Women’s basketball takes down Green Bay, 93-88

Brittany Welch, Staff Reporter

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The Oakland University women’s basketball team opened up their conference play on Thursday, Jan. 9 against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Grizzlies were victorious, defeating the Phoenix with a final score of 93-88.

In the first quarter, the Grizzlies were down by eight, but they didn’t let that stop them from playing hard, according to sophomore forward Kayla Luchenbach.

“This was a huge game for us, especially being able to defend our home court,” she said. “We had great practices all week and we all had a really good feeling about this game.”

Luchenbach said the team picked up the intensity and energy in order to overcome an early deficit.

“At the end of the first quarter, we were down by eight, and we knew we needed to step up our defense and our offense would come from that,” she said. “We picked up our energy on defense and it gave us the momentum we needed.”

The Grizzlies looked different in the second quarter fighting for each and every point. It was enough for them to win over the second quarter. 

“In the second quarter, we were down by 10 points and came back to go up one at the half,” Luchenbach said. “We knew the second half was going to be another battle, but we were all ready.”

The Grizzlies were not backing down. More 3-pointers were being taken, and the Grizzlies became more aggressive, which helped them earn their lead at the half. 

“At the end of the third quarter, Teneea Heston hit a huge 3-pointer at the buzzer to put us up four,” Luchenbach said. “This gave us so much momentum heading into the fourth quarter.”

That momentum carried into the fourth quarter with Kahlaijah Dean and Jalisha Terry both making shots at the free throw line to help the Golden Grizzlies keep their lead. Along with Dean and Terry, junior center Autumn Kissman added 19 points for the Grizzlies.

“We knew if we won, it was going to be a statement game for how we truly are as a team, and we executed perfectly,” Luchenbach said.

According to Luchenbach, the team is like a family — everyone has each other’s backs and believes in each other, whether it be in school or on the court or in life.

“We all have so much confidence in each other in the games, especially like tonight,” she said. “Everyone was just so positive and had so much energy throughout the entire game, which was crucial for us.”

That confidence and positive energy throughout the team helped them be successful in the game, especially for Luchenbach. 

“Overall, we played really well as a team tonight, we were making the extra pass and looking for each other to hit the open shots and everything was just working for us,” she said. “My team really helped me stay positive when I was in foul trouble because when I came off, they helped me stay positive and have a good mindset for when I would go back in the game.”