Women’s basketball drops 61-57 to Green Bay, falls to 9-6 in Horizon League


Maggie Willard

Kendall Folley dribbles the ball up the court against Green Bay on Feb. 10.

The Oakland women’s basketball team fell to the Green Bay Phoenix by a score of 61-57 on Thursday, Feb. 10 at the O’rena.

This was just the first matchup between the two teams this season. Oakland was scheduled to travel to Green Bay to take on the Phoenix on New Year’s Day, but that game was canceled.

Both teams struggled to find rhythm in the early going. The score was knotted at 4-4 after five minutes of play. 

The lids came off the baskets in the closing minutes of the first quarter, and Green Bay had a narrow 11-9 lead after the first 10 minutes.

Breanne Beatty led the way for Oakland in the first quarter with five points, on 2-4 from the floor and 1-2 from distance. C’Erra Maholmes and Sydney Gouard each added two points for the Grizzlies.

Oakland came out on fire in the second quarter with quick baskets from Kendall Folley, Maholmes and Beatty, giving the Grizzlies a six-point advantage.

Green Bay had no trouble making a run of its own, reclaiming the lead just minutes later. 

With 2:50 remaining in the half, Grizzlies’ Interim Head Coach Ke’Sha Blanton called a timeout with her team down by one, 23-22. 

The timeout paid dividends, as C’Erra Maholmes went on a 5-0 run of her own to give Oakland the lead once again.

The Phoenix struck back, however, to even the game at 27 heading into halftime. 

Beatty and Maholmes carried the load for the Grizzlies with 10 points each, on a combined 8-17 from the floor. Folley and Gouard added five and two points, respectively, to round out the first half scoring for the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies struggled to open the second half. Green Bay’s stifling defense and superb shooting gave the Phoenix an 11-point lead early in the third quarter.

“We lost our momentum,” said Blanton. “They came out and they threw a punch, and basketball is a game of runs, and we let it get a little too far away from us before we decided to punch back.”

Oakland was unable to muster any momentum on either end of the floor, and found itself down 49-41 at the end of the third quarter. 

Oakland didn’t lose heart, however, and continued to battle. A pair of Kahlaijah Dean layups brought the Grizzlies within four early in the fourth quarter. 

The Phoenix held off the Grizzlies in the ensuing minutes, stretching the lead to 10 with 5:27 to play in the game. The Grizzlies would not go away easily, however, cutting the lead to two with 3:25 remaining.

Both teams traded buckets down the stretch, but ultimately, the Phoenix, led by Hailey Oskey, prevailed in a nail-biter.

Leading the way for Oakland in the loss was Dean [13 points], Beatty [10 points] and Maholmes [10 points]. 

The Grizzlies now sit at 9-6 in the Horizon League, and 11-11 overall. With five games left in the regular season, Oakland is just two games back from a first round bye in the Horizon League Tournament, which is awarded to the top four teams in the league.

“To get that first round bye we’ve got to step up,” Blanton said. “Anytime you can get that first round bye obviously it speaks to the success of your season.”

Next week, the Grizzlies will host Cleveland State on Thursday, Feb. 17, and Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday, Feb. 19.