The Blitz: March 4, 2020

Michael Pearce, Sports Editor

While most Oakland University students headed home for spring break, the Golden Grizzlies teams were traveling across the country or filling the O’rena with fans.

Softball

Softball traveled to Orlando, Florida and Greensboro, North Carolina for the Citrus Classic and the 2020 Spartan Classic, respectively. In the Citrus Classic, the softball team defeated two Power Five schools, Clemson and Villanova, and went 3-2 over the Friday, Feb. 21-Sunday, Feb. 23 weekend of competition.

Against Clemson, the fifth inning proved to be pivotal for the Golden Grizzlies, the team winning 4-2. In the fifth, Oakland put up all four of their runs. After falling behind, 1-0, Shannon Carr drove in Jamie Squires and Sidney Rayba with a two RBI single. Three batters later, Cammie Brummitt drove in both Carr and Jessie Munson with a two RBI single of her own.

Clemson would respond with one more run in the seventh inning on a fielder’s choice, but starting pitcher Sydney Campbell finished off the game, holding onto the 4-2 win.

In the following game, both Oakland and Villanova scored nine runs each in the first inning. After that, the scoring would slow down, with Villanova eventually tying up the game in the sixth with three runs, making it 12-12. Oakland walked off with a two-run homer from Madison Jones, winning 14-12.

Women’s basketball

Over the break, the women’s team looked to break a four game losing streak Sunday, Feb. 23, on the last game of a four-game road trip against the Youngstown State Penguins. Chloe Guingrich posted a career-high 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds to lead the Golden Grizzlies to an 86-73 win in Youngstown, Ohio.

Four other players scored double-digit points. Kahlaijah Dean (13), Alona Blackwell (13), Breanne Beatty (11) and Brianna Breedy (10) each added points. Breedy, Blackwell and Guingrich contributed to the defensive end of the floor as well, recording two steals each.

The Golden Grizzlies scored 30 points in the first quarter, and continued their high scoring throughout the game. 86 points was the highest Oakland scored since Jan. 9. This win tied Oakland with Youngstown State at seventh in the Horizon League with a 6-10 conference record.

Men’s basketball

On Friday, Feb. 21, the Golden Grizzlies hosted the Milwaukee Panthers, looking to win their third home game in a row. Oakland recovered from a slow first half, beating the Panthers 75-68. Xavier Hill-Mais and Daniel Oladapo led the team with two double-doubles, Hill-Mais scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, with Oladapo adding 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The team would then go on to defeat Green Bay two days later on senior night, 92-88 in double overtime.

After winning four straight home games, the men’s basketball team finished off their season in Indiana and Illinois against the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Jaguars and the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) Flames.

Against IUPUI, the Golden Grizzlies once again struggled to contain Marcus Burk and Jaylen Minnett, and the Jaguars won 71-68. Against UIC two days later, the team was fighting for a home playoff game. It came down to a last-second shot, but Oakland was able to secure a home playoff game with a 68-66 win over the Flames. Rashad Williams scored 29 points and Hill-Mais added 15 of his own.

With the win over UIC, Oakland finished with a 13-18 record overall and an 8-10 record in conference.