Women’s basketball falls to Milwaukee, falls further behind in conference standings

Reece Taylor, Sports Reporter

The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies women’s basketball team struggled with shooting as they fell to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers 57-41 at the O’Rena on Feb. 12 in the second of four straight home games.

In the first quarter, the Golden Grizzlies and Panthers played a very physical and defensive game as the Panthers attacked the paint and looked to score inside against the smaller Oakland team. The first quarters set the tone of the game with hard fouls and diving, which threw the Grizzlies out of rhythm. Led by forward sophomore Megan Walstad, Milwaukee dominated the interior by pushing Oakland inside and scoring at the rim. Megan Walstad would finish the game with 26 points and nine rebounds on the night. The first quarter ended 11-9, Panther’s advantage.

In the second quarter, Oakland’s offensive woes continued as they went 0-5 from three-point land. In spite of their struggles, the Golden Grizzlies were active on the defensive end, ending the night with five steals and a block. Both Oakland and Milwaukee struggled to score the ball, and ended the first half 23-20 in favor of Milwaukee.

In the second half, it was all Milwaukee. The Panthers opened the third quarter on a 15-4 run and never looked back. Oakland only converted on three of their 14 field goal attempts in the third as the game got further away from them. The Milwaukee Panthers surged ahead to a 22-9 advantage, and ended the third quarter, leading 45-29 over the Grizzlies.

Oakland showed signs of life in the fourth quarter, fighting inside to get to the line, but they failed to capitalize on their aggression. Oakland went to the free throw line 11 times in the fourth, and converted on 8 of their attempts, but were 11-18 for the game as Milwaukee pulled away. The Golden Grizzlies had 10 shot attempts from the field in the fourth, but ultimately couldn’t get shots to drop, and fell to the Panthers, 57-41.

Outside of the lone Golden Grizzly in double figures being junior Breanne Beatty with 14, Oakland struggled from the field and couldn’t get into rhythm versus their Horizon League rival. Oakland shot 27% from the field as they fell to 11-12 on the season.

In spite of the loss, Oakland rebounded the ball well played through several tough fouls, but the physical game took its toll on the smaller Oakland team. The Golden Grizzlies kept it a close game in the first half, but a combination of the physical play and tough Panther defense kept Oakland at bay until they were able to pull away.

The Golden Grizzlies look to bounce back against the 15-5 Cleveland State Vikings on Thursday, Feb. 17 in the third of four games at home. Oakland will look to make adjustments as they face off with their Horizon League rival. With four games left in the regular season, Oakland has a mix of tough and a few winnable games on their way to the Horizon League tournament.