Women’s basketball team wins first exhibition game

The complete and healthy Oakland women’s basketball team defeated Ferris State 80-75 in an exhibition game at the O’Rena on Saturday.

Junior Bethany Watterworth scored a game-high 32 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists and only one turnover.

“We had a lot of great passes,” Watterworth said. “My teammates fed me well when I had a shorter guard on me and we picked it up.”

Sophmore Zakiya Minifee contributed with an all-round performance which includes 16 points, a team-high six rebounds and a team-leading five steals.

Minifee said that she always tries to enter every game with “a sense of passion and determination.”

“I get in there (for a rebound) and fight hard and every type of ball that goes up, I’m thinking, ‘it’s mine, I’m going to get that ball,’” Minifee said. “That type of fight and passion you see just comes from a strong desire to win the game.”

Throughout the game, head coach Beckie Francis displayed OU’s depth by playing 11 different players including three who suffered season ending injuries last season.

Sophomore Victoria Lipscomb, along with freshmen Jenna Bachouche and Amy Carlton all saw their first in-game action since early last season.

“Lipscomb looked solid, I was really happy (with her play),” Francis said. “Carlton came in and gave us some good minutes with her scrappiness and it’s nice to have the depth back.”

Coming off the bench, Lipscomb had four points, a team-high two blocks and a steal which she converted into a breakaway to give the Grizzlies a 23-18 lead in the first half.

Freshman Peyton Apsey, in her first game at OU, was one of four Grizzlies with four rebounds along with Watterworth, Lipscomb and senior Brittany Carnago.

This exhibition game was the first opportunity for Francis to evaluate how her players played together as a team this season.

“I was trying to get a lot of people different playing time and it’s really hard to do, especially this early against the first opponent,” Francis said. “We’d go on some nice runs with one unit, and I could have kept that unit out, but I tried different units.”

After the exhibition victory, the Grizzlies will now have a couple more weeks to prepare for their Nov. 13 regular season opener on the road against George Mason.