Grizzlies roar back in tale of two halves

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Grizzlies roar back in tale of two halves

Oakland outscored Milwaukee 56-32 in the second half on 56 percent shooting to salvage a game that started about as rough as it could have.

Oakland outscored Milwaukee 56-32 in the second half on 56 percent shooting to salvage a game that started about as rough as it could have.

Oakland outscored Milwaukee 56-32 in the second half on 56 percent shooting to salvage a game that started about as rough as it could have.

Oakland outscored Milwaukee 56-32 in the second half on 56 percent shooting to salvage a game that started about as rough as it could have.

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The Oakland University women’s basketball team (9-13, 4-5 Horizon) went red-hot in the second half to come back against UW-Milwaukee (7-14, 3-5) to win, 80-67, on Tuesday night. Oakland outscored Milwaukee 56-32 in the second half on 56 percent shooting as they refused to succumb to a poor start.

“At halftime, collectively we were just like, ‘you know what? This is enough,”’ OU senior forward Bethany Watterworth said.

Watterworth and sophomore guard Elena Popkey led the way for the Golden Grizzlies, scoring 22 and 20 points respectively.

Oakland shot just 21 percent in the first half and went 0-for-10 from 3-point range, the first time the team had failed to hit a 3-pointer in a half all season, to leave the first half trailing 35-24.

“We easily could have quit after the first half the way we were shooting the ball,” OU head coach Jeff Tungate said. “Give credit to our team as we shot 56 percent in the second half.

“We turned up the intensity and started playing harder than we did in the first half. It was a great team win and should give us some momentum moving forward.”

Watterworth went 9-for-10 from the charity stripe as she made a point to be a physical presence for Oakland.

“My game is attacking,” she said. “I had the mentality that no one’s going to stop me, and I think the team had that mentality as well.”

Oakland received key contributions from senior forward Kim Bee and sophomore forward Olivia Nash. Bee finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks while Nash scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Grizzlies also outrebounded the Panthers 59-37, a season-high for Oakland as they also won the offensive rebounding battle, 23-10.

“This is a team you don’t have to really get on,” Tungate said. “They know what needs to be done. They know how hard they need to play.”

The Grizzlies play next against Youngstown State on Saturday, Feb. 8 in the O’rena at 2 p.m. The game is Oakland’s annual pink game, so the university is asking that fans wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness.