Golden Grizzlies trounce Titans, 97-78


Sophomore guard Elena Popkey directs traffic for OU’s offense. Popkey led the Grizzlies in scoring with 18 points.

The Oakland University women’s basketball team (11-13, 6-5 Horizon) defeated the University of Detroit Titans (4-19, 1-9) by a score of 97-78 on Thursday night at the O’rena.  The win completes the Grizzlies’ sweep of their crosstown rival in the season series.

“It’s great to play a local school, but we need to win games, especially in the Horizon League,” OU head coach Jeff Tungate said.  “We need to show up and play hard every single night, my expectation level of our players is the same no matter who we’re playing.”

The Grizzlies’ 97 points are its most since Dec. 20 and they found scoring from a variety of areas.

“We were very unselfish with the basketball,” Tungate said.  “We preached being a balanced attack all year.”

Six different players scored in double figures, including junior guard Peyton Apsey and freshman guard Nola Anderson, both of whom had career-highs in points with 16 and 14, respectively.

“I have more confidence now than I had in the beginning of the season,” Anderson said. “Coach has a lot of confidence in me, too.”

Oakland held the lead the entire first half and led by as many as 10 points, holding the Titans to 34 percent shooting from the field.  The Grizzlies also had 11 blocks in the game after averaging just four as a team on the season.

“It’s nice to have a presence like Kim Bee in there because she changes shots,” Tungate said.

The Grizzlies pulled away with a few quick three-pointers in the second half and didn’t look back.

“Once you hit one, just keep shooting,” Apsey said.

Oakland’s lead grew substantially behind excellent shooting on a 12-0 run near the midway point of the half.

“I thought in the second half we executed very well,” Tungate said.  “But the one thing that makes a head coach smile more than effective scoring, is good defense.”

The Grizzlies currently stand in the middle of the conference, but Tungate is beyond pleased with his players’ progression on the season.

“It’s been unbelievable to watch them improve so much on a daily, weekly and monthly basis,” he said.  “The thing that impressed me most, is watching them grow as a team.”

Oakland hosts Wright State (17-7, 6-3) at 7 p.m on Tuesday night.  The two teams last played on Jan. 8, when the Grizzlies lost 94-85.