Grizzlies fall to UCF 54-57

David Cesefske

The women’s basketball team (0-2) fell to the University of Central Florida Knights Nov. 12, 54-57. The Grizzlies were led by Olivia Nash, who had her second double-double on the young season, collecting 13 points to go with 12 rebounds.

OU seemed poised to come out on top with a strong showing in the first half leading 36-24, while shooting 44 percent from three on 8-18 shooting and only committing eight turnovers. Nash scored nine of her 13 points in the first half on 3-5 from the 3-point line. OU also received a huge boost off the bench from redshirt junior Amy Carlton who chipped in 12 points in the game.

The second half proved to be a different story, as OU’s offense seemed to stall at times with a combination of low field goal percentage at 22 percent (6-27), as well as late costly turnovers. Despite a commanding 14-point lead for the Grizzlies, UCF’s comeback in the second half was aided by a stretch in which they outscored OU 24-7 including an 11-0 run at one point.

“It was a game I definitely thought we should have won, we had the opportunity too we played extremely good basketball for 37-38 minutes and kind of fell apart down the stretch. We have got to learn to close games” Oakland woman’s coach, Jeff Tungate, said.

OU held a 54-50 lead with just under three minutes to go, but UCF finished the come from behind victory by scoring the final seven points while creating three turnovers on steals on the final three possessions for OU. The Grizzlies had 14 turnovers in the final half compared to just five from the knights.

For the game, OU shot just over 30 percent (18-57), as well as just 40 percent from the free-throw line (8-20). Contributions in the loss came from a number of players including Kim Bee whom added seven points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots, while Elena Popkey contributed eight points and six rebounds before fouling out late in the game.

UCF’s win was surged by Briahanna Jackson who came away with 14 points along with seven steals, as well as Zykira Lewis who added 14 points for the Knights.

The loss overshadowed the hard-nosed defense that was played by OU who forced 17 turnovers. Although hindered by turnovers themselves Coach Tungate was pleased with the effort of his team on the defensive side.

“You can’t go 8-20 from the foul line and turn it over 22 times and expect to win games, but if we keep defending like that, and improve on those other categories it’s definitely a great sign,” Tungate said. 

Oakland returns to the court at home Saturday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. when they host Canisius.