Oakland women’s basketball starts season on high note


Bijon Stigger

The Oakland women’s basketball team had a victorious season opener against Akron on Nov. 7, 2022.

The Grizzlies took down the Akron Zips by a score of 74-67 on Monday, Nov. 7 in the O’rena.

Kennedie Montue had a great accomplishment on opening night, getting her career high of 21 points under her belt. She is a sharpshooter indeed. 

Her great 3-point shooting was on display, and that fired everyone up. Montue might be a sophomore in college, but she was playing like a pro, adding five rebounds, as well. 

The Grizzlies’ ability to execute and make good plays definitely showed the first two quarters of the game. Alexis Johnson with the cross-over, right into a spin move, just flew past her defender with the soft touch at the rim. 

This was the move everyone loved out of the transfer student from the Marshall Thundering Herd. She ended the game with 12 points. 

Freshman Brooke Daniels wasn’t looking like a newbie to the team, either. She played her point guard role well, and it is clear that she has already built such great chemistry with her teammates. She is super quick and can get to the rack easily, with pretty finishes.

The Zips came back from half only down two. It was clear that they had revitalized their game plan. Their key players, Rachel Martindale and Layne Ferell, carried their team on their backs.

They were still shooting the ball well. Toward the end of the game, the Zips started to catch up. Oakland’s largest lead of the game was 14 and it eventually came down to just a one possession game at 67-65. 

Akron’s coach would call two timeouts, but it was all in Oakland’s hands from that point. The Zips couldn’t pull it through. 

There was a big time rebound by Breanne Beatty with 30 seconds left. She is a well-rounded player who is always locked in on defense, especially during such crucial moments of the game. She also scored 11 points, along with seven rebounds. The Grizzlies won the season opener by seven. 

After a great night from Montue, she had some things she had to say on how she felt being back in the O’rena and back to playing the game again in this type of environment. 

“I love to be here — I love OU,” Montue said. “I love the black top, and for me to hit those 3’s tonight and hear the crowd cheering, I love to hear it. My team knows how to find me in those open spots and they’ll always hit me, and they know I can knock it down.”

The Grizzlies are ready for more. After two straight wins in a row, with the second against Central Michigan University on Nov. 12, they are now ready to head out to the Breslin Center to face Michigan State. 

That game will tip off on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. Following the bout with the Spartans, the Golden Grizzlies will take on another Big Ten opponent in Illinois. It will be a special game for sophomore Aaliyah McQueen, who transferred away from Illinois after one season. 

That game will tip off at 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21.