The Blitz: Feb. 19, 2020

Michael Pearce, Sports Editor

While the men’s basketball team returned for the first time in multiple weeks, many other teams took to the road — either in the beginning of their season or in the Horizon League grind.

Tennis

The tennis team took part in their third weekend of competition, facing the University of Findlay and Ball State University. The two days of competition were mirror images of each other. The Golden Grizzlies beat Findlay 7-0 and lost to Ball State 0-7.

Against Findlay in the sweep, the Golden Grizzlies went 6-0 in singles play. Ava Thielman took down Samantha Sweet in the No. 1 singles match 6-3, 6-1. Nirva Patel lost her first set in the No. 2 singles match 2-6, but rallied to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-3. Victoria Kurz and Samantha Galloway both won their matches easily, never winning a set by less than five points.

In the doubles matches, Thielman and Kurz took down the No. 1 doubles team with a 6-2 win. Darya Maltseva and Alexandra Whall also won the No. 2 doubles match 6-2. Coincidentally, the No. 3 doubles team of Aarja Chakraborty and Patel won their No. 3 match by the same score, 6-2.

Against Ball State, the team was unable to capture a point, losing 0-7. Chakraborty and Thielman won their first sets, but lost the next two in their singles matches. Up next for the tennis team is a match-up against Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Women’s basketball

Acting Head Coach Ke’Sha Blanton and the women’s basketball team took to Wisconsin for a road trip against the University of Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Golden Grizzlies lost both games in Wisconsin, falling to 5-9 in the Horizon League standings.

Against Milwaukee on Thursday, Feb. 13, the Golden Grizzlies fell behind early and were unable to mount a comeback. Kahlaijah Dean led the team in scoring with 19 points, with two-time reigning Horizon League Freshman of the Week Alona Blackwell adding 13 points and three 3-pointers.

The team struggled shooting from 3-point range. Blackwell’s three were the only 3-pointers the team would score, shooting 3-20 (15%). Blackwell also recorded four steals. Two other Golden Grizzlies recorded double-digit points, with Chloe Guingrich (11) and Kayla Luchenbach (10) adding points.

Against Green Bay, the second quarter proved to be pivotal for the Golden Grizzlies. The first quarter was close, with Green Bay leading 19-18, but in the second quarter, the Phoenix outscored Oakland 20-1. After that point, the Phoenix added to their lead with a 20-14 third quarter and eventually won the game, 76-51.

Blackwell was the only player to record more than 10 points, finishing with 11 on 3-9 shooting. The Golden Grizzlies as a whole shot 32.7% from the field and 40.9% from 3-point range. The Phoenix forced 24 Oakland turnovers, and stole the ball 13 times. Frankie Wurtz scored 28 points for Green Bay on 11-15 shooting.

The Golden Grizzlies continue their road trip in Ohio, facing off against the Cleveland State Vikings on Friday, Feb. 21 and the Youngstown State Penguins on Sunday, Feb. 23. The Penguins are tied with Oakland at 5-9 in conference, and the Vikings are two games ahead of Oakland at 7-7. The team returns home Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. against the No. 3 Wright State Raiders.