Disastrous second half, blowout loss for women’s basketball


Bijon Stigger

Breanne Beatty prepares to take a shot during Saturday’s Cleveland State game.

The Oakland women’s basketball team welcomed the league-leading Cleveland State Vikings to the O’rena on Saturday, Jan. 28. The Golden Grizzlies were brutally outmatched in the second half, and it led to a 72-51 defeat.

The first half wasn’t nearly as much of a struggle. In fact, the Golden Grizzlies put together a solid first quarter.

Brooke Quarles-Daniels and Alexis Johnson combined to score Oakland’s first nine points, and Breanne Beatty added a layup late in the first quarter.

Oakland never trailed in the first quarter, but Cleveland State’s Deja Williams connected on a jumper with four seconds left to tie the game heading into the second.

Seven of Cleveland State’s 11 first-quarter points came at the charity stripe, which was rather indicative of how the remainder of the game would play out.

The two teams traded buckets in the second quarter, but the Golden Grizzlies began to pull away from the 9-2 Vikings, and the potential for an upset became much more than just a hopeful thought. Kennedie Montue made a 3-pointer with 2:10 to play in the half, giving Oakland a 27-19 lead.

However, things completely fell apart from then on out. 

Oakland could not stop fouling, and Cleveland State went on a 7-0 run to close the half, trimming the lead to one point going into halftime.

The one-point halftime lead was essentially a gift for Oakland, which committed an astounding 14 fouls in the second quarter alone. The 14 fouls resulted in 22 second-quarter free throw attempts for Cleveland State. Luckily for Oakland, the visiting Vikings made only 10 of the 22 attempts, leaving 12 points at the free throw line.

The Vikings built a seven-point lead before three minutes had elapsed in the third quarter, and things were unraveling rather quickly for the Golden Grizzlies.

The Cleveland State lead blossomed to as many as 11 points, but Oakland was able to trim it back down to seven heading into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was a total disaster for Oakland, and any hopes of a comeback were quickly put to bed. Cleveland State doubled its lead in just over three minutes, and the Vikings advanced to 19-3 overall and 10-2 in the conference.

In the end, Cleveland State attempted a whopping 46 free throws in the blowout win — by far the most Oakland has given up in a game this season. The Golden Grizzlies allowed 30 free throws in a game against Toledo back on Dec. 21.

For the Golden Grizzlies, the 72-51 loss drops them to 10-11 overall and 5-7 in the Horizon League.

Right now, Oakland sits in a tie with Milwaukee for seventh place in the Horizon League standings. If the Golden Grizzlies can sneak their way into the top five in the conference standings, they will earn a bye in the conference tournament — which starts on Feb. 28.

However, if they cannot, as long as they finish in the top eight, they will earn a home game in the first round of the tournament.

Oakland will now enjoy a long break before its next game on Friday, Feb. 3 at home against Milwaukee. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. and will air on ESPN+.