Women’s basketball defeats UDM 65-60


Sergio Montanez

Women’s basketball defeats University of Detroit Mercy 65-60 on Saturday, Feb. 1.

In many cases, it is not about how a team starts the game, but how they finish. When the Oakland University women’s basketball team battled with the University of Detroit Mercy Titans, this was certainly the case. 

On Saturday, Feb. 1, the Titans got out to a hot start and stretched their lead to double digits in the first half. Not only did the Titans lead for the entire first half, the team did not lose the lead until just after the six-minute mark in the fourth quarter. 

Statistically, the loss may come as a surprise for the Titans, as the University of Detroit Mercy had higher field goal and 3-point field goal percentages than Oakland — both were by significant margins. The biggest statistical difference was the 3-point percentage, with the Titans shooting 5-12 (41.7%) to the Golden Grizzlies’ 6-21 (28.6%). 

In this day and age of basketball, having a significantly higher shooting percentage typically leads to victory. But this time, it was what the Golden Grizzlies did on the defensive side of the ball that allowed them to defeat the Titans, 65-60.

“It’s always good to get a rivalry game win,” acting Head Coach Ke’Sha Blanton told GrizzVision. “Any win is good, especially at this time of the season. I’m really proud of how we played today. We never lost our grit and our toughness.”

Oakland was better than Detroit Mercy in the turnover game. The Golden Grizzlies had five more steals than the Titans (8-3) and forced 11 more turnovers (20-9) on their way to an impressive comeback victory. 

With the victory, the Golden Grizzlies move into the 7th seed in the Horizon League, giving them a bit of leeway to achieve the goal of reaching the Horizon League tournament.

Every player on the Golden Grizzlies recorded at least eight minutes, and all players contributed to the stat sheet, one way or another. Having a deep roster can be crucial as the typical wear and tear of the season can begin to set in.

Leading the Golden Grizzlies with 15 points was Kahlaijah Dean with Alona Blackwell and her 14 points providing support. Sydney Gouard recorded a team-high eight rebounds and Brianna Breedy would record seven assists as well. 

The stat leaders for the Golden Grizzlies rotate pretty regularly. The team does not appear to have a regular leading scorer, which can keep defenses guessing. 

For the game, the team honored the nine victims of the helicopter crash that involved Kobe and Gianna Bryant with Mamba Mentality shirts that had Gianna’s number 2 on the back and Kobe’s number 24 on the front.

“I thought they were tough today, I thought they had that mamba mentality that we’ve been talking about all week,” Blanton told GrizzVision. “It is a tough situation, Kobe was one of the greats but I thought we had that mentality today.”

The Golden Grizzlies will remain at home as they host the University of Illinois-Chicago at the O’rena on Thursday, Feb. 6 for Girls and Women in Sports Day at 7 p.m.