Anderson added 18, but neither was enough for Oakland as they fell to Cleveland State 72-64. The Vikings led for the majority of the game, and even though the Golden Grizzlies trailed by three going into the half, Oakland was never able to make a big run or take advantage of some Cleveland State mistakes.

Head coach Jeff Tungate was disappointed in the team’s inconsistency and believes they need to get mentally tougher to have success.

“It’s kind of the story of the season where there’s times where we can’t score but we can defend and then there’s times when we won’t defend but can score. Until we can get that consistency, we are going to have an inconsistent season,” Tungate said.

Cleveland State was led by Kristen Green who scored 21 points including five three-pointers. Alecis Eckles also proved to be a tough matchup for the Golden Grizzlies posting a double double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

After giving up 108 points to Wright State last Thursday night, Oakland knew they needed a better defensive effort if they wanted to beat the Vikings. Though coach Tungate thought that the team was effective at times, the intensity wasn’t the same all game long.

“In the second half I thought we were inconsistent defensively. We were good in spurts, but I thought there were too many straight line drives to the basket,” Tungate said.

This was an important game as both teams were 3-3 in Horizon League play heading into the match Saturday. With the loss, the Golden Grizzlies drop to 3-4 in league play and now have to go on the road for four straight league games.

“It’s going to be a tough stretch. To win on the road you have to be mentally tough and right now we are not a mentally tough team,” Tungate said.

At halftime, the Oakland women’s basketball program honored its alumni by holding a special ceremony for its 40th season celebration. Past players and coaches were recognized on the court with a special video presentation of the program’s best moments. The ceremony was highlighted by celebrating the 1989-1990 Division II Final Four team.

Oakland will hit the road for the next four games as they will face the Horizon League leading Green Bay Phoenix Wednesday night. They will travel to Milwaukee, Youngstown State, and finish with Cleveland State over the next two weeks. Their next home game will be against Detroit Mercy Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.