Grizzlies fall to Spartans 80-62

Oakland University women’s basketball (2-7) fell to Michigan State (6-4), 80-62, Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center. The loss drops the Grizzlies to 0-4 on the road this season.

OU trailed by only one point going into halftime but was outscored 53-36 in the second half, despite seven players scoring in double figures. Oakland was led by sophomore guard Elena Popkey, who scored 15 points to go along with six assists.

In the first half, the Golden Grizzlies went on a 10-0 run, led by Kim Bee with four points. Bee also finished the half with eight of her team-high 10 rebounds. The Grizzlies lead grew to as much as 10 points, capitalizing on 10 Spartan turnovers.

Momentum quickly swayed to Michigan State in the second half as the Spartans came out on a 25-8 run. MSU senior Annalise Pickrel hit three 3-pointers in the first four minutes and finished with 20 points, while Aerial Powers came away with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds to complete the double-double.

The Spartans second half scoring performance was aided by their hot shooting from the field, shooting 56.7 percent (17-of-30) from the floor. Oakland’s zone defense, which had given the Spartans fits in the first half, was figured out in the final 20 minutes. Michigan State pulled away and never looked back.

“They really did a great job in the second half. They responded and came out against our zone and really attacked it well, and they made open shots,” OU head coach Jeff Tungate said.

“We knew it was going to be tough to play 40 minutes of zone against them, we just didn’t feel we could guard them man to man. In the second half, they solved the zone and made some open shots.”

Oakland will return to the court on Friday, Dec. 20 when they host UM-Dearborn at 5 p.m. inside the Athletics Center O’rena.