Women’s basketball falls at home to Miami

Matthew Saulino

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The Oakland University women’s basketball team (0-4) was defeated by the University of Miami Hurricanes (2-2) 86-68 at the O’rena Tuesday, Nov. 19.

It was the first time ever that the Hurricanes had traveled to OU.

“To start the season out with four of your first five games against BCS schools is going to be tough,” OU head coach, Jeff Tungate, said. “I’m so proud of our team’s effort and what we’re doing, and you see the progress we make every time we go out.”

The Hurricanes made it tough for the Grizzlies out of the gate making seven of their first 10 field goals en route to 17-8 lead within the five minutes.

OU climbed right back into it with 3-pointers from shooting guard, Victoria Lipscomb, and point guard, Elena Popkey, tying it up at 17.

“The most important thing is to stick together, times like these can be hard,” Popkey said. “You got to, as a team, just pick each other up.”

From that point on, Miami kept separating themselves from the Grizzlies, first 23-19, then 33-24 and finally 46-26 by halftime. The Hurricanes had the majority of their scoring come from their bench in the first half, outscoring OU 24-2.

“They shot the lights out tonight,” Lipscomb said. “I do give them a lot of respect. They’re very athletic, they’re very quick and there are a lot of things we can learn from.”

The Hurricanes were led by freshman, Jessica Thomas, who came off the bench to lead the team with 15 points including four 3-pointers.

Miami shot 60 percent from behind the arc in the first half. They finished the game 15 of 31 on 3-pointers finishing at just under 50 percent.

“I asked them if they’d start missing in the second half,” Tungate said. “In the first half, I don’t think we were as aggressive as we needed to be in stretches, and the biggest things we’re fighting right now is consistency.”   

UM senior guard, Krystal Saunders, and teammate, Caprice Dennis, also had four 3-pointers apiece to aid Miami’s victory.

Lipscomb and Popkey attributed for more than 65 percent of the team’s first half scoring with 17 points between the two of them.

OU’s star senior forward, Bethany Watterworth, didn’t get much playing time as she was held to one point in just seven minutes of play. Watterworth is recovering from a back injury that kept her out all of last season.

“Every week we’re going to depend on what the doctors say,” Tungate said. “Tonight the doctor said make sure she’s under 10 minutes, and right now that’s that way it has to be.”

Sophomore forward, Olivia Nash, had an 11-point second half, which was the most of any player in the last 20 minutes for the Grizzlies. Nash added 10 rebounds for the game’s only double-double.

Up next for OU is the Tennessee Lady Volunteers Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m.  Tennessee is currently ranked third in the nation.