Women’s basketball defeats UM-Dearborn, 78-53

The Oakland University women’s basketball team (4-2) defeated UM-Dearborn (1-4) 78-53 at the Athletics Center O’rena Monday night.

Freshman forward Olivia Nash recorded her fifth double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Elena Popkey finished with 12 points while sophomore guard Amy Carlton came off the bench and scored 12 points.

“It was good to have this kind of game where I could get my starters some rest and I could get my bench players some significant minutes and see who we can use,” head coach Beckie Francis said. “I thought this game really showed that.”

Oakland was in control for the entirety of the game which started when they scored the half’s first seven points. UM-Dearborn found themselves in foul trouble early, forcing Oakland to the line three times within the first three minutes.

Three-pointers were a problem for Oakland’s game against Niagara on Sunday, shooting only 4-14 beyond the arc. Monday night was a different story as the Golden Grizzlies hit three 3-pointers in the first half alone, two of those from freshman guard Annemarie Hamlet.

“I just think that the offense flowed well,” Francis said. “We got a lot of easy fast break buckets and some nice inside action.”

Oakland closed out the first half leading by 20 points, 47-27. The strong start in the first half paved the way for the rest of the game. The Golden Grizzlies refused to let the Wolves find any sort of groove.

“Every player has extremely good talents and good strengths and they all showed it tonight,” Popkey said. “It didn’t matter who was on the court, everybody stepped up big and knew their role.”

The Grizzlies shot 50 percent in the second half and held their opponent to 38 percent. After being outscored for the previous three games, Oakland’s bench stepped it up and outscored the Wolves 38-12.

Sophomore forward Shelby Herrington contributed with 11 points in 13 minutes off the bench. A. Hamlet recorded 10 points of her own in 26 minutes on the court.

Carlton, who scored 12 points off the bench, gave the credit to her teammates.

“I had a lot of fun,” Carlton said. “It was mainly teammates that got me open, so I appreciated that a lot.”

Oakland’s win over UM-Dearborn just a day after coming off of a road loss against Niagara was a test for the young squad.

“After playing out in Buffalo and then a bus through Canada, getting home late last night … it was a tough scheduling deal,” Francis said. “We told our team that we wanted them to get used to playing back to back when we have to do that some point in the playoffs. So I was proud of their stamina and the fact that everybody contributed off the bench.”

With a tough schedule ahead, Francis and her team are preparing themselves for what is to come.

“When you have to be prepared, you get in game mode and it’s not a factor once you hit the floor,” Popkey said. “You may be tired in the morning but when you’re thinking about that game, it gets you excited.”

Oakland will take on Western Michigan at the O’rena on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m.